Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Armstrong Williams: Revisiting Abortion

Armstrong Williams, in his Op-Ed in the Washington Times this week, argues vehemently against abortion. While there are valid and valuable elements to Armstrong's case, I strongly disagree with him on several things, particularly with his claim that "abortion has become little more than a routine medical procedure, undertaken little or no real consideration of its true consequences. "

While I (thankfully) have no personal experience with abortion, I find it very difficult to imagine that women who make the incredibly difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy do so without a heavy heart and a full sense of the significance of what they're doing. The experience can be an emotionally traumatic one, as pro-lifers are quick to remind us. To accuse those women of treating an abortion as a routine medical procedure is not only an insult; it's just plain wrong.

Armstrong continues: "...in our modern Western civilization, childbirth, especially among women of prime child-bearing age, is seen through the lens of constricted lifestyle and career choices. Women with children are seen as less valuable in the workplace and less likely to succeed in life. Children are viewed, not as our greatest resource leading to a better future for our civilization and the world at large, but as a burden on our individuality and lifestyle..."

This is true, and I won't try to deny it. But Armstrong's extension of this logic, to: "Somehow 'convenience' and 'comfort' became values more important than the right to life, where a woman can exterminate any chance at life on a whim..." frustrates and angers me.

Again, if anyone imagines that a woman considering abortion does lightly, or with a greater commitment to her own convenience or calendar than to the potential life that is in her hands, they are sorely mistaken.

Armstrong reduces women who have terminated pregnancies, and those of us who support their rights to do so, into unthinking, unfeeling and unprincipled monsters. To do so ignores the reality of a painful and distressing situation, and does Armstrong's position as an authority on the matter no favours at all.


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