I want to offer a few thoughts on just one paragraph and one citation from an article from The Slate on abortion.
It’s not surprising that we need to look beyond the media gatekeepers for authentic expressions of this range of emotion. When I was an editor at Jezebel, there was a Tumblr that made the rounds called “What to Expect When You’re Aborting.” The 23-year-old anonymous author put the site up because when she needed an abortion, she tried googling “abortion blog” and only came up with anti-choice nonsense and women who regretted their terminations. So she wanted to publish something servicey that explained what an abortion was like and how to go about getting one. But what I liked best about the site was how blithe and unapologetic she was about her choice. She described the aftermath of her abortion like this:
“By monday my hormones were a little wonky but in all i just felt like this parasitic creature that burrowed its way into me and fed of my energy, apetite, [sic] and joy was removed. And I had been restored.” [emphasis added]
Jessica Grose, the entry’s author, says something many defenders of abortion say. They characterize it as something someone “needs”. No mother needs an abortion unless their life is at stake which is not as common as abortion advocates would like us to believe. They want an abortion. That is a significant distinction. When abortion is discussed in light of a need, it makes it out to be a solution to a bona fide problem. In the real world, prenatal care is the healthcare a pregnant mother needs, not abortion. Pregnancy isn’t a disease and doesn’t need a cure.
Next from the cited portion is that the growing baby is a parasite. What makes the argument that the developing baby in the womb is a parasite so loathsome is the underlying intention to make the baby to be an affront to the mother, an invader, an attacker, an enemy. It is designed to replace feelings of nurturing and love with hostility and resentment. The instinct of motherhood is quite strong and not easily abridged, therefore creating a mere indifference is insufficient.
I suppose if we were to use an overly vague and generalized definition of parasite, the developing child might fit. But those who offer this charge overlook significant distinctions between actual parasites which include mosquitoes, tape worms, ticks, etc., and a human in gestation.
The first distinction is parasites are of a different kind than its host. Mosquitoes and ticks feed off mammals, for example. The Hookworm does not live within another hookworm, and the deer tick does not feed off other deer ticks. The fetus is of the same kind as the mother. In fact the mother was necessary in bringing into existence the fetus. This is not the case with parasites. Mammals are not biologically the cause of parasites like they are for their offspring.
Though a parasite may rely on its host for survival, the host’s body was not designed – so to speak – for its parasite. In other words, the host’s body does not develop with a biological expectation of being a host. The human body, while able to adapt to handle a tape worm, does not have built within its DNA a genetic preparation for becoming a host. Blood, for example, is used as food by the parasite, but blood’s purpose is to oxygenate the body, not feed mosquitoes. Conversely, the womb is the natural intended environment for the fetus. The woman’s body is specifically genetically intended to and prepared to aid in reproduction, and biologically anticipates the attachment and nourishment of the fetus. The uterus is solely intended to grow and nurture the mother’s child, it has no other purpose.
Furthermore, the fetus is exactly where it ought to be. It’s not as though a human embryo can grow just anywhere and happens to find its way to some unsuspecting woman’s uterus, which is what this young woman suggests. A fertilized egg doesn’t burrow its way into its mother. A thing is only an invader if it is where it isn’t supposed to be. Let’s use an analogy. My dogs are not invaders to my home, because they live here; but they would be invaders to my neighbor’s home. Because the fetus is not in an improper place, and it is not foreign, it is therefore not an invader. Though genetically distinct from its mother, it is a product of its mother, it is her child. It’s not that just any dogs are in my home, my dogs live in my home. It’s not that a child is growing in her womb, her child is growing in her womb. I have never met an advocate for abortion who was able to see that a parent has a moral obligation to love and protect their own child.
All this talk of needing an abortion, discussing the baby as an invader or parasite truly shows how corrupt the pro-choice crowd really is.