Blog for Choice: Moral Reasoning

A guest post by lp, as part of our Blogging for Choice.

My top hope is a broader hope about (for want of a better way to put it) our moral sensibilities. When Obama spoke of setting aside childish things, I couldn’t help but think of the simple-minded morality that has accompanied the Bush era: we see good and bad, black and white; other nations are either our bedfellows or our enemies; human beings are either persons (American citizens) or beasts (terrorist suspects, Arabs, Muslims who are ‘too Muslim’). To my mind, this cowboys-and-Indians view of the moral landscape fuels, among other things, anti-choice propaganda: Fetuses are innocent, right? So that must make them the good guys. And that must make women whose lives can’t accommodate them bad guys. And a righteous people needn’t concern itself with the rights of bad guys.

It strikes me that there’s a reason we humans have spent most of our history pining for omniscience somewhere in the heavens: morality is really tricky. There are a mind-boggling multitude of shades of grey, and competing concerns, and utterly-conflicting but equally-important rights and worthinesses. Blinkering ourselves and refusing to see this does not make for righteous living: it makes for wilful, childish ignorance. Yet the Bush dogma has embraced, globally, just this approach.

So, my top Pro-Choice hope is that we all remember to have a good hard think about how the Bush era has shaped our moral reasoning, and that we as a nation make sure to set aside childish things.

Blogging for Choice: The ERA

The theme of this year’s Blog for Choice is “What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?”

My top pro-choice hope comes from a suggestion sent to me by the excellent Jender-Parents. They asked, “Doesn’t this seem like a good time to bring back the ERA?” And I’m thinking “Yes, it is” and “Yes, we can”. And yes, this is my top pro-choice hope. It goes beyond just abortion, because guess what? You don’t really have reproductive freedom unless you have equality. At the base of so many of the efforts to restrict women’s reproductive choices is the conviction, at some level, that women really aren’t equal to men. We need that equality enshrined into the Constitution. (Of course, we also need people to start respecting the constitution again, but I’m pretty hopeful on that front at the moment.)

(Want to know the current state of the ERA? Look here.)