Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Unspoken Option

As I am trying to concentrate on my masters project, so many interesting topics come to mind for blogging.

Last week I read this post at The Basement. For those who are not familiar with Her Bad Mother's Basement, it is a place where people talk about their pains anonymously and seek their peer's advice. Last week an anonymous author wrote that she has just found out that she might be pregnant for the third time. She wrote that she wasn't so enthusiastic about children even before she had her first two. There were complications with her pregnancies, along with some serious PPD afterwards. Now that they are finally out of diaper and she has donated all the baby gear (stroller, etc) she has found out she is pregnant again. To make matters worse, the doctors told her she is having twins this time. She sounded devastated.

Her situation seemed dire, but to my surprise only one or two commenters (out of 20)mentioned abortion as an option to save the whole family.

In today's Globe and Mail Judith Timson asks "When did abortion become a dirty word again?".

She writes about the history of legalizing abortion and how the newest crop of movies about unwanted pregnancy makes her feel like she is living in a time warp:

In both Knocked Up, a ribald comedy starring Katherine Heigl as a beautiful, ambitious woman in her 20s who gets pregnant during a one-night stand with a semi-slacker guy she meets in a bar, and Juno, featuring Canadian actress Ellen Page as an adorable, wise-cracking 16-year-old who gets pregnant after one-time sex with a friend, the abortion option is firmly dismissed.

she continues: Abortion is one of the trickiest and most personal issues around. In practice, it's still kept very quiet. Our society still finds it easier not to acknowledge that so many women among us - friends, sisters, daughters, even mothers - have terminated an unwanted pregnancy. But could they also be part of a subtle attitudinal shift against abortion that conservative thinkers like David Frum are calling for? Mr. Frum, in his new book Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, prescribes "education and persuasion ... rather than changes in law" in the continuing fight against abortion.

You could say the "message" from all three movies is roughly the same - an unplanned pregnancy is a bomb that goes off in a young woman's life.

While I do not condone careless behaviour toward sex, I still believe abortion should be an option for unwanted pregnancies (like the post on The Basement) where the well-being of a mother and her existing children could be negatively affected. Of course I am assuming that we all agree that raising a child is a serious business and should not be taken lightly. Is responsible family planning still on the table for us, at all?

Or, is our culture going backwards?


P.s. David Frum, a former speech-writer for George W Bush, will be at University of Toronto next week for a debate.

3 Comments:

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

Are we going backwards?

I don't think so. Perhaps the dehumanizing culture of death, for which abortion is a kind of sacrament, has found its opposers, and they're actually not marginalized 'crazies' and 'God -Squaders' picketing abortuaries, but hip young movie makers and the like.

Hollywood ignores abortion as an option? Not according to dozens of films I've seen, e.g. 'If These Walls Could Talk'.

Some people are always going to have trouble with the idea that there can be 'little' murders. It will strike them as rank injustice, and they will oppose it by mocking it as a 'smashmortion'.

To those such as Ms. Timson, and perhaps yourself, what could be more disturbing than someone mocking the cornerstone of her beliefs.

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger The City Gal said...

More:

What do you think about those children in Africa who are born into poverty and AIDS. Do you think because they die of hunger and AIDS, their death is not murder? In fact, giving birth to them is murder!

The only people who have the right to accuse me of cruelty are those who have adopted (really adopted, not $20 a month support) a child from Africa. Others, please! Get off your high horse!

 
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