BARF BoardRoom/Soapbox Archive
re: Choice, An Obsolete
By Lauren Sabina Kneisly
Time: Sun, 15-Aug-1999 05:06:23 GMT
It being our message board, I figure every so
often I should de-lurk and toss in my .02 worth,
or in this case the veritable $20.00
worth. Those easily offended on either end of
the political spectrum: you've been warned!
:I am a member of NOW, and I have enjoyed BARF.
Well, thank you, I suppose.
:However, I was disappointed by Kneisly's
Nobody ever said I was here to please... . I
could equally write an article called NOW "an
obsolete strategy," but I guess you would be
'disappointed' in that as well.
Perhaps I simply haven't expalined my position
clearly enough, so let's try this ONE MORE TIME!
: Just because the right co- opts our
:terminology, doesn't mean we should abandon it
:if it says what we want to say.
First of all, what the f*** is 'the right'?
Would you care to define that? We don't write
about 'the right.' (Whatever that is?) We write
about those who would create, or force -a-
Biblical America. If you're looking for 'the
right', try another page.
"Choice" never was my terminology, so don't go
claim it was somehow 'ours'. "Choice" was not
where we started, rather it was the dead end we
ended up at. Specifically, the terminology may
have been yours, as you seem willing to own it,
but I am not 'abandoning the term' as -I- never
Second, it NEVER said anything about what -I-
wanted to say. 'Choice' has never been a term
that has described what I have faced at an
unintended pregnancy. Thankfully, I've never
been placed in that position, however being bi,
there but for the strength of condoms and
adequate birth control go I. So let's just say
het/bi womyn who have sex with men are usually
but one failure away from that position.
'Choice' never held any meaning what-so-ever for
most of us womyn who have faced poverty. It is a
term used by those who can afford 'choices' or
those who have a clinic in driving distance, or
who don't need to find a sitter for her other
kids while she goes to another city and waits
out the 24 hour waiting period. For many womyn,
young womyn in particluar, 'choice' may as well
mean the distance to the moon. "Choice" only
holds any meaning at all in a context where
abortion is available.
You can speak all you want about contraceptives,
but by the time you're pregnant, it's
irrelevant. Likewise, adoption is a secondary
'decision': the 'decision' of whether or not to
PARENT, it occurs anytime from birth to 18
years. Again I put "decision" in quotes as,
particularly for those of us who are queer, or
otherwise legally vulnerable, even
adoption/foster care may not be OUR
'choice/decision;' our children can be and are
taken from us.
When you're pregnant it comes down to two
'possibilities:' bearing to term, or ending the
pregnancy. Miscarriage, stillbirth and other
beyond the realm of decision occurances fall
outside this discussion as you are discussing an
'act' by the pregnant womyn. -OR- an inaction,
or inability, to for example access care to end
So don't come to me with the classist whine of
'choice', when for many there is no 'choice,'
there is only survival. We womyn do what we have
to to survive, sometimes it's a 'conscious
decision', but again we return to the basic
fact: 'decisions' are only possible within the
realm of ACCESS TO ABORTION! Take abortion out
of the equation and you are left with one
immutable fact of life - pregnancy - with or
without consent. Maybe you're willing to discuss
pregnancy without ever mentioning the word
abortion, but all you do is stigmatize the over
50% of womyn in America who have had abortions,
abortion providers themselves, and make
'abortion' a hushed word hidden in modern
society, a closeted, individual experience.
That is why I stand for abortion: pro-abortion
and proud! Because unless, and until we are
willing to stand for abortion, the service
itself, ALL other means of even discussing
pregnancy are moot. 'Choices' belong to those
who have them, those who can afford them, and
those who can access them.
NO ACCESS = PREGNANCY CONTINUATION. End of
story. Perhaps to borrow from ACT-UP, 'your
silence will not protect you'.
So, be as disappointed as you like in my
viewpoint. I will continue standing for access
and abortion services and you will, I suppose,
continue whining about the *maybe*, possibly,
-right- to possibly 'choose' something
unspecified and nebulous, if you can even afford
it or get to it, you know, that, 'THING'. If I
were pregnant, I'd know who I'd want arguing
alongside me for my access.