My miscarriages made me question being pro-choice –


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Francis says:

    I don’t follow. The argument appears to be

    P: My body rejected my first three pregnancies
    Q: Therefore, poor women who can’t afford to travel to a pro-choice state should be forced to bear unwanted pregnancies to term.


    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Setting legality aside, pregnancy and pre-birth paternity, has odd and often inconsistent effects on how one views the fetus.

      I had no moral compunction at all with abortion until a pregnancy scare occurred, which forced me to confront the thing in a non-hypothetical way. There was no pregnancy, but my anti-abortion sentiment persisted. There was no change in either direction during my wife’s first pregnancy. During the second, though, I nudged towards less hostility towards abortion more generally. Even after its unfortunate ending and a long period of mourning.

      That’s the “morality of abortion” as opposed to the “legality of abortion”, which are not the same thing. Or, at least shouldn’t be. But a lot of people have real problems differentiating between the two. Even though it’s essentially my own position, in my observation “I disagree with abortion but believe it should be legal” has, at most, weak conviction on the first part.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Depends on the person, really. Some people can say “I could never do that, but I wouldn’t make your choice for you…”
        Other say, “how the hell awful does your life have to be before you abort a baby?”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I didn’t see Q in there.

      But I didn’t bother reading the second half of the essay.Report

  2. Misleading headline, as is so often the case. She questioned being pro-choice, but the eventual answer was “yes”:

    I cannot imagine undergoing the transformation from woman to mom/woman without consent, but for me, becoming a mother has brought me an indescribable quantity and quality of joy. I’m eternally glad that I didn’t give up on my wish to raise children. However, I finally truly understand why motherhood has to be a choice. It is too much to ask of an unwilling person.


    • Avatar greginak says:

      Wow that was a terrible headline, really misleading about where the essay went. Good for some clickbait though to get people to find out what her deal is.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        It’s Salon! Who thinks they’re really going to really trample on the left’s most immovable, universal issue?Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          Well yeah that is why it’s very click baity. I almost never look at salon so i’m not really up on their deal.Report

          • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

            I have a rule of thumb with Salon. I pass on any headline with any personal pronoun in it. I combine this with my other rule of thumb to pass on any article telling me what was on TV last night, especially if the headline informs me that so-and-so ‘destroyed’ such-and-such, inexplicably so since it has been destroyed repeatedly in the past. In recent months I had added temporary rules to pass on any article explaining how if Hillary is mean enough to get more delegates than Bernie, it is perfectly reasonable to take my bat and ball and go home; and to pass on any article explaining that the Republicans brought Trump on themselves. That last one I agree with, but half a dozen iterations of the same article on a daily basis seems like overkill.

            The upshot is that I can get through the front page of Salon pretty quickly. Its decline has been a sad spectacle.Report

            • Avatar Francis says:

              My rule of thumb is to wait until someone at a site I read regularly strongly recommends a particular article. Life’s too short to spend much time slogging through Salon or Slate or HuffPo or DailyKos.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                Life’s too short to spend much time slogging through Salon or Slate or HuffPo or DailyKos.

                Or waiting for the page to load.Report

        • Making gay marriage mandatory or raising the marginal tax rate to 110%?Report

  3. Avatar Will H. says:

    I believe that, much like with guns and the incapacity to differentiate between pistols and rifles, lumping all abortions together into one clouds the issue.
    Teasing out the differences reveals more of the ethical concerns.
    Sometimes, “One for all, and all for one” is very inappropriate, and it makes it rather tiresome to try to continue meaningful conversation.

    That said, I tend more toward the side that questioning things is a *GOOD* thing, even if you end up at the same place where you began. That journey is a meaningful one.

    Other than that:
    I wish humanity would just grow up one day.
    I’m not going to hold my breath waiting though.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Actually most people are a bit more nuanced and complex in their attitudes towards abortion than is commonly reported.

    A majority is solidly pro-choice in the early months, but that posture erodes remarkably as the months wear on.
    Which makes no sense, if you just look at the simplistic positions of its either a meaningless clump of cells until birth or a living baby on Day 1.

    Except it does make sense. Biology and the natural world doesn’t offer us neat tidy lines of demarcation about when life begins and ends. So the idea that a meaningless clump of cells at some point changes to a living human boggles the mind, but it fits the empirical facts.

    So the author’s complex ambivalence about abortion is probably the norm for how most people feel.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      Well said.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      So the idea that a meaningless clump of cells at some point changes to a living human boggles the mind, but it fits the empirical facts.

      Ah, the aborites paradox.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      “most people are a bit more nuanced and complex in their attitudes towards abortion than is commonly reported.”

      Manure. Either you’re in favor of abortion at any time at all for any reason whatsoever, or–pace Francis, up-thread–you think that teenagers who become pregnant should be doomed to a life of miserable poverty.

      It’s not my view, but apparently it’s the consensus view.Report

  5. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    I can’t remember where, but I was linked to this some time back with a slightly altered headline “My miscarriages made me question my views on abortion.” I assumed the argument was going to be along the lines of “If God disapproves of abortion, why does he keep giving them to me?”

    Actually, how do people who oppose abortion for religious reasons reconcile that? It’s okay when it’s part of God’s plan, but we don’t get to make that choice?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      God doesn’t want us to kill each other but my grandfather died of old age! Explain *THAT*!Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        You say that like it’s not a legitimate question.Report

        • Avatar Murali says:

          Well, the problem of miscarriage is not a problem over and above the standard euthyphro problem and the problem of evil. Whatever response the religious have to those problems would apply to miscarriage as well. There is no particular reason to think that the existence of miscarriage gives the religious any more reason to think that abortion is right than the existence of natural deaths gives any more reason to think that killing random people is right.Report

    • Same argument as suicide: it’s His choice, not yours.Report

  6. Avatar Fortytwo says:

    Gwendolyn Brooks, one of the greatest American poets. As a male, I can never truly understand the loss she speaks of, but it is powerfully emotional to me as a human.Report