Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Choice Words

One thing that has struck me in the recent coverage of the Palin babies is what has become almost a stock phrase: "she chose to continue the pregnancy, despite..." (the diagnosis of Down Syndrome in the one case, and the underage mother in the other). It used to be that abortion was defended as a woman's "choice." But the language reflected in these news articles seems to say that abortion is now the "default" position.
Am I the only one who noticed that? Am I reading too much into this language?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too was surprised at how 'nice' the media has treated this whole affair it could have been worse. But even though Palin is not Catholic her life is pointing the right way. Too bad her young daughter is going to be a mother, but this brings into the media a whole new way of looking at things which are part of the everyday life of so many parents. Problems in the U.S. media are at times brushed over lightly but this may set out to be a whole group of moral issues to be looked at on the front pages of the newspapers.
We need to have teens look at life
up close and on front pages.B.E.

Anonymous said...

With Down's, the abortion rate is huge. I forget the exact stats, but I think that something 80% of Down fetuses are aborted. More to the point, I have had friends who had to fend off energetically the efforts of their doctors to provide amnio or other prenatal diagnosis. It is offered routinely, along with vitamins and weight checks. One friend said, "We wouldn't consider an abortion, so why would we have the diagnosis?" Her doctor couldn't believe that she was refusing this kind of 'health care' and basically treated her like she was refusing antibiotics for pneumonia, until she found another doctor.

So, yes, abortion is the default.

As for teen pregnancy, I deal with women every year who got pressured by their parents into 'doing the right thing' and didn't know how to fight back. Then, ten or fifteen years later, they are in my office with eating disorders and sleep issues and major guilt in general because "I didn't fight to keep my baby." They caved under parental and social pressure and now they can't forgive themselves.

These are choices?

Feminists for Life - to which Palin belongs - notes that the largest incidence of abortion is college age women, who are basically told that abortion threatens their educations and their futures. ("I guess I have to...")

Now, I am not at all convinced that this woman is ready to run the free world. Not at all. I feel more qualified to tell the truth. But that is another story.

Susan said...

Regarding one of the points made in the last comment, I wouldn't be so critical of a doctor who urged an amnio despite being told the couple would not consider an abortion. I raised the same question when I was preganant with my daughter and I thought the doctor's answer made a lot of sense: There are many conditions that can be diagnosed by amnio and similar screening that can be treated in utero or immediately after birth. Early knowledge of such conditions maximize chances of make the best care available for the child.

Janette said...

Susan, with a duaghter who just went through low income pregnancy- aminio was used OFTEn to pressure young AF service members to abort.

And yes, Sister, you are hearing that pregnancy is now something to have to defend. I was amazed that my own "Catholic" family members said how good it was for my dd (who is 23 and married) to have her baby- as if she would want to do something else.
Really, their response and the response of the priest who my daughter asked to baptise their son has lead me away from the Church as of late. I am SO tired of the double speak.

xaipe said...

Oh, Janette, please don't let human failings or lack of wisdom push you away from the Church's sacramental life; there will always be weeds among the wheat... and there is so much good to be done from within the community.