Kids Being Brought Up in Abortion Debates

I am very much pro-choice but I hate it when I get into debates and anti-abortion people bring up my daughter. It’s really not a fair comparison. Also, my daughter is now a real live person and not a clump of cells.

My daughter was planned and really wanted. I was in a good, stable place with lots of support, and I was prepared to take care of her. I was extremely fortunate. Had I been in a different situation, I might have felt grateful to have abortion as an available option.

Babies bring joy but also hardship so I can understand not wanting or being prepared for that. I know people have abortions for a variety of different reasons, but ultimately if a person wants an abortion, the reason shouldn’t matter.

Have any other pro-choice parents had their kids brought up in debates? How do you respond?


  1. sonofrojblake says

    My wife’s been pregnant several times. Those pregnancies ended variously early by choice, early by miscarriage, and *very slightly* early according to plan with my son (another will end soon hopefully according to plan with a little brother or sister).

    I fail to see the relevance of any one of these outcomes to any of the others.

  2. anat says

    I’m not sure what you mean by people bringing up your daughter? The pro-choice position isn’t ‘nobody should bring a pregnancy to term’, it is ‘people who are pregnant should have a choice whether to bring that pregnancy to term’. So I don’t see what argument they think they are making.

    Where I was living when i had my son (Israel) if I had wanted to terminate that pregnancy I would have had to come up with a lie about why I wanted to terminate, because married women under 40 don’t have the right to end a pregnancy just because they don’t feel ready to be parents or their life circumstances are not supportive of raising a child. (The most common work-around is to claim the pregnancy is causing depression or other mental health problems.) I am grateful my circumstances were such I didn’t need to do that. At the same time, I would have felt much better if I could have the assurance that if my life got seriously upended I had a clear choice to end that pregnancy and try again whenever I felt safer.

  3. Katydid says

    Hoo, boy. I fought these idiots in the 1990s.

    Bottom line; the pro-choice position is all about women making their own decisions about what to do with their own bodies. Pro-choice is all about supporting women with information, resources (contraception, health care, support), and assistance if needed to do what is right for all women. The anti-choice position declares women to be stupid and incompetent and lesser in value to the contents of their uterus. If a woman is too stupid and craven and despicable to be trusted with a choice, how could she possibly be trusted with a newborn?

    I feel as if I’ve said this before on this board, and if so, I apologize: pregnancy is not a simple, consequence-less procedure. Up until very recently in our history as humans, it was the number-one reason for a woman to die. Right now, the USA has a higher rate of maternal injury and death than any other developed country…and many developing ones. A woman is risking her life and future health in pregnancy and childbirth, and if she chooses to do so, that’s a wonderful thing. If she’s pregnant against her will and forced to risk her life, that’s slavery.

    Final note, then I’ll put the soapbox away; an overwhelming amount of women who are pro-choice have children. The luckier ones chose (catch that word choice?) to have children because they wanted children. A cluster of 16 cells is not a child. It is not a person. If someone is a Christian or a Jew, their holy book says very clearly that someone is not human until they take their first breath–which you’d think would stop the crazy anti-choice argument, but it doesn’t. Also, the Christians didn’t much care about abortion until the 1970s. And they surely don’t care about the women.

    • says

      To add to this : the overwhelming amount of those who have abortions already have kids.
      I know, often the example brought up in these debates is that of a girl or young woman who isn’t ready to parent, or who doesn’t have enough support to parent, but that’s a bit of a red herring, as it supports the antis’ argument that we don’t actually need abortions, but just more support and information and what have you not.
      But many of us already have children. We know what pregnancy, birth and parenting means. I will never consent to being pregnant again. I don’t want another child either, but I would also not agree to something like surrogacy either.

  4. says

    I think once our twice.
    As you say, our kids are now living, breathing people. I had a miscarriage before my first kid. What I lost back then was the potential of a kid. The embryo didn’t feel a thing. To compare that to one of my kids is insulting.
    And yes, my kids were planned and wanted. It’s not as if pro choice people want all pregnancies to be aborted. We want people to be able to choose.

  5. John Morales says

    What Katydid wrote. Pro-choice is quite literal — women get to choose.

    Choosing to have a child is fine, if it’s an actual choice, so therefore having a child in no way compromises the pro-choice argument, any more than not having one does.

    (Me and my wife chose — entirely successfully — to not procreate)

    • John Morales says

      Harkening back to your last post, that’s an advantage atheists have; there’s no religious dictum about obligation towards procreation to worry about.

