Thursday, March 16, 2006

On Criminalizing Abortion and Incarcerating Women

L and I have debated the incarceration of women that have abortions, should the procedure become criminalized. After a few rhetorical passes, L, states:
I DO believe that a human embryo is a person, an innocent human being in its smallest and earliest stage of development. And yet, if I were to get pregnant again, I would likely abort -- I swore I would never go through another pregnancy and c-section. So instead I would kill the teeny tiny person inside me. Can you imagine, wanting so badly never to be pregnant again, that you`d do this?

I do not understand, if abortion is "murder," why would I not be criminally liable for getting one? Isn`t it like hiring a hit man? Why just lock up the abortionist, and not the woman who actively seek the abortions? And so many women do it themselves with drugs -- where do they fit in?

Sure, some post-abortive women are in really rough situations and deserve compassion, but most of the women I know who have had abortions were not desperate, helpless waifs --they were mature, educated women like me, whose contraception failed. Why give us a break, and assume most of us are victims? We`re not. If abortion is murder, why not fill up the jails with murderers like me?
Here is my response:
O contraire! You're victims of one of the most insidious of crimes. You've been enslaved by the fashion of our age.

I know. I used to be enslaved in the same way.

Long before I discovered the joy of Foolishness, I pursued the good life of the happy, yet diluted, Foolable. I, too, celebrated a woman's "right to choose." I, too, lived the cognitive dissonance of personally opposing abortion but not desiring to "impose my morality upon another."

For that is what my peers celebrated. That's what four years at Binghamton University took for granted. That's what the media at every level preached through story, or lack of story.

All the while, I lived blind to the truth.

What truth?

The truth that an embryo is a person. Oh, yes, I could assent to it intellectually--to a point. After all, I couldn't allow my assent to interfere with an adult woman's sacred sovereignty over "her own body."

I could not believe it, however.

I could not emotionally, spiritually or holistically accept the personhood of an embryo. I could not socially accept it. To do that, I would have to turn my entire Foolable worldview upside down. I did not want to do that.

What would my "friends" think? What would society say? How could I even consider denying the absolute liberty of a woman, especially over so personal a matter? Such thinking was nothing more than neanderthal nonesense at best. It was rank patriarchal sexism and mysogeny at worst!

I lived my life then enslaved by the ideology of "choice." I had, however unwittingly, surrendered my will over to the care of those most invested in promoting abortion. I followed the false idol of Absolute Individualism, and his handmaiden, "Freedom."

Then Christ kicked in my door. My amateur fascination and lukewarm practice of Taoism and Buddhism brought me home to the Church. Soon after, I recovered my senses--which the Reasonable of our enlightened society calls "Foolishness." To paraphrase the wisdom of "the rooms" I came, came to, then came to believe.

I now completely embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church on the grave evil of abortion. I have been freed from the prison of mind fashioned by the enlightened Reasonable elites in academia and the media.

Not everyone has.

You haven't. Yes, I know what you said. I also know what you said in your post on your traumatic pregnancy. The cognitive disonance there cries out to heaven. You say an embyro is a person--intellectually. You don't accept it whole-heartedly. Your reaction to your miscarriage makes that clear.

If what you say is true, your friends haven't, either.

Until you have, what purpose could society accomplish by incarcerating women like your friends should abortion become criminalized?

Women that have abortions, especially those that use them as birth control, truly haven't accepted the personhood of their unborn children. There's a disconnect there, somewhere. There's that cognitive disonance at work, again. Or, as friends of Bill and Lois would say, "Denial--it ain't just a river in Egypt."

In short, they don't know what they're doing.

How can they? They live enslaved to an ideology that has allowed PP to become a multi-million dollar, Federally-subsidized business.

That's why I said they need help. They need the help of Grace. They need the help of compassionate witnesses to the Love and Truth of our Loving God. They need the patience of disciples that will offer them the liberation they desperately need.

Incarceration does not help them. It only ensures that prisons become bloated with slaves.

Call me condescending. Call me patriarchal. Say I paint with two large a brush. This is my position. Absent any compelling argument to the contrary, I'm sticking with it!