Voices matter in rights of individuals
What does that mean?
Something very different for men than for women.
The Basic Biological difference is one type of person carries sperm the other carries eggs and babies.
The unborn are the perfect special interest group. They do not demand to be fed, clothed or housed. They do not need schools or doctor’s visits. They disappear when they are born.
They do however need prenatal care. I think it’s pretty strange that few of the “Right to Life” people advocate (or are willing to pay for) regular check ups, housing or food for the mom at this vital stage. If you do actually pay attention to how the baby is developing in the womb you can’t help but have a lively interest in the baby when it leaves the womb. We watch for its first laugh, its first word, its first steps. Why do “Right to life” people not work for the “Right” to a good life?
Right to life — “life begins at conception”
Pro choice — “yes, if we invest in prenatal care we give that life a good start”
Right to life – “That would be rewarding bad behavior
Pro choice – “Every child is a child of God and Jesus himself told us to be good to them. Mark 19.14”
Right to Life — “You’re reading the Bible wrong”
To believe that life in the womb must be preserved but not supporting prenatal care, is hypocritical. Any time a person is being hypocritical they are demonstrating Cognitive Dissonance. Believing two contradictory things at the same time is Cognitive Dissonance. When it is happening people believe they have no bias. They believe themselves to be better, kinder, smarter, more moral and nicer than the average person. A person will also look for information that reinforces their own beliefs. As long as the two beliefs are not held side by side the hypocrisy stays in place. It’s extremely uncomfortable to look the two ideas in the face and discard one.
Let’s switch the conversation about saving a life to something that also effects men. What if a child needed your bone marrow and you didn’t want to give it to them? No one can make you. What makes pregnancy different? You don’t want to give bone marrow to save a child. She does not want to be pregnant to save a child. What makes the born, the woman, less important than the unborn?
Let’s talk about male contraceptives. There are none. The discussion of controlling male behavior is taboo in our society. People are uncomfortable when a taboo is being broken. It means Cognitive Dissonance is being challenged. So asking “Why aren’t men more careful not to cause a baby to be implanted in a woman?” or “how about a reversible vasectomy for all men until they can prove they would make a good dad” is shocking
When a person is in pain they often act out. The “Right to Life” people are not known for measured discussion. Often when talking to them stating a fact is seen as a direct attack. Facts force a person to examine their two contradictory beliefs. The response is often anger. It’s hard to willingly risk this anger and it’s consequences.
What happens to a society when a third of the population is deeply, smugly hypocritical? What happens when there is a high ratio of Cognitive Dissonance?
Pro choice — “The best way to avoid abortions is to make contraceptives widely available”
Right to Life — “That would be encouraging sin.”
Pro choice – “What gives you the right to define sin? My body is none of your business.”
We are at a pivotal moment. We can choose to protect privacy and the right of a woman to control her own body or we can allow things like the new abortion law in Texas to stand.
We live in a free country. There are many things we can do. We can call our politicians. Tell them we want National Legislation on Women’s rights. You can make your voice heard at the Women’s March from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 2 at Dow Park in Jamestown. There will be a rally and a march to City Hall. We must stand together for separately we will surely fail.
Marie Tomlinson is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org