Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Mean women"

My younger sister once told me about a woman who had eight babies and killed them each time she had them, and then buried them in their garden. Apparently her husband never knew because she had a hefty build and a pregnancy wasn't obvious. But the crime was discovered anyway.

After telling the story, my sister asked me, "What do you think?" and because I didn't know how better to say it, I said that the woman must've gotten crazy/deranged somewhere down the road.

Today I read an article on MercatorNet that basically worded out the jumble that was on my mind when I first heard that story. Carolyn Moynihan writes ("Women fatally forgetting themselves"):

Now, there is one ideology today that brings out this streak in women to a truly frightening extent and it has nothing to do with war-mongering, although it has everything to do with dehumanising a certain part of humanity. It is the systematically promoted and officially sanctioned idea that women not only have the right to kill their unborn children, but that it is often the best, most responsible thing they can do. Like shooting Jewish children in the war, it is really for the good of all concerned -- even the victims.

If Keli Lane killed her newborn daughter, it was only the next logical step on from what she learned as a teenager in family planning counselling rooms and abortion clinics from the women who staff them. When Dominique Cottrez smothered eight of her babies after she delivered them, was she really doing something morally different from what any abortionist would have done for her before they were born?

[Emphasis is mine.]

Why is a woman who kills her babies when they are born (and buries them without anyone knowing) more 'horrible,' 'barbarous,' or 'deranged' than a woman who gets an abortion? Didn't they just do the same thing? The latter even brought other people in to kill the baby with her. Is it because abortion is legal or "safe" that makes the act of baby-killing-while-still-in-the-womb seem less inhumane than baby-killing-after-birth?

I'm not saying that people who have done abortions or are pro-abortion are crazy. I'm just trying to understand what made abortion seem acceptable in the first place (when obviously we do get shocked by news of people killing little ones). Is it because not everyone knows that life starts at conception, and that there are those who truly believe the fetus is just "a piece of tissue"? Or does it stem from a power struggle--that of a woman asserting her freedom to do just what she wants with her body? About the latter, I do wonder how that sort of thinking, no matter how prevalent, has not yet translated to people just doing whatever they want with their life, never mind justice, never mind peace and never mind respecting the existence of others.

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