How Not To Be Against Abortion
Sharp-witted nemesis of pro-lifers Amanda Marcotte directed my attention to this article about Jennie McCormack who, according to the story, received some despicable treatment from people after her self-induced abortion gained unexpected public notoriety. Idaho, where McCormack lives, has a 1972 law, apparently never before enforced, that makes a self-induced abortion a crime punishable by five years in prison. She was arrested after news of her taking RU-486 reached police. A section in the story reads:
After her picture appeared in the paper, McCormack got a part-time job at a dry cleaner, using another name, but people figured out who she was and stopped letting her bag up their clothes, so she quit. On a recent trip to a local state office to apply for aid, she was ignored for hours. “They made it clear what was happening,” she says. “For a while I just sat there, sort of amazed that they were just letting me sit there.” Eventually, she picked up her son and went home.
Marcotte seems to view this treatment as typical behavior for those opposed to abortion, and, I’m presuming in response to this story, tweeted, “I’m genuinely surprised some times that anti-choicers aren’t trying to require scarlet As sewn onto your clothes if you have an abortion.” If Marcotte means this in reference to us “anti-choicers” generally, and that’s how I took her statement, then she’s missing the mark. Yes, you can with a little time and effort find cruel, misogynistic anti-abortion crusaders more keen on punishing and controlling women than protecting the unborn, and Marcotte knows how to find and expose them. However, I’ve yet knowingly to meet one, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time among pro-lifers. Most pro-lifers really do think nascent human life is worth defending. That, I dare say, is what motivates me.
Having said this, however, I can see where Marcotte gets the impression that we “anti-choicers” are sinisterly motivated. The alleged reactions of people to McCormack’s abortion may not unveil the modus operandi of the typical pro-lifer, but, if true, they do suggest a disposition that extends to more than a couple heartless souls. And laws that punish women in Jennie McCormack’s situation with jail time give the impression that “anti-choicers” are also anti-women. We “anti-choicers” have a responsibility to consider how our objectives, if and when realized, will affect women like Jennie McCormack. Saying we’re pro-women isn’t sufficient. And we sure as hell should be kind, welcoming, and respectful to any woman who has, for whatever reason, chosen abortion.