June 08, 2004

Abortion, the Family Enhancer?

Alexander Sanger has written a book about the legacy of his grandmother Margaret Sanger and her battles effects on reproductive freedoms in the 21st century. Beyond Choice looks to be an interesting book and Liza Mundy's review seems to be adequately fair. Here's an excerpt:

Now Alexander Sanger wants to bring back the pregnancy-as-disease argument, as a way of saving the reproductive rights movement from its current rather battered state. There's no doubt that abortion rights advocates need a new rationale, a fresh and persuasive argument. While the recent rally on the Mall shows the deep support that remains for both legalized abortion and contraception, the very occurrence of the march suggests that abortion rights adherents are rattled by the antiabortion movement's recent legislative successes. With the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, in particular, the antiabortion movement has succeeded in elevating the status of the fetus, creating legal justification for the argument that even early life has rights. At the same time, medical science in the form of ultrasound is making that life visible to all, causing many Americans, regardless of ideology, to rethink their views on the fetus. As William Saletan argued in a recent article on Slate.com, the challenge now for the pro-choice movement is to show that it's not just woman-friendly but child-friendly; it must find a way to bring the idea of family back into family planning.

I have to admit that my stance is very similar to Alexander's and call me naive but it seems as though it is the stance of most who favor choice. If a potential parent is simply not in a space to carry a child: financially, emotionally, or physically then it seems pretty obvious that having or not having the child should be an option. I am of the belief that the value in human beings comes from what other human beings invest in them. I do not believe for a moment in the theory that humans have value a priori. That just strikes me as just so much arrogance.

Perhaps the publisher will send me a review copy and I'll be in a position to say more about Sanger's book. I've never worked with PublicAffairs before so I have no contacts over there. I'll post further on this if and when I end up reading it.

Posted by filchyboy at June 8, 2004 10:19 AM | TrackBack

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