Commentary

Feminist, pro-choice, Goddard grad and author opposes Prop 5/Article 22

by Carol Frenier

I have always believed that women have the right to abort in the first three months of pregnancy.  I have believed this even as my own moral views have become more pro-life over the years. Why? Because we live in a society that believes in personal liberty and that values restraint when it comes to interfering with another person’s decisions, however much we may disagree with them.

Carol Frenier

But a difficulty arises when one person’s liberty conflicts with that of another — the key issue behind Prop 5/Article 22. By the third trimester (at least) it is impossible not to see that a fetus is a separate human being from the mother who is carrying her. Even Roe v. Wade acknowledged that beyond the first three months the state had both the right and obligation to regulate abortion to protect both mother and child.

How to resolve this conflict? I support the growing consensus/compromise that a woman has a right to abort in the first three months of pregnancy — up to the point often described as the “quickening” — after which the child’s claim to life has greater weight than the mother’s right to choose. Prop 5/Article 22 fails to consider the child’s claim to life at all.

Women have been wounded culturally and sometimes physically, and it is understandable that we want to reclaim our own bodies. But as birth givers, we are also the natural defenders of the bodies of our unborn children. In our pain we have pitted autonomy against compassion. A compassionate society does not legitimize the destruction of a child in the ninth month of gestation as Prop 5/Article 22 most certainly would do.

So I will be a “no” vote in November, and I hope that the legislature can come up with something more specific and more inclusive in the future.

The author holds an MA in Feminist Film from Goddard College and is the author of Business and the Feminine Principle: The Untapped Resource.

Categories: Commentary

5 replies »

  1. Agreed. But the majority of Vermonters know virtually NOTHING of Article 22 NOR do they know that even right now a woman can decide to end her developing baby’s life because its sex isn’t what she “prefers” and can end that baby’s life even seconds before it is born simply because she “changed her mind”.

    I guarantee that most Vermonters so proudly displaying this depraved “Vote for Article 22” on their own front lawns as they simultaneously, gently push their own offspring in a baby swing only several feet away – are completely ignorant of current law, the absence of fetal personhood recognition in this presently sorry state, and even exactly HOW an abortion is performed & what an aborted fetus looks like. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

    Hence? They automatically latch onto WHATEVER the democrat party tells them to & obediently rally behind it waving flags & putting stakes in the ground to advertise its “virtuosity”. Including the MURDER of children!

    Abortion largely (though not entirely) stems from the abject irresponsibility of two individuals, the lack of wherewithal to accept accountability for their actions & decisions, and the fact that Planned Parenthood began its perverse “ministry” as an institution steeped in racism and Eugenics.

    But who cares about facts and reality? AS long as the socialist democrats embrace it.

    • Very well stated Kathy. I also agree with Carol, and her concerns about the possibility of abortions being performed after the first trimester, incl. up to the ninth month. Actually, it was Carol that encouraged me to document my experience as a surgical nurse in Calif. when I was forced to assist with the “delivery” of a viable fetus that expired in my hands. It was the victim of a failed saline abortion (the fetus/baby did not die in the womb of the mother, so a C-section was necessary!). It was many, many years ago, but I still recall the experience like it was yesterday! To those that say-“oh-that won’t happen here in Vt.”, YES it can, and may. PLEASE help us spread this to any, and all, voters.

  2. I seldom take issue with the fine things Carol Frenier writes that come from critical thinking. I do not see that in this short piece that puts subjectivity over objectivity and reaches a judgment on whether abortion up to three months is acceptable that is so profoundly wrong, cruel, and inhumane. She speaks things that are right and true such as living “in a society that believes in personal liberty and that values restraint when it comes to interfering with another person’s decisions…” I would suggest that “life” must replace the word “decisions” when you are talking about taking that life.

    Carol’s observation is so correct that “By the third trimester (at least) it is impossible not to see that a fetus is a separate human being from the mother who is carrying her.“ And I would focus on her words “at least” for it is so clear that what is about to breathe her first breath outside her mother is a precious, cuddly human baby. “At least” tells me that she recognizes that before the third trimester there also may be a “separate human being from the mother.”

    To point to “quickening” (when the mother feels the baby moving inside) as the defining point where the “child’s claim to life has greater weight than the mother’s right to choose” is no more than engaging in one of the fictions that prochoice people try to use to justify the killing they advocate.” It’s just a blob of tissue,” “it’s not a baby, its just a potential one,” it has no meaningful life, life begins at birth, no one really knows when life begins, or “don’t impose your religious view on me.”

    Sight unseen but nonetheless amazing is when a fertilized egg implants and begins the process of sustaining her little life moving into rapid and noticeable developmental changes. The brain, spinal cord and nervous system are forming and at day twenty-one the heart begins to beat. With a month the backbone, muscles, arms, legs, eyes, and ears are appearing. So much has happened in this life process and short days later fingers appear on hands and the eyes gain pigment. At day forty there are brain waves. At six weeks the human liver is producing blood cells and the brain is controlling movement. This life showing is becoming obvious to the mother and it won’t be long that the world will also know.

    I would suggest all go to Amazing Fetal Development Photos Confirm Human Life Begins at Conception – LifeNews.com and see the pictures of many of these stages. I won’t go on but will leave it to you to decide if “at least” life is apparent about this time that everything has grown to be the obvious things that are found in an adult human and the life systems are working.

    We all know that everyone has a unique set of fingerprints. Our developing human has hers at 9 weeks. She can be identified as a person unlike any other that has ever or ever will exist. Long before the third trimester, it is obvious to anyone not engaging in fictions that this is a human child. It is undeniable. Nothing can change that, Carol.

    Carol correctly concludes that “a compassionate society does not legitimize the destruction of a child in the ninth month of gestation” but it should not legitimize the destruction of any child at any stage of gestation. How I wish that all mothers, that she calls “birth givers” being the “natural defenders of the bodies of our unborn children” would be tenacious in their defense of a child at any point in the wonderful development that ideally begins at conception and ends at death.

    When we view the various stages of human development from birth to death it becomes obvious that we are all in that same game as the newly conceived child. All points in the continuum are significant and when someone interrupts it at any point, death of a human results.

    Thank you for voting against Prop 5/Article 22 which regardless of your thinking reaches the correct action to take. I am hopeful that Carol’s progressive move toward prolife thinking will take you totally to the truth of the reality that from conception on, this is a human who has the right to live.

Leave a Reply