Lesson 5: Critique of Pro-Choice Arguments (Part 1) – Situation

When I read Pro-Choice supporters, I do not find involved philosophical or public policy arguments. Instead, the writers appeal to real-life experiences, especially those that involve themselves, their families, or their friends. The issue is personal and emotional as they tell stories of abortion being available to women in need.

They also refer to women’s rights, often against a history of male privilege. The overturning of Roe is regarded as the loss of recently gained rights.

Let me offer two personal experiences that highlight how the prominence of the issue derives from the situation in which we find ourselves.

A young woman becoming pregnant outside of wedlock back at the beginning of my ministry almost inevitably led to the couple and both sets of parents meeting with me. The counseling session focused on the question, “How are we going to handle this?”

I remember well the first time this changed. As soon as the seven of us gathered, the man’s parents announced we should not expect them to take any responsibility. The fault lay entirely with the woman who did not protect herself. The dark side of the new pill became evident.

Soon after, the counseling might include the woman and her parents but never the man and his. In fact, by the end of my ministry, people stopped coming to the pastor for this kind of guidance. Once a man showed up suffering because he was not included in the decision with his girlfriend. The suffering had more to do with having no opportunity to take responsibility than a desire to change the decision.

This first example points to a change taking place about 50 years ago. The second illustrates the outcome in our present society. For decades, my wife and I have hosted high school students for a monthly dinner and discussion. In the past ten years, female youth ministers have advised young women heading off to college, “Do not drink anything you have not opened and poured yourselves!”

When I hear women speak of abortion as a woman’s right, these two examples immediately come to mind. Men have always been aggressive in dating. However, I don’t think we acknowledge how much worse this has become since the pill. I associate the tremendous emotion accompanying the appeal to rights with women regarding themselves as prey in young adulthood. But more about rights next week.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

1 Enlightened Reply

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1. Fritz Foltz says:

    This lesson based on my conviction that thought and theology are reflections on experience. This was reinforced when a member of my parish who was a world-famous theologian wrote for the Christian Century series “How I have changed my mind”. My wife could date every one of his changes with events in his beloved daughter’s life. Paul responded to this lesson reporting that his experience is a dark side of the feminist movement has been an inability to tell the difference between assertion and aggression. He means when men assert themselves it is now taken for granted that they are being aggressive. I think that is a good reaction to this lesson that looks at the bright side of the feminist movement.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.