Chelsea Clinton’s recent remarks about the economic benefits flowing to society from abortion are pure, retrograde paganism. Is that really who we are?
The other day I did a post about the neo-paganism that seems to be sweeping the more savage parts of the world. I ended with a throwaway paragraph about Chelsea Clinton’s recent comments about abortion. Thinking about the matter, I believe what Chelsea said deserves more attention. Before I get to Chelsea, though, let me do a bit of background about past pro-abortion arguments.
For decades, since the lead-up to Roe v. Wade, the Left has always framed abortion as an intensely personal, necessary choice for women.Abortion, we are told, spares them from becoming the pariah status of unwed motherhood — although any negatives associated with unwed motherhood vanished decades ago. Then, still assuming the long-gone ignominy of unwed motherhood, abortion advocates assure us that, without abortion, all those soon-to-be-shunned unwed mothers would end up dead in back alleys with coat hangers protruding from their bodies.
We’re also told that abortion prevents women from becoming worn-out baby making machines. The image is of the faded 35-year-old with seven children clinging to her skirts as she stands barefoot, pregnant yet again and, of course, in the kitchen. This argument, which dates back to Margaret Sanger’s time, ignores birth control entirely. As it is, one can buy myriad over-the-counter forms of birth control (condoms, sponges, gels, and foams). There are also all sorts of prescription options, such as the Pill, IUDs, diaphragms, and hormone implants that last for years.
Barack Obama made the matter less pragmatic and more emotional when he explained that he didn’t want his young daughters “punished with a baby.” I know that he was focusing on teen pregnancy, but that’s an awfully broad statement to make. You certainly can view pregnancy and motherhood as punishment. Pregnancy is terribly hard on some bodies, labor hurts, and children mean that the mother’s needs (assuming she is not narcissistically focused on herself) always come second. Sleep? Forget about it. Peace and quiet? It is to laugh. Me time? In your dreams. Money? Well, maybe, but not for yourself. Career advancement? Infinitely more difficult.
To the extent Obama was talking specifically about teen pregnancy, he’s right that it creates a tough road to hoe should the young mom keep the baby. Many of these teens aren’t married, which means that poverty is a real threat. In addition, if they dreamed of a career and an education, without family help they’ll have to put those dreams on hold until the child is older. The solution, though, should be to change the culture by encouraging teens away from sex (and especially drunk sex), not by urging them to terminate their pregnancies. [Read more…]