Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Justice Kennedy will save me from myself

I was listening to Forum on KQED Radio the other day and learned that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy has the opinion that "some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained," which is why he dissented in the Gonzalez v. Carhart abortion case. This has resulted in a ban on "partial birth abortion," whose medical term is "dilation and extraction."

Well, thank goodness Kennedy is willing to save me and other women from the decisions we make because we might regret them later. I wonder if he is also willing to save us from regrets due to decisions we make about the colleges we attend, getting married, moving to new cities, the jobs we accept, joining the Armed Forces, the children we have, and the families in which we grew up. I know at least one person for each of these categories, and not all of them are women.

It sounds to me like Kennedy is infantilizing women, which isn't all that uncommon in this society. A few years back there was a move to void any surrogate-mother contracts a woman signs, because there were women who regretted signing the contract and didn't want to give the baby to the parents for whom she had agreed to be a surrogate. A friend pointed out that passing a law voiding these kinds of contracts was paramount to saying a pregnant woman had no more legal standing than a child or a mentally ill person.

I am in full agreement with the bumper sticker that reads, "Against abortion? Don't have one!" only I extend that to a whole range of things. No one gets to choose my life for me; I'm stubborn that way.

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