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abortion - is it really a right?

what if what we mean by womyns reproductive rights is'nt really conducive to communal, and non violent living.
what if what we mean by womyns reproductive rights isn?t really conducive to communal, and non-violent living.

Terminating a birth because it is unwanted ? for practical considerations, e.g. raising children will bring cessation to her 'formal' education, complicate her life, take away her freedom to live as an individual, restrict her future mating options, bring about months of immobility, force her into a position of accepting [out of necessity] a wage slave occupation, or perhaps because she merely doesn?t want a child at that time [granted health risk, incest, rape etc. are not being included in merely practical considerations. Such instances bring another level of complexity to the issue, beyond practicality.] ? bears hints of capitalist-anti-communal-self-reliant implications.

Capitalistic? Children are liabilities. Anti-communal? I permit no communal help in the raising of an unexpected child. Self-reliant? Self reliance outside of the community ? from each one?s ability to their own needs ? is a-communal. Granted, the above ?arguments? make large leaps to their conclusions ? however, there is a string of reason present.

Why is abortion a right? (hopefully not as a reaction to patri-culture?s repression of womyn alone ? if it is right, it would be trans-cultural ? otherwise it is merely a convention. If our rights are mere convention, there is no ?real? right to propagate any convention, esp in the place of another.)
your comment was difficult to understand 11.Dec.2004 13:58

but you raise some valid points

abortion has been an issue since the beginning of western culture (i.e.-since the beginning of monotheism). before biblical times, abortion was considered more as a convention; a necessity. it must be remembered that given difficult circumstances, most pregnancies abort themselves in the form of miscarriage, which is just a natural abortion. studies have linked miscarriages to things like hunger or a mom that psychologically does not want a child, or even to bad relationships. in pre-western times, women would have abortions when food was scarce, or if their community was already struggling. raising a child was often more of a community thing at that time than it is today.

when western religion came along, abortion became a subject of intense debate. also at this time, womens' rights became a larger issue. men wanted to be in charge not only of church and state, but also of reproduction. they literally saw control of reproduction as a way to control populations and empires. the issue has changed forms over the years, and has become less of a political and more of a moral debate over the past two centuries. people who are for choice aren't necessarily for abortion; many of them, if not most, find it a disturbing thing. most pro-choice people actually just believe that making abortion illegal would be the same as combining church and state. it would be putting a religious opinion into law at the expense of the opinions of a majority of the population (i.e.-it would be undemocratic). and on top of this, at times when abortion has been illegal, the number of abortions has not decreased. but when you force women to go underground for an abortion, you force them into a situation where they are putting themselves in danger.

it is not a coincidence that the vast majority of anti-choice activists are men. it is easy for them to seize a perceived moral high ground when it benefits them. but the question arises: do they have a real understanding, as men, of the issues that women face on a regular basis? and have they really listened to the people who have had to make the decision whether or not to have an abortion?

there have been endless studies and endless polls. currently a vast majority of the u.s., as well as an even larger majority of the world population, are pro-choice. studies have shown that both options of abortion and adoption have had equally negative psychological effects on women. but if you knowingly have a child in a situation where you know it will likely not have a chance at a healthy life, is this truly a better decision than having an abortion? i don't know. my personal opinion is that it would be better to take the chance than to have the abortion, but i could be wrong.

my point is that this is a complex issue, and for a group of mostly men to take away a woman's choice is not going to solve any problems. even if it was the right thing to do and you could back it up with all kinds of studies, it would still force tons of women to have illegal abortions. it is ridiculous to think that women actively want to have abortions; this is just not the case. and many people also have the opinion that many abortions are performed later in the pregnancy, which is absolutely false.

you can debate all you want about whether abortion is killing, but if killing were really the issue, then what about murder, capital punishment, or domestic violence, which is perhaps the biggest issue in the world that no one talks about. there is a pattern of violence against women in western society, a pattern of trying to control women, and the abortion issue falls into this category.

so there are many arguments that can be made...and i know my comment was sort of all over the place. but my point is that it would be not only unacceptable, but completely immoral, to first of all turn abortion into a legal argument, and secondly to outlaw it.

all rights are constructs 11.Dec.2004 14:21

anonymous rad woman

All of our rights are constructs--what we as a society deem to be the bottom line. The concept of rights is at the end of the tradition of liberal thought, which is based on ideas that no one really believes in now--i.e. natural, universal god-given rights--about how our society could politically survive.

