an After abortion

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Monday, December 27, 2004

On December 23, Kevin Drum, a progressive/liberal writer at the Washington Monthly's blog, took note of the "Some Democrats want to soften party's stand on abortion" article in the Times and added an angle pertaining to how women experience abortion.

I'm usually in favor of more inclusive language, greater sensitivity, etc. etc. But obsessing about the emotional turmoil of getting an abortion just doesn't work. Since we fundamentally believe that there's nothing wrong with pre-viability abortion, shouldn't our job instead be to persuade women that they shouldn't feel emotionally whipsawed if they choose to get an abortion? It's awfully hard to take both sides.
He added that angle in the sense that there's nothing in the Times article that refers in any way to the emotional turmoil of getting an abortion.

The comments that follow this entry are from people of a progressive/liberal bent and they are instructive.

One comment early on says:

I think you've fundamentally missed the point. Pro-choicers--and a lot of Democrats--believe that there's nothing wrong with pre-viability abortions being LEGAL. I don't know a whole lot of folks who believe that pre-viability abortions in general are morally neutral or "no big deal." The fact is, abortion may be a necessary procedure for some women, but pro-choicers have got to stop pretending that it isn't a gut-wrenching, emotional, traumatic decision/situation. So persuading women not to feel "emotionally whipsawed" for having an abortion is not only a waste of time, but probably counterproductive, since for most women abortion comes with a lot of emotions/depression/regrets.
This position was in the minority, all-in-all, but it suggests that even though the emotional aftermath of abortion has been largely (some might say totally) ignored in the mainstream press, there is still an awareness of it among perceptive and sensitive observers.

Kevin Drum's comment that "we fundamentally believe that there's nothing wrong with pre-viability abortion", meanwhile, makes one wonder who he's calling "we". His audience is liberal Democrats, which includes many liberal Catholic Democrats. Does Kevin Drum believe that when liberal Catholic Democrats say "I am personally opposed" that they are merely pandering for votes? Some of the comments take him to task for this, but this claim on its face suggests that in the air Kevin Drum breathes, there's no thought or sense about any wrongness relating to abortion. It's revealing, and in a way that would please Karl Rove about the mindset of those who want to put America in the blue column.

Peter Sean Bradley considers Kevin Drum's views on abortion here.

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