an After abortion

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Peter Nixon at Sursum Corda weighs in on what Ursula Le Guin thinks about abortion. (See also me yesterday and the Domestic Church and Amy Welborn, especially if you want to read 100+ comments.)

One thing that strikes me about the comments of Le Guin and her colleague is the absolute bedrock conviction that the progress toward social equality that women have made in the last three decades rests on a foundation of legalized abortion. I know a lot of women of Le Guin's generation--including my own mother--who passionately believe this. They are convinced that if abortion is recriminalized or significantly regulated, the economic and social gains that women have made will begin to melt away.

I'm glad that Peter noticed and commented on this. I believe that pro-choice feminists became fans of abortion for just the reason that they felt that abortion (in general and also in many particular cases) was in fact an indispensable guarantor of an adult female life capable of reaching either an acceptable level of satisfaction and fulfillment or, at a minimum, equality with men.

Fans of abortion often do feel worry and hurt (on up to hostility and anger) when they learn that an individual woman was damaged by her abortion and deeply regrets it. To leave any woman with a lifetime of remorse, pain and regret was certainly not ever their intention.

How much more difficult it would be to come to grips with the fact that the overall status of women has not improved as the result of legal abortion.

If there were a "Woman's Misery Index" that took into account the lived experience of women in a wide range of life areas, I'm reasonably certain that the WMI would have skyrocketed in the last 30 years.

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