Whenever women begin talking about abortion in a normal, speaking voice, instead of a hushed whisper, when we start tweeting “#IHadAnAbortion” or wear t-shirts proclaiming our support of those who have, we are accused of “trivializing” abortion.
Well, maybe it’s about time abortion was trivialized.
Should a medical procedure, had by a third of women, really garner all of this attention? Is it right to distill a woman’s life down to a decision to terminate a pregnancy so that she can move on with and live her life? Should the decision to have an abortion define a woman’s life, or merely a footnote – no more interesting than the decision to have any other outpatient medical procedure?
I find it hard to believe that the decision to have an abortion could possibly be the single most important event in a woman’s life. Sure, there are some women who claim that it is, fixating on it in anti-choice websites – but if abortion were less important, then perhaps they would take a step back to focus on the rest of their lives. Abortion is the decision to not carry a pregnancy to term – it is an action that is the very definition of inaction, which should implicitly make it less important than the decision to go to college, or who to marry. Less important than which career path to pursue, or whether to move cross country to take an amazing job.
Unfortunately, as much as I would like to see abortion’s significance lessened to that of any other life decision and routine, normal medical procedure, as long as anti-choice proponents continue to blow abortion out of proportion, it will continue to soak up legislators’ time that could be spent drafting laws that will stimulate the economy, close the wage gap, or promote green energy initiatives. Abortion, which should be a private decision between a woman and her doctor, will continue to be the topic of lawsuits, which cost millions of taxpayer dollars that could be better spent providing financial aid to low income families or funding schools.
Abortion should be trivialized – right back to the level of importance of any other medical procedure, by the anti-choice zealots who have made it a national sore spot with their fixation with the contents of women’s uteruses. In the 1940s writer Stetson Kennedy dealt a heavy blow to the KKK by incorporating their absurd secret rituals and code names into the Superman radio broadcast. When children began using them while playing, it gave KKK members and potential recruits a reality check about how ridiculous they were. Hopefully pointing out the absurdity of anti-choice rhetoric will have the same effect – and abortion can just be a medical procedure that a woman considers whether to have, has if she wants to, and then becomes a mere footnote in the lengthy chronicles of her life.