August 08, 2006


I've been thinking about what happened on The View for days now, and I can't seem to let it go. I heard that Barbara was mean to Elisabeth and Elisabeth was mean to Joy, so I decided to go watch it for myself. I really don't think anyone was mean to anyone. It was a discussion of the morning-after pill; these things can get heated. (I thought the things that commenters said about Elisabeth Hasselbeck on blogs were far worse, but most comment sections are a nightmare anyway.)

What I can't stop thinking about is the Hypothetical Situation that Joy posed to Elisabeth. When we debate abortion, why is it that someone always has to bring up the "12 year old girl who's been raped by her father or uncle"? As if this is the norm and these are the only girls who really need the morning-after pill. I thought Elisabeth was completely right to point out that if we're talking about offering this pill over-the-counter, then the target consumer is not really the rape and incest victim. But abortion is always framed around rape and incest. That's the Rocky Marciano of the abortion debate: "That's they one!" But less than 2% of women who have abortions say they do so because of rape or incest. So why do we always frame the debate around these 2%?

If you're pro-choice, you can't keep trying to trip up pro-life people by throwing in the rape and incest red herring. It's disingenuous. I think being pro-choice is a valid opinion, provided you state frankly that when you say everyone has the right to choose, that means Everyone: the girl who gets knocked up at prom, the married lady who forgets her diaphragm, and even the uppity lady who aborts two of her triplets because buying the big jar of mayonnaise is so middle class. If you have the right to choose and a right to your own body, then you get to choose all the time. Limiting the debate to rape and incest absolutely skews what is actually going on in abortion clinics.

Posted by Sarah at August 8, 2006 09:15 AM | TrackBack

Thank you for saying that.

I've gotten so tired of debating this issue because people always frame it around those cases. It's because it's a Catch-22 for the pro-lifer - if you say 'no exceptions for rape and/or incest' then you're the heartless right-wing whacko that wants to injure poor innocent little girls. If you say 'ok, there should be an exception for rape/incest' then you get accused of not really valuing all unborn human life, since you're willing to sacrifice the rape victim's baby's right to life.

Rape is an act of violence that deeply violates the victim's power and identity. But abortion is a violent means of ending an unborn child's life. It seems to me if we wanted to try to empower the rape victim by letting her exercise violence towards someone else, that person should be the rapist, not the innocent child that was conceived by him.

(Why won't your blog accept comments from a .edu email address?)

Posted by: karishma at August 8, 2006 05:45 PM

I don't know why it rejects edu. Our spam filters are a bit out of control; there are so many blogs under the same filter, and we have to block everything that hits any of them.

Posted by: Sarah at August 8, 2006 06:15 PM

Back in university me and this girl got wasted at the campus bar and slept with each other unprotected. That what I think the morning after pill is for.

Here's your honesty: I truly believe there's nothing wrong with getting wasted, having sex and then using the morning after pill. What, exactly, is "violent" about a woman inducing her period early?

Posted by: Will at August 9, 2006 02:56 PM

Well whaddya know, the greatest argument *for* the morning-after pill is that Will won't father any children.

Posted by: Sarah at August 9, 2006 03:23 PM

Hear hear!

Posted by: Will at August 11, 2006 03:01 PM