I put out a call on Twitter and Facebook and email for women to tell me their stories about their abortions. And many women said, ‘I told my boyfriend I was pregnant, and that was the last I ever heard of them.’
There is a huge reservoir of support for abortion rights from ordinary women. I hear all the time from women who had abortions and say it made possible the good life they went on to have. Social shaming silences too many.
I think there are a very few pro-lifers who would say that a zygote in a petri dish is the equivalent of you or me; it’s just younger. If you can say that without laughing, maybe you are a true pro-lifer. But I think most people are able or willing to make distinctions that show they maybe don’t quite believe that.
I think the meaning of abortion is what the woman says it is: For a woman who wants a child but can’t have this one, it can be sad; for a woman who doesn’t want a baby, it can feel like a huge relief, like having your whole life given back to you.
We have an idea that the man should help pay for the child. But we don’t have a law that says a man has to support any woman he gets pregnant. Why is that? Because she doesn’t have the baby yet. But if we’re going to say it’s a human being, then he should be supporting her during pregnancy.
Abortion opponents know full well that the public would not abide putting women in prison en masse. Politically, it’s more palatable to portray them as irrational, ignorant, and childlike, perhaps even temporarily insane.
It’s a rare pro-lifer who is against the death penalty, who’s against all war, who favors, you know, all the things people need to flourish and stay healthy in life. They’ve tied themselves to the Republican Party, which doesn’t support any of that.
Abortion is part of being a mother and of caring for children, because part of caring for children is knowing when it’s not a good idea to bring them into the world.