Today, on the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, is National Blog for Choice Day. You link to other blogs writing on the topic here. You can also read some of my favorite posts on the topic here and here.
The pro-choice movement is obviously a complex phenomenon that encompasses issues of health, privacy, race, class, freedom, and more. I’m not about to tackle all of that right now. A lot of my recent thinking about the pro-choice movement comes from an interview with Katha Pollitt in the current issue of Bitch Magazine. Here’s some of what she has to say about (re)framing the abortion debate:
The pro-choicers have let the antis set the terms of the debate. We are on the defensive. We don’t say, Look, it’s okay for women to postpone motherhood to get an education, to get established at work, to find a mate, to grow up. It’s okay to only want one child. In fact, it’s okay not to want children at all. Instead we defend abortion by emphasizing extreme cases – rape, incest, dangerous pregnancies, anencephalic fetuses – and we defend the moral agency of women who choose abortion by talking about what a difficult, serious tragic decision it is. And sometimes that is true. But sometimes abortion is an easy decision. (See how cold and frivolous that sounds? You’re not supposed to talk like that!) If you are not ambivalent about the pregnancy you might not feel so sad.
I present you with this quote to highlight what I hope is obvious: there is not one monolithic narrative to the pro-choice movement, nor is there one archetypal experience for women who have had abortions.