Regardless of your political affiliation, your idea of personhood, whether or not you view abortion as something that should be legal, I think we should call into question celebrating such a thing.
With the popularity of the social media hashtag “shout your abortion” came lots of responses, must of them could be rightly characterized as “I wouldn’t have been where I’m at in my career” or “I didn’t like the father.” (I’m not suggesting there aren’t any other reasons, but this seemed prevalent to me.)
In any case, what mindset would you have to adopt to view abortion as something to be proud of? Because even if I accept the pro-choicer’s presuppositions, I don’t see how it is something worthy of celebration. I am more sympathetic to the view that abortion is a necessary evil, that some people aren’t able to provide for their children and don’t want to bring them into a cruel world. Even though I disagree with their conclusion, I can resonate with that type of thinking because it’s realistic and doesn’t come across as inherently selfish.
But when you have people making a mockery out of it, that it was a “quick way to lose 10 pounds” and other social media edgelord type comments, I think even pro-choicers should see a problem with this type of rhetoric towards the unborn.
It is not as if all pro-choicers are against babies, I know with some arguing for us to stop having children to save the environment, countries aborting down syndrome babies to eliminate down syndrome and abortion by convenience policies throughout the world, It could seem that way to a pro-lifer.
With that said, I don’t assume that is the position of the random pro-choicer I encounter online or in person. It is wise that you do not, putting words into people’s mouths is a sure way to have to them not listen to what you have to say.
Which is exactly what “shout your abortion” is. I question the rhetorical device used, it doesn’t seem to be an argument for why women should have complete bodily autonomy, even over other persons in her body (I realize personhood is part of the debate, however, let’s say for countries that approve late-term abortions.) Shouldn’t we be trying to convince each other? I’m sure to the women involved, “shout your abortion” feels empowering, because there is a stimga against women who have aborted, even those who have aborted and later have become pro-life deal with these issues. I’m not going to pretend the pro-life side is without sin, we’ve done an awful job at supporting single mothers or single fathers, we can come across as judgemental and mean, we are often too concerned with how right we are instead of meeting you where you are at and actually talking about this.
However, “shout your abortion” comes off as a victory lap for a race you never took part in. I think an apt analogy is when in conservation you have a disagreement and the other person says “I am now more proud/confident in my beliefs because you disagreed with me”.
You can shout your abortion in celebration, but what are you really celebrating? Perhaps you might say you are not celebrating the act of abortion itself but the rights given to women to have autonomy over their bodies. But again, this isn’t useful because we don’t believe it has to do with *your* autonomy when another person is involved. So we are stuck begging the question.
Even putting the personhood argument for aside for a moment, what is so empowering about telling strangers on social media that you don’t have a son or daughter? It comes across similar to someone who has no children and gloats about it on social media. “22 dollars for diapers? Ha! That’s why I didn’t have kids.” It just seems like pointless paristan posturing, rather than “standing up for women’s rights.”
Pro-Choice and Pro-Life both seem like misnomers. Pro-Lifers are not against choices and pro-choicers are not against life. On the pro-life side, generally speaking, we believe in the choice of using a condom, birth control, abstinence, etc. as methods for not having a child when you don’t want one or aren’t ready for one. We also support adoption and many wonderful people in the pro-life community are willing to adopt your babies and support you while you carry the baby to term.
Pro-Choicers don’t just abort every time they’re pregnant, I’ve met many pro-choicers who call themselves “personally pro-life” that is to say, they’d never abort, but think the state should maintain the right for women to be able to.
If we are to seek unity, it has to be honest. We are both humans who believe we are supporting what is right. That’s why shouting your abortion, much like shouting at someone in an argument, isn’t helpful.