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Friday, August 21, 2015

"The Second Victim"

Saw this in an article in the LA Times today ...

[...] Some anti-choice activists have suggested that clinics literally hold women down and force them to have abortions. But most people floating the "coerced abortion" myth are more subtle. They pretend that unscrupulous boyfriends and clinic workers exploit women's supposed inability to make rational decisions when emotional.

In 2007, the National Review hosted a forum in which anti-choice activists laid out the theory that women are too stupid — though they shied away from that word — to make a fully informed choice to end a pregnancy. The woman is the "second victim of abortion," argued Dorinda C. Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund. Villanova University law professor Joseph Dellapenna concurred, saying, "Women were victims of the abortion and not perpetrators."

Throughout the forum, participants advanced the notion that women choose abortion because the poor dears don't know "abortion for what it is" because "health and legal authorities fail to tell them," as Catholic blogger Pia de Solenni put it. And so, as Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, claimed, abortion bans are about "protection, not punishment."

In other words, much as we have laws that say a minor is too immature to consent to sex, we ought to shield women — lifelong minors, effectively — from making choices about their own bodies.

The ignorance argument is all over the latest attacks on Planned Parenthood. David Daleiden, the head of the Center for Medical Progress, told the National Review that if he had a chance to ask Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, anything, "I would ask her if she knows abortion the way Planned Parenthood providers know abortion." ...

For some reason, pro-life people don't seem to see women who choose to get an abortion as moral agents able to make coherent choices. I can't help thinking this idea of women as second victims is just a disingenuous way to avoid what would be a very unpopular but logical conclusion of pro-life beliefs .... that women who get abortions are baby killers. Perhaps it's in part this blame-shifting that has lead to the murder of clinic doctors and staff.

And this from The New Yorker: Planned Parenthood Means Fewer Abortions


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