My quest to quit smoking has me feeling homicidal, Harpies. Ross Douthat’s latest column inspired me to put my ever-growing rage to good (?) use. This particular piece of abortion-themed concern trolling focuses on a societal problem created by–you guessed it–the sexual revolution. You see, some women are too stupid and selfish to have babies when they should, and thus, find themselves unable to have babies when they try. Another set of women is too stupid and selfish to have babies when they don’t want to, leaving the first set of women without children to adopt.
Sex and the City makes an appearance in the very first paragraph. When will that show’s usefulness run its course for conservatives? But I digress.
Douthat juxtaposes a recent MTV special about abortion with two magazine articles about infertility to illustrate how poorly the young and disadvantaged are serving the needs of the old and desperate.
Prior to 1973, 20 percent of births to white, unmarried women (and 9 percent of unwed births over all) led to an adoption. Today, just 1 percent of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, and would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.
Some of this shift reflects the growing acceptance of single parenting. But some of it reflects the impact of Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families like Thernstrom’s — which looked into adoption, and gave it up as hopeless — have been cut short in utero instead.
This is why girls and women can’t be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies, y’know? Not only do we foolishly use the Pill and delay motherhood, we kill babies who could complete other women’s families. No Easy Decision, which aired on MTV last week, chronicles the experience of a young mom named Markai, who has an abortion. It also features coverage of Dr. Drew Pinsky interviewing her and two other women about their abortion experiences.
Douthat points to Markai’s sadness as proof that she’s been lied to by the pro-choice movement and is lying to herself about what she’s done. Sadness is not the same as regret. Complicated feelings do not mean women should be forced to bear children against their will. Douthat admits that abortion was the best choice available to Markai at the time of her pregnancy, and it will allow her and her boyfriend to give their daughter opportunities she might not otherwise have. And yet, the urge to control women remains.
Douthat needs to familiarize himself with another pair of teens made famous by MTV: Catelynn and Tyler. The couple was featured on the series 16 and Pregnant, and its sequel Teen Mom. Catelynn and Tyler gave their baby up for adoption, and their storyline is the most heart-wrenching of any featured on the two series. Contrary to Douthat’s cheery fantasies, adoption is not the best or easiest option for everyone dealing with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. It’s not all rainbows and lollipops. Catelynn and Tyler are satisfied with their decision, but they both suffer a lot of emotional turmoil in the process. It’s possible they always will.
The column concludes with a poem about fetal heartbeats from the perspective of an expectant father.
Talk amongst yourselves.