On the other hand, it's impossible to extricate many ways of thinking from the subjective condition of being surrounded by them. So, yeah, we live in a capatalist patriarchal patronizing to women society. A concept of 'right to privacy' or right to autonomy of your body is a reaction to the culture & discourse we are in. It might not be the best or most radical way to think about it, but at this point people like it as a tool that fits w/in the liberal discourse of "rights." (i mean 'liberal' in a traditional philosophical way, rather that say reformist centrist democrat)

Abortion 11.Dec.2004 20:52


I'll keep this simple. If you don't like abortion, then don't have one. Or get a vascetomy. There are millions of neglected, unwanted, abused, orphaned children right here in this country. If you are so concerned why don't you adopt a few?

If it is "killing" when that life starts? 11.Dec.2004 23:03


I would like to quote Carl Sagan's very interesting insight on this issue:

"Despite many clais to the contrary, life does not begin at conctption. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neigher is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an Unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full geentic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means garanteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more then a POTENTIAL baby or a POTENTIAL adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murdder to destroy a fertilized egg--despite the fact that it's only POTENTIALLY baby--why isn't it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?
Hundreds of millions of sperm cells are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to doublee the human population on the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died?"

This is from his last book "Billions & Billions." Mr. Sagan examines this from both ends, and offer what I think is the most sound argument.

tired on spelling mistakes 11.Dec.2004 23:36


If you are going to copy and paste quotes from authors, please take the time to spell check!
If you are going to write your own material, do so as well. There is nothing more annoying than
trying to take a piece of writing on indy media seriously with gross spelling problems: credibility vanishes immediately!

I am a woman, not a womyn 12.Dec.2004 00:16


I checked out of this article by the second "womyn." What's up with this fear of language?! Many other cultures do just fine with masculin and feminin nouns. Sheesh.

Because it must be 12.Dec.2004 03:31


Abortion is an unsatisfactory solution to an intractable problem.
Few have claimed otherwise -- if one excludes opponents bearing false testimony.

Opponents of abortion wish to impose their own unsatisfactory solutions.
On others.
Frequently with obvious ulterior motives.

Most abortions could be avoided.
Unfortunately, those with the powers to assist,
show by their behaviour,
that they are far more interested in opposing than in assisting.

Opposition to abortion is a weapon in a power struggle,
between those who are neither pregnant nor likely to be inconvenienced by pregnancy.

Abortion is a right,
until better solutions are permitted and available,
because it must be.

Carl Sagan Should Have Stuck To Astronomy 12.Dec.2004 19:54

M. Kato

I am not impressed by Carl Sagan's opinion. He was a mediocre astronomer and and a dilletante as a biologist.

The union of a human sperm with a human egg produces a human being - not a chimpanzee, not a parakeet or even a guppy.

It really doesn't matter whether this human being lasts for a millisecond or a hundred years.

Choosing abortion should not be desirable, but it is sometimes necessary. Let's be clear, though, about what is destroyed.

Yes, lets be clear about all consequences 13.Dec.2004 00:10


I have never known a woman who was not devastatedly aware of what she destroyed. Sometimes their men are, too.

I have heard tales, possibly false, of women who don't care.

I have also heard a tale of a tank which, after the war was over, on routine patrol with no threat apparent to the civilian crowds present, crushed a car with a family of human beings inside.

I have also heard tales of chemical companies withholding warnings of toxic spills, even toxic products, to bolster their profits with the lives of human beings.

Lets skip the ad hominem shit and sneaky innuendo.

The Limits of Argumentation 13.Dec.2004 04:02

M. Kato

"Let's skip" presumptuous and overbearing dictation regarding the limits to which one can go in disputation. That suggestion smacks of authoritarianism.

And, speaking of "ad hominem shit," Sagan's unconscionable hatchet job in the 70's on the seminal work of Immanuel Velikovsky is common knowledge. Sagan was a hack scientist who made his reputation attacking good science and hosting NOVA programs promoting status quo astrophysical theories. I wouldn't hold this man up as a champion of anything other than establishment astronomical theory. If he had been around in Galileo's day, he probably would have been in the forefront of that great man's persecution.

Sagan should have exerted himself on a "SITI" project(Search For Intra-Terrestrial Intelligence)rather than his SETI project (Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)starting with his own.