Longer Megan McArdle [In response to someone who says women who don't want abortions now might change their minds later if they need one]:
Actually, no, at this point a majority of women in this country are old enough that it would either be impossible, or extraordinarily unlikely, for them to conceive. Some of the women of reproductive age are either infertile, or have had themselves sterilized. Others are lesbians, or long-term virgins. So in fact, at best you can argue that we've thrown a small minority of the population "under the bus".
And that's perfectly okay, because the number of people who need abortions is small and as we know from the health care debate, it's okay if a minority suffers as long as the majority is happy.
And as a response, this seems to trivialize the preferences of pro-life women in a way that I find pretty disturbing from feminists. In what other area of life is it okay to pat the little lady on the head and tell her that she doesn't really want what she says she wants, because she might regret it later? Feminists get righteously angry when pro-lifers attack abortion rights on the grounds that a significant minority of women later regret having one--or when doctors won't tie our tubes, or give us IUDs, or otherwise allow us to make permanent choices about sexuality. We don't regard virtually everyone's preferences for laws against murder, rape, burglary, embezzlement, etc as somehow inauthentic because some minority of us will violate those laws. And as it happens, the rate of abortion seems to be pretty strongly inversely correlated with having pro-life views, at least at the state-by-state level.
So having an abortion is murder. Okay. There is a life and the woman is ending that life. So McArdle must be anti-abortion, right? Anti-murder? Against the slaughter of innocent baby cells by their mothers? Throw the murderers in jail, mother and doctor both?
Obviously, since I'm pro-choice, I think you can argue against abortion control in many effective ways.
What??? McArdle is pro-murder? I am shocked, shocked and appalled!
But this is not one of them--at least not if you hew to the feminist notion that women are entitled to their own choices and preferences as individuals, not lumped in with some vast undifferentiated mass of women who all want the same thing.
So if you think abortion should be legal and women should be able to choose to have an abortion, you are denying women choice. The choice to not have an abortion. Which they always had anyway. Of course that makes no sense at all. The anti-choice women are being denied the legal rights to prevent others from having an abortion. They are being forbidden from making the choice for someone else. Women (and men) only get to make that choice for themselves, they do not get to make that choice for other people.
Obviously, since I'm pro-choice, I think you can argue against abortion control in many effective ways. But this is not one of them--at least not if you hew to the feminist notion that women are entitled to their own choices and preferences as individuals, not lumped in with some vast undifferentiated mass of women who all want the same thing.
By giving each woman the right to make her own choice, we are denying women (and men) the right to make the choice for others. McArdle thinks this is wrong.
She's a libertarian, you know. At least she seems to think so.
Do you know what's another choice that anti-choice people want to be able to make? Birth control. Sometimes that's murder too, and even when it isn't it's still a right that some want to take away from women for religious reasons. Some birth control works after the egg is fertilized. The egg is as much a baby as a eight-and-a-half-month-old fetus--given time, they will both become people. Some pills prevents the egg from implanting in the womb, and the teeny weeny itsy bitsy baby is flushed down the toilet. It's obviously murder, and as we are handing out human rights like Halloween candy, some people will say that all women should be denied the right to take birth control. It'll only affect a few women anyway--those who are fertile, having sex and don't want to have a child right then. Just because McArdle might want or not want a child until later doesn't mean she should be permitted to have sex and use birth control. It's murder, you know, and a lot of people are being deprived of their right to taken away others' rights right now as we speak.
Since McArdle believes that minority rights should be ignored when someone wants to take them away, I, a baptised Catholic, have decided that Megan McArdle can no longer take birth control. I expect her to hand over her pills to me right now and inform me of all her sexual choices when they arise so I can make them for her. Let's see, we'll need to discuss her living in sin arrangement first. And a complete run-down of her personal life choices if we're to make her sexual reproductive choices for her.
Or we can make our own choices based on our own needs and let everyone else do the same. If abortion should not be permitted, outlaw it and throw the violators in jail. (That includes the middle and upper class too, of course.) Otherwise the religious panty-sniffers and hankie-waving middle-class libertarians can just butt out of other people's business and work on their own moral failings, starting with living in sin with tea-baggers, a far worse crime than the use of birth control.
Edited for tastefulness