I’ll jar these mountains till they fall

15 08 2010

‘I am done.’

That was my response to a TNC post on his unwillingness to keep fighting battles he considers settled: I don’t want to die debating the humanity of the blacks, the gays, the browns and the poor.

Amen (or whatever the secular version of that would be), I said in response. I, too, am done defending my status as a human being, done even defending the notion that all of us are humans, and that that’s what, and all, that matters. That I am is settled, done.

But, alas, I am not done. After I said my pie/eace, I realized that there are some issues which are not settled and for which I cannot lay my hammer down.

There are the continued flare-ups, as with the issue of Islam in the US, and whether Muslims get to be as American, much less as human, as the rest of us.

And, of course, there’s abortion. A week or so ago I got sucked into another debate on abortion (also on TNC’s blog); against all better judgment, I couldn’t let the argument that abortion is an immoral and fundamentally selfish act.

Now, those making this argument stipulated that they believe abortion should remain legal, so I should have been able to let it be, right? After all, I do believe abortion is morally fraught, which means I ought to allow for those who agree with me on the legality of abortion to think whatever they want about women who do terminate their pregnancies.

But I couldn’t, because it seemed to me that even in their agreement on the law they diminished the status of those who would make use of the law. How dare a woman choose her life over that of the fetus? they argued. How dare she be so selfish?

How dare she choose herself.

So, yes, I am glad that these critics offer support, however tepid, for the legal right of a woman to make decisions about continuing or ending her pregnancy.

Too bad that support is not so much for the woman herself.

I am tired of this fight, too, am tired of defending a woman’s being, as a human being, and were it just pundits and blog commenters sneering about the decisions a woman may make, I might be able to walk away.

But as long as those with the power to threaten a woman’s ability to live as free human being continue to do so, I’ll keep my hammer handy.