|abortion on demand|
| Most of those who call themselves pro-choice see abortion as an unfortunate necessity. They do not think of abortion as something “good” but as something unfortunate, like justified manslaughter. Adrienne Rich said in the mid-1970s: “No free woman, with 100 percent effective, nonharmful birth-control readily available would choose abortion.”
Not everyone agrees. Rosalind Pollack Petchesky calls the statement “a strain of feminist tradition that idealizes motherhood, implying that the termination of every unwanted pregnancy is somehow a tragedy . . . Many, perhaps most, abortions performed today are not the product of ‘grim, driven desperation,’ as Rich calls it, but of women’s sober determination to take hold of their lives and, sometimes, of a sense of enlarged power for being able to do so.”
In 2004 Planned Parenthood sold T-shirts stating,
“I had an abortion,” in order to help women talk about abortions without feeling ashamed. The organization’s president Gloria Feldt said, “I think there’s a great affirmation in allowing women to simply wear a shirt that says I made this decision for good and moral reasons.”
Cleo Kocol also wrote in opposition to the common view of abortion as an unfortunate necessity. In The Humanist, Kocol said, “We must create a climate in which people are not afraid to say, ‘Yes, I had an abortion. Yes, I perform abortions. Yes, you need an abortion. Yes, I want an abortion.’ Abortions must become just one of many medical procedures.” This shows how abortion-on-demand can eventually trivialize abortion.
K. B. Welton gives spiritual support for abortion: “The act of canceling an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is a way of saying to that soul that their time has not yet arrived. It is a prayerful and respectful assuming of responsibility for . . . untimely pregnancies, and we might well say for the good of the soul’s life to be.” Welton believes that “canceling” a pregnancy simply postpones a soul from entering a body and gives that soul a chance for a better future; abortion can be good for the child as well as the mother. Furthermore, she says, “Only when the mother isn’t forced into motherhood can she truly love and nourish her child.”