Monday, November 8, 2010

Mrozek's Response

So, a sharp-eyed reader directed my attention to Andrea Mrozek's response to my blog about her article on the proposed "Roxanne's Law" (Bill C-510). A couple of her critiques were also left in a comment, which I responded to, but I would like to reiterate that I never said she misquoted me. She did not. She took a post from my blog out of context, and misrepresented or completely ignored the rest of the entry.

The rest of her response is more of the usual anti-choice tropes about women regretting their abortions. Dear abortion opponents: yes, some women regret their abortions. The pro-choice movement is not afraid to admit that. Of course they do. Just like some women regret carrying their pregnancy to term, some women have a hard time with mothering, some women regret giving up their child for adoption. My question is: what does this have to do with coercion? Many women who regret their abortions were not coerced. Mrozek says herself that women may feel relief on the day of their procedure, only to regret it later. Even if outlawing coerced abortion would actually stop the coercion, there would still be women who regret their choice. So what is the purpose of this law?

Rod Bruinooge is not fooling anyone - we all know this proposed law is not about helping women who are in abusive situations. It's about the fetus. Just like C-484, it's about getting a foot in the door on fetal rights to try to change abortion law in this country. While I applaud the anti-choice side for at least using the democratic system to do this, instead of pipe bombs, I still think it is a slimy way to go about it. Coercion is already illegal and no one has given any reason why this redundant law is necessary. If you want to pretend you care about women in difficult situations, let's focus on preventative measures. Same with abortion, in fact: if you think women regretting their abortions is a problem, let's focus on preventative measures to bring down the numbers of women who find themselves in that difficult situation. You all know what that means, right? Comprehensive sex education, and free and accessible birth control. I feel like I should get that tattooed on my forehead.

Here's the really annoying part of Mrozek's response, however:

Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome is 26 years old. She sounds like the type of person I’d like. After all, she’s someone who started up a blog about a topic she believes in. But she could afford to open up the dialogue and listen to the heart of what I wrote. It was something I was hoping people working in clinics would hear, and be aware of, since I fully understand that they are not wanting to do abortions on women who are unsure, or don’t want them. They should be the front lines in diverting women out the door. They should be the front lines of asking the tough questions on whether or not a woman wants to be there. They should be at the front lines of diminishing abortion numbers. I know some who actually want to do this.

I'm not sure what my age has to do with anything, but whatever. What bothers me about this is that people working in clinics DO know about this. They ARE aware of it. Everyone working in abortion care in this country knows that some women regret their abortions, and that some women are coerced into abortion. They ARE on the front lines, asking the tough questions. That's our fucking job. People who work in abortion care do a lot more than give or deny abortions. We are here with the options, to listen to women and set them up with the resources they need. When that is abortion, we provide safe and comfortable abortion care. When it's a referral for counselling, or resources on sexual assault or transition houses, or adoption agencies or prenatal care - anything women need that we can possibly provide, we will give it to them. People do not work in abortion clinics because they want to strap women down and steal their pregnancies. They do it because they care about providing quality healthcare, and because they know that only an individual woman knows what is best for her. We trust women. Sometimes that means standing back and letting them make decisions they later regret - only because the alternative is outlawing that choice for everyone, including the people who really need it.

So thanks for letting us know what is up with our own patients, Andrea. But next time you want to help those of us in abortion clinics do our jobs, let me know because I have some condoms you can hand out, for a start.


Anonymous said...

Pedge! You make the internet better! Way to elevate the discourse!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

Anonymous said...

I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?