      (That said, my wife is a practicing Catholic, and we had to make a “promise” to have children in order to get a Church wedding — but that’s another story)

  6. Katydid says

    Speaking of Atheists and the arguments anti-choice people seem to think are profound, some Christians have tried to “gotcha!” me with the argument, “You don’t worship God, right? So that means you worship the Devil!” Because, obviously, everyone has got to worship something, and the only two options in their world is their god and their other god*.

    Same thing with the argument, “Oh, you’re pro-abortion?” (their words), “Then WHY DO YOU HAVE A CHILD??!?” It’s as if they can’t comprehend that someone might love children and value them enough to plan their arrival, not just spew them out like a human clown car.

    * As for the god/devil argument, I’ve countered with, “I don’t worship Thor and I don’t worship Ahuru Mazda and I don’t worship Pele, either.” Sadly, this doesn’t work on American Christians because they’ve never heard of any other gods besides theirs.

  7. blf says

    Katydi@6, Your reply reminds me of Isaac Asimov’s. Paraphrased from memory, when asked in an interview if he believed in you-know-what, he replied “Whose?”


    My own story along those lines: Last millennium, on a someplace-in-Europe to States flight, I was seated next to a USAF officer (of fairly junior rank). He introduced himself and we exchanged pleasantries, but he rather soon asked me if I believed, or was saved, or something like that. I replied, “The turtle moves!”, and then pulled out a copy of Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods which just happened to be my intended (re-)reading-during-flight, adding “As explained in this most insightful book.” The look on his face was priceless, albeit I’m uncertain if that’s because he understood the reference, or was shocked by the book, its title, or its Josh Kirby cover art.

  8. Katydid says

    @blf; Sir Pterry was a marvellous writer and I do very much mourn his passing. Small Gods was a great read on the topic of religion. Several of his books make mention of gods who gain or lose power depending on the numbers of people who believe in them.

    Also, just in case you weren’t aware, The US Air Force Academy (the primary place where US AF Officers come from if they don’t go the Officer Candidate School route
    ) is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s been targeted by Christian religious whackaloons for, I dunno, two decades now? Something like that. It’s been completely infiltrated and perverted into a fundagelical proseltyzing academy.

    Additionally, all branches of the military (but in particular the US Air Force) has also been infiltrated by the Mor(m)ons, who join up to use the US taxpayer’s money to fund their mission trips to non-USA countries, where they openly and relentlessly try to convert the locals.

    All this crap started up just as I was preparing to retire from the Air Force. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a great source to find out the outrageous day-to-day WTF-ery.

    • blf says

      Katydid@8, Yes, I’m well aware the USAF Academy is a religious nutcase hothouse, and am familiar with FFRF. What I’m unawares of is the degree to which the moronic cult has infiltrated any of the services. (As an aside, my father suggested a military academy when it was time for me to go to university. I was very unkeen on the idea, so after a bit of research, deliberately selected the USAF Academy as “the” candidate, and then pointed out I didn’t meet the vision requirements. End the academy idea. My own preferred first-choice research university did accept me.)

      Moronic cult members show up every-and-then here in the S.French Mediterranean seaside village where I live. As far as I know, everyone gives them wide breth — they are pathetically obvious (white “clean-cut” males dressed in dark suits with jacket & tie on the hottest days of the year, speaking USAlien-accented English and carrying satchels / briefcases full of what I presume are pamphlets) — and they’re never seen in the local bars. I’m guessing that’s a bit of problem for them, as the distinction between bar, cafe, and restaurant in France is rather loose (“cafe culture”).

      Somewhat more annoying are the 7th day nutters, who have a base in a nearby city, and seem to visit the village every other year or so. They tend to be French, local(-ish), and at least for the ones I’ve been unable to avoid, elderly. And persistent. Despite me putting on an “I only speak Anglish” act, they insist on giving me pamphlets (Française), and it’s probably easier to shoo away a rabid skunk.

      My moronic cult story (actually, maybe not, but because of the location, very probably): A professional society I was then a member of held its annual conference in Salt Lake City. Ignoring the adventures in barely-tolerable alcohol, one lunchtime I went to a somewhat fancy restaurant. At the time my hair was quite long, mid-back, and then, like now, I have a beard which looks like a hedgehog swallowed sideways. The waiter approached me from behind, and obviously seeing my long hair, assumed I was a lady. So as he comes up to me he says something like “Madam, Would you…” and stops dead, mortified, when I turn and look at him with a big grin. He was very apologetic the entire lunch, despite me assuring him I didn’t take any offense, he wasn’t the first, and I simply thought it funny.

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