Invitation to Anti-Choice People to School Me

I am 100% strict in my insistence that nobody gets to tell any woman what kind of surgery she has but appreciate your interest being pleasant about it.

Here is why my side goes crazy when they pass laws about abortion clinics: We don't believe that anyone is sincerely trying to 'help'.

You say two things that highlight places where we differ. First, the notion that it's up to you or to the law to make sure a woman has made the correct judgement is a presumption that is offensive to me. I believe that women are fully capable of deciding if they are being coerced and that it is an insult to suggest that they need to be protected.

The other thing is your observation that we fail to see the other's point of view. I actually believe that I do. I realize that you feel sad about the little babies. I realize that you have the belief that those fetuses are tiny humans that you want to protect. And, in fact, I sympathize with you.

The problem is that you want to assuage that feeling by interfering with the bodies of women who disagree. The part of the anti-choice side I cannot fathom is how you can believe that you have the right to interfere with some other woman's decision. To me, it is incomprehensibly arrogant for you to say that any woman should be compelled to compromise with you over the actions she takes with her own body because you have an emotional attachment to, what she and I believe is a fantasy about the potential of that lump of cells.

If I was to say to you (if this exact example applies), "Look, it's obvious that Mohammed is the real deal but, I'm no hardass, let's compromise. You admit that Jesus and Mohammed are equal. You keep worshipping your guy, just don't call him the Son of God."

You (or someone who was Christian if it doesn't apply to you), would consider that request offensive. You would say that I was encroaching on your fundamental right to live your life the way you want. That you *know* that Jesus is the Son of God and the idea that you would compromise on that knowledge is offensive.

For me, and the women I know, your assertion that we should compromise on our belief that women are free to use their bodies as they want and that fetuses are just biological bits is every bit as offensive.

It's worse though, because the anti-choice types want to force women to live their lives, possibly have them ruined, in the name of beliefs you hold but they don't.

It is true that many women are deeply conflicted about this and that's why I use the analogy of a soldier. A soldier does things that are very difficult to make life better for his or her family and country. Many times, the things that must be done are morally ambiguous. (Ask any soldier who has seen combat if you doubt it.)

A woman that judges her best option to be abortion may not like it. She might have visions of cute little babies in her head. She might also have visions of being an impoverished single mom. Or of being thrown out of her parents' house to live on the street. Or of a million other things. When she makes the judgement that her life and that of her family and society are better served by aborting this fetus, that is often a very difficult decision.

It is the brave decision of a warrior. Just as it would be appalling for you to think that you should stand on the battlefield to second guess whether the soldier should have shot that particular opponent or if it was really an innocent who had been forced into the army, it is wrong, wrong in the big moral sense for you to try to interfere with that woman's life and karma.

And so, it comes down to respect. The anti-choice types somehow conclude that their decision about the unprovable reality of the fetus should govern the life of some woman. A woman who, almost always, the anti-choice types are unwilling to help (it's no coincidence that the term 'welfare queen' was coined by anti-choice people).

Even if you are right and fetuses are cute little babies, in the end, it's a matter of respect for women that they must make that decision without having to 'compromise' with some third party. She's already compromising with her emotions. It's none of anyone else's business.

Your turn. Comments are turned on.