Babies are cute. At some point or another most of us have cooed over at least one, breathing in their sweet baby powder scent, cuddling one close, or exclaiming over adorable miniature Nike sneaker-socks that look more appropriate as a rear view mirror adornment than for any practical use. It is this basic human fascination with these miniature versions of ourselves that makes it so much easier to be anti-choice than pro-choice. It’s easy to conjure images of defenseless cherubs, and the evil sadists that want to kill them. Anti-choice proponents have an easy marketing campaign with their myriad advertisements for their cause – from baby footprints on caps at Notre Dame’s graduation last year in protest of Obama’s selection as speaker to the posters of boxes of Kleenex pointing out the difference between facial tissue and a baby not being tissue. It’s easy to throw up a cute photo of a baby and then make a cutting remark about abortion, easy to throw vials of fake blood around at protests and easy to spout bible verses at women as they try to get into an abortion clinic.
It’s not easy to be pro-choice. It’s not because we’re wrong to be pro-choice (as I covered in a previous post, we’re not, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of), but let’s face it, abortion is a surgery, or at the very least a medical procedure. There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about a drug addict opting to have an abortion rather than have a baby addicted to cocaine, born with brain damage, and to a mother unable to care for her – just cold, hard, reality and pragmatism. There’s nothing cute about a 17-year-old getting court permission to have an abortion since she can’t get it from her mother, and she already has a baby to care for – it’s the responsible decision, the right decision, but is it something we can coo over? Something that translates into a sweet little photo op? No. There are no bible verses or psalms to dress it up. And we don’t need them – doing the right thing, making the hard decision is just that – doing what’s right even if it’s hard – and no cute little quips or patronizing speeches like the ones that the anti-choicers are prone to spouting would make it any easier, just prolong the experience. And yet, since we are saddled with the innate ick factor of any medical procedure (particularly for the medically squeamish like myself), and without the aid of a family friendly ready made PR campaign, we are put in a more difficult position. It’s easy to be anti-choice, it’s hard to be pro-choice – but that doesn’t make it any less right, just like the fact that there’s nothing cute, cuddly, or adorable about a woman choosing to have an abortion for any reason doesn’t change the fact that she’s making the responsible and right decision for herself, only that it’s infinitely more serious and well thought out for that lack of “cute.”