Wednesday, December 18, 2002

For the record

I wrote a piece on my weblog (that I also pointed to from here) awhile back on the effect that selective abortion of female fetuses was having on society in India, sparked by an article in the Washington Post.

From my site referral records, I now find that my post Valuing Women is being linked from a pro-life page on the Catholic Exchange. It's entirely their right to link to me, and I welcome visitors from that site (or any other, for that matter).

My concern stems first from the observation that the link to my page is headed "For related coverage see:". I am not a reporter, and my post provides no further factual information beyond that in the Washington Post article to which I pointed. Second, the link to my article is from the text "74 million 'missing' South Asian women" which appears nowhere in my post, rather than to the post's title, "Valuing Women."

Finally, I want to make clear where I stand on the very difficult and divisive issue of abortion. I find abortion to be deeply problematic from a moral perspective. I question whether I would ever choose to have an abortion myself; I'm inclined to think I would not. (To my great good fortune, that's a choice I've never had to make.)

However, I also do not feel this is an arena in which the government ~ or any other institution ~ should be intervening. No woman should be forced to become a mother against her will, no matter how she came to be pregnant. If a woman may not make this most basic choice, then she can hardly be said to have any control over her own life. In my opinion, this is truly a matter of individual conscience.

There are also already too many unwanted, abused, and mistreated children in the world, too many abused, trapped women, and too many unwitting, ignorant, incompetent, and downright dangerous parents of both sexes.

I said above that I don't know whether I would ever choose to have an abortion myself (rapidly becoming a moot issue, but nonetheless). The key word in that sentence is "choose." I am pro-choice.

I don't intend to spark a debate or discussion about this issue with these remarks. Thoughtful people of good will can differ profoundly on this subject. I respect carefully considered opinions on both sides. But I wanted you to know where I stand.

[cross-posted at both2and: beyond binary]

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