Wednesday, January 23, 2008

why make an informed decision?

Well, I got too caught up in PowerPoint and chili cheese fries to mark the anniversary of two major court decisions in North America this week: Roe v. Wade and R v. Morgentaler. Whatever your feelings might be on abortion (and this post is not meant to express an opinion either way), I think it's safe to say that those two decisions were monumental in the social life of North Americans.

And so, one would think that in the case of unwanted pregnancy these days, since there are options, discussion of the merits of those options would be a given. When one of my high school friends got pregnant at 17, let me tell you, there was much discussion. I would actually say much agonizing. When you're young, broke, sick, and/or alone, and facing the prospect of bringing another life into the world, the decision either way can't be easy. I feel lucky that I've never had to face it for myself.

And yet I've seen two (really popular) movies over the last few months that would lead one to believe that weighing of the available options doesn't really happen anymore. First there was Knocked Up, an amusing film, but unfortunately based on the premise that no girl in the position of the main character should even consider a shmashmortion. I think abortion was debated (if one can call it that) for about two seconds in the film. (I don't even want to get into the incredibly insulting premise that a girl should feel grateful if some guy with no job and no prospects actually steps up and tries to contribute when he gets her pregnant--when women just have to step up all the time, and nobody thinks that's a miracle.) Then there was Juno, another amusing film, this time about a teenager who considers abortion only incredibly briefly, then decides to have the baby, with her parents' full support. I don't know about you, but I don't know any parents like Juno's. The parents I know would be incredibly upset, and would make their kid think through the consequences of all possible courses of action.

Again, I'm not saying that abortion's for everyone, and this isn't meant to be a veiled pro-life rant. But Roe v. Wade happened 35 years ago now and it's like we're still pretending we live in a society where there are no options, or at least not ones that need to be considered. Given how high the stakes are, that seems very wrong to me.


1 comment:

Emory said...

I guess what astounds me is how some women, would repeal the reproductive rights of all women, so quickly.

Never been around anyone who had to make that very personal decision.

Of course, I would not look for my smiling face on a Maury Po'bitch 'DNA check' episode either.