Let me preface what I’m about to say with the acknowledgment that many good women are nominally pro-choice, which is to say that their bleeding hearts won’t permit them to legally “force” any woman into a pregnancy she doesn’t want but they are in general horrified by the idea of a woman having a baby cut up and scraped out of her uterus. Such women typically believe strongly in contraception and “responsible sex” and do not believe in abortion as back-up birth control. These aren’t the women I’m referring to.
Rather, the type of woman I’m referring to is the type who is ideologically committed to the complete autonomy of a woman’s body to the point where an unborn baby may be considered a parasite and that even a husband has no say and deserves no say in his wife’s choice to abort their child.
I don’t think there are that many type 2 pro-choice women in the United States, but they’re certainly the most vocal when it comes to
sex reproductive issues “women’s health.” A good example of such a voice is the group of writers on Grey’s Anatomy, which on Thursday had a married female character (Cristina) abort her unborn child because being a mother would just get in the way of being a surgeon, which was her top priority, plus she had never wanted children and believed she would not love her child and would be a dreadful mother. That in itself was bad enough, but what made it even worse was that this character’s husband (Owen) wanted her to have the baby and wanted to be a father. Despite his wishes, Cristina was determined to abort their child and (in a bid to get viewers on her side) gave her best friend Meredith a speech about how she really wished she could want a child and how she wished her husband could be supportive of her and understand her, instead of leaving her sad and scared that she was going to have to abort alone. Sadness and fear, obviously, mitigate all moral consequence. As a result, Meredith went to Owen and talked about how she (Meredith) had been raised by a mother who loved surgery more than her daughter and how awful that was, and that if Cristina did the same thing, it would “kill” her. Strangely enough, Meredith did not also add that it would have been preferable that she had never been born, or that her late mother regretted having a daughter who cared for her in her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Owen – an Iraq War vet, by the way – was then convinced that it was right for him to accompany his wife to the murder of their unborn child, and he dutifully burned his man card on the altar of feminism. I guess viewers were supposed to take this as an example of true love, or at least that the woman is always right. My opinion was that the writers had just made Cristina one of the most morally repugnant women to appear on the small screen and that if I had been in Owen’s shoes, I would have shown up at the abortionist’s with divorce papers.
It was interesting to read the opinions on Owen and Cristina’s actions because they illuminated the divisions within the pro-choice crowd. At least in the comments at ew.com, about two thirds of the commenters thought Cristina behaved disgustingly. Sure, the commenters supported a woman’s right to choose, but people who get abortions aren’t supposed to be financially secure, educated, intelligent, married women. (And how can a SURGEON not know how to practice birth control, or at least get a tubal ligation?) Furthermore, there was no indication of problems with the pregnancy. Healthy
unborn babies products of conception aren’t supposed to aborted, only the damaged ones. The other third celebrated Cristina’s decision to exercise her full rights over her body and “remain true to herself,” because it would have been a compromise to her self-identity had she chosen to go through with the pregnancy. If Cristina had had a baby, the parasites would have won.
Obviously, most people will never go through a real life version of this fictional drama, but the ideological stakes are real. Among Christians I would presume that most will be pro-life, with varying stances only on issues like rape or health of the mother. Regardless, for Christians or non-Christians, this is an issue I would definitely check out before the relationship becomes serious enough for marriage. While you may not go through a scenario just like Cristina and Owen’s, you may face a scenario in which you conceive a child with Down’s syndrome, or a chromosomal disorder that makes it unlikely that your child will survive for very long outside the womb, or some other physical flaw. You may face a scenario where the pregnancy may endanger the health of the mother. Knowing what you both believe, and that you are in agreement on those beliefs, could save your marriage someday.
P.S. Men, if you begin dating a woman who would deny any rights of your paternity to your unborn child, RUN!!!