an After abortion

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Since the 2004 presidential election, left-liberals have been reevaluating how they talk about abortion.

The very left-liberal Daily Kos is the most widely-read blog on the internet, with over 400,000 daily readers. A few weeks ago, Kos threw his two cents into the ring, arguing that the Democratic Party has to stop taking it on the chin for its unbridled support of abortion rights. He said that abortion, after all, isn't just another medical procedure and used the word "horrible" to describe it.

Kos has created a space on his blog where regular readers can write diary entries. Yesterday, one woman wrote this impassioned response to Kos, arguing that without abortion, women have no autonomy.

Those women wanting to end a pregnancy, who have already lost a measure of their own autonomy, unfortunately must rely on and turn to others to try to regain control over our own bodies, via abortion. Thus abortion and abortion providers become crucial to the maintenance of women having consent and ability to regain autonomy over our own lives. If that gets labeled "selfish" it is due to the criticism emanating from those who have no concept of autonomy, who view any genuine control over one's own life (gender not withstanding) as heresy and rebellion against one's maker and master.
It's so interesting that this diary writer (who I assume is a woman) believes that pregnancy itself represents a loss of autonomy.

Much of her diary entry makes the case that if left-liberals like Kos say that abortion is horrible, they are implicitly also saying that women who have abortions are horrible.

These same women and people are all around you every day, yet relegated to invisibility. To support women who have had abortions is to support perhaps your mother, your sister, your friend, or your wife, and yes, to support women who read daily Kos. Do not assume they'd have told you, not in this climate, where they are being labeled 'horrible' by proxy. Where to have had an abortion is to be equated to a murderess.

To say "abortion is horrible" like it or not, is to continue the silence, and self imposed silence born of fear, of those same women, and people who are otherwise participants in abortion.
The diary writer describes all the many ways that she has involved herself in the abortion rights and access cause for many years with one omission...she never says whether or not she herself has had an abortion even though, reading the entry, it seems likely that she has. It's really ndicative of the level of fear of judgment experienced by so many women who have had abortions that it doesn't feel safe to say so in a diary entry at The Daily Kos.

The comments thread after her diary entry reveals a wide variety of perspectives on abortion--personal, political and strategic--within the left-liberal camp.

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