That All-Too-Common, but Bizarre, Understanding of “Choice”


I keep an eye on a number of public policy and cultural debates without chiming in often, whether because they’re a little out of the scope of this site or because I long ago wrote about all I could think to write and haven’t seen anything catch my interest more recently.  One exchange of letters in the Providence Journal, though, puts a point in such stark relief that it demands mention.  Related to an op-ed by two pro-abortion state legislators, Jamestown resident Brian Gardner recently wrote:

I find the term “reproductive freedom” a bit dishonest. Abortion only happens after one has avoided the freedom not to have sex; and the freedom to use contraception. A fetus is proof positive that reproduction has already started. …

What is also dishonest is claiming it is a “woman’s choice” but then legally burdening the father with all costs should the woman choose to have the baby. Where is the freedom and choice on the father’s side of the situation?

To which Annie Talbot of Cranston today responds:

I must remind Mr. Gardner that men do play a role in women’s pregnancies. Look there for men’s opportunities for freedom and choice.

It’s difficult to know whether Ms. Talbot’s view is sexist against men or against women.  On one hand, she’s saying men’s rights are held to a different standard from women, giving the latter opportunity to choose not to be the parent of a living child almost to the point of birth, while men must make their decisions prior to conception.  On the other hand, it seems to me she’s tacitly suggesting that men can be expected to be more responsible about sexual decisions and that women have no real choice when it comes to sex.

Of course, that’s not what she means, but it would be helpful if people were encouraged to think their social and political views through.

  • Northern Exposure

    Maybe she means women are always victims when it comes to sex that ends in pregnancy? I mean, what woman would knowingly engage in sex without protection who knew they didn’t want to have a baby? The logical answer is that, if rational, they wouldn’t, so they must ALL be victims when that occurs. That means the man is the only cause of the pregnancy and it is the woman’s job to fix it. No?

    • ShannonEntropy

      You lay ‘er … You pay ‘er

      That is the Law of the Land these days

      If you don’t like it then don’t contribute any “man mayonnaise”

  • A mother’s choice to be a parent or not doesn’t end with the choice of abortion.
    In america the baby Moses/safe haven laws allow a mother to anonymously surrender parenthood without the permission of the father.

    Father’s on the other hand have ZERO choice.

    • ShannonEntropy

      What ?? You mean America is NOT a ‘Patriarchy’ like the femi·nazis keep insisting ??

      Anyone who believes that it is — and those will be entirely women — and every guy who knows from his life’s experiences what a crock of carp the whole concept of “Our Society is a Patriarchy” is … needs to read *this* book =►