I am getting sick of the idiotic argument/testimonial from the GOP folks and right-wing pundits vis-a-vis Palin’s decision to keep a Downs syndrome baby and her daughter’s decision to keep her baby. I mean I realize that this might be too much thinking for some of the Salin supporters, but you cannot praise her choice to keep the baby if you believe that abortion is a mortal sin and a murder. Let’s take the murder argument: if life begins with conception and Palin found out she was pregnant and does not believe in abortion, then this is it, period, end of story, as in – she is not choosing to keep the child, she is having a child, whether she likes it or not, she has no choice, because abortion is not an option, so the child lives because it is already there. If I believe that shooting a store clerk who offended me is a premeditated murder, then my decision not to murder him/her is not really a decision, because, in my case, murder is never an option – I do not choose not to kill, I simply walk away. Technically, I do have an option to go to the store, buy a gun and come back for some sweet revenge, but if then at the last moment I lower my gun and choose not to kill the clerk, am I a hero? Did Palin contemplate aborting her Downs syndrome baby and then decided against it? And if not, then she did not make a choice, she was forced into the situation by her pregnancy and thus we can praise her for dealing with it bravely or in any other way, but not for her decision. If Palin believes that abortion is murder and is thus out of consideration, then what were her options when she was deciding to keep the baby?
Ok, let’s look at it this way: suppose she had a potential moment of decision to either follow her beliefs and keep the child or to abandon her anti-abortion stand and abort the child – will she be praised then for sticking with her worldview, as many right-wing commentators suggest? She certainly would be worth praising, as would anybody who sticks to their beliefs in times of moral struggle, but – and here again is the tricky part – her decision to follow her beliefs is only praise-worthy in the context of the very possibility of the choice she is praised for making, i.e. it is only on the condition that there is a legal abortion to consider that her decision to keep the child is a matter of moral strength, otherwise she is again simply forced into one option. If McCain and Palin’s policy on abortion is to make it illegal, then in the bright future they envision for us and are living in now, there is no decision, so if we measure her actions in accordance with her beliefs, it’s easy to see that she does not follow her beliefs on abortion: if her stance was that it is a sin to abort a baby, but it is up to an individual woman to decide, then she could be praised for making her decision, however, her position is that it is both a sin (moral wrong) and it should be illegal (legal wrong). The very framing of the issue of abortion as murder dictates the scenario. Palin thus contradicts herself by claiming to make a decision that her own beliefs are not allowing her to make – her decision to keep the baby with Downs syndrome is a clear performative contradiction. Her rhetoric of choosing to keep the child is deconstructing – excuse my language – the very discourse of pro-life position on the lack of the choice. Talk about being forced to have a child then – Palin does not support abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the life of a woman is in danger, therefore we should, by her logic, feel sorry that she found herself with a child, praise her for handling it bravely (again, what’s the other option? freaking out?), i.e. pity her and support her (well, not me, but, you know, nice people of Alaska and all), because she was not free to do anything about the situation, I repeat, anything – where is the choice then?
The same goes for her daughter who, according to the family statement, decided to continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby – again, what were the options? to abort or to keep? to keep or to give up for adoption? I don’t think so. It seems that the options were to keep or to keep – how is this even a choice? Why then praise their decisions? Don’t these people see that they are implicitly endorsing the pro-choice angle while praising their heroes’ choices? You can’t both approve of the choice when it is the option A, and then reject the possibility of choice when it’s the option B – isn’t it the whole evangelical belief about God creating humans with free will and “letting” humans sin and then fall? Where are the goddamn theologians when you need them? Can someone explain it to me how abortion is a sin of murder, yet deciding not to have it is an actual choice worthy of praise?