GetReligion has a story about general trends of public opinion toward abortion pointing out that many nations are stepping back from unrestricted abortion access (citing Christianity Today's excellent weblog) and the conversation in America is even increasingly acknowledging the complexity and trauma involved. This despite the Amy Richards and Barbara Ehrenreich's much discussed pieces.
The comments list this piece about a woman who aborted a child she intentionally conceived upon the sober realization that her husband didn't want it. The marriage finished crumbling a year and a half later. Its entitled - Aborting My Marriage. Its desperately tragic.
My twins were born at the beginning of my second month in law school. I was a zombie most of the rest of the semester, but I pretty clearly remember an otherwise dreadfully dull Constitutional Law class. A month after the girls were born (about 7 weeks into the semester), we discussed Roe. This was example one in what became "The Triumph of the Fourteenth Amendment" that ran us through the rest of the semester. The class was poorly run and so the discussion quickly left legal analysis and shifted political. It was enlightening. I sensed that there were other pro-life students in the class, perhaps a handful out of the 65 total students, but no one spoke up. While I could provide my voice because of the recent birth of my girls (hey, I wasn't sleeping and everyone thought the girls were adorable, these qualities outweighed my being a white, married, Christian guy), no one else felt comfortable doing so. No one. The professor, who clearly wasn't sympathetic, felt compelled to offer up a legal argument against Roe, it was so one-sided.
Two things occurred to me. One - the reading and the classroom discussion left me convinced that the pro-choice position was weaker than I had imagined. Our classroom discussion concluded with the idea that abortion guaranteed "Sex Without Fear." Good grief - that was the rallying cry?? They could do better than that, couldn't they? Second, everyone in the room took a pro-choice position as absolutely fundamental. They had grown up with it, it was as much a part of their identity as their right to vote. It was discouraging.