Sunday, May 31, 2009

Terror in America

You're no doubt already read that an anti-abortion terrorist* has murdered a prominent Kansas abortion doctor. Obviously, I hope the perpetrator(s?) is brought to swift justice by the authorities. And I give my condolences to the family of Mr. Tiller. But the thing that grabbed me most was this story related by one of Mr. Tiller's patients.

There is a conceit that women who have abortions don't take it seriously; as if women decide to schedule an invasive and stigmatizing surgery just for kicks and giggles. This logic becomes even more absurd when applied to the late-term abortions Dr. Tiller specialized in. Women who have abortions have good reasons to do so -- they are not engaging in irrational flights of pique, and it is insulting to treat them as they are. One can oppose abortion anyway, but one should be quite clear on the burdens it places on women and families, and the dramatic interference it represents over their bodily autonomy.

See also Feministe and Tapped.

* I've referred to violent anti-abortion militants as terrorists before, and I will do so again. Insofar as they engage in extra-legal violence with the goal of terrorizing a given community into adopting certain political norms, they are behaving as terrorists. And they've made violence into a distressingly effective tactic. Consequently, I see no reason why, under current doctrine (which I oppose and continue to oppose in the case of these terrorists) why the perpetrators can't be shipped off to Guantanamo in order to be waterboarded. However we do decide to treat terrorists, the killers here should be dealt with no differently.


Unknown said...

I understand this is an emotional issue, but if you're going to tie this to suspects in Gitmo held without criminal charges you should probably figure in the difference between preventative detention and murder charges.

agony said...

i am against abortions!
every baby is a human being & has to live!

Rebecca said...

really? every baby has to live? how do you feel, agony, about miscarriages? or about the case when if the mother has the baby, it will kill her? or the case of rape?