Tuesday, May 08, 2007

On "Convenience"

I've been sitting on this post for the last couple of weeks, ruminating. So without further ado, some thoughts on "convenience."

With the recent ban on the D & X abortion procedure that is typically used to save a woman's health and/or uterus from a doomed pregnancy, I've seen the word "convenience" thrown around quite a bit. You know, in the context of statistics showing that around 3-4% of abortions are done to save a woman's health and/or life, while higher percentages go to reasons such as: too young to have a family, no economic resources, no family support, would mean dropping out and losing chance to get an education, etc, etc. And these are, apparently, reasons that get grouped under the term of "convenience." In the famous words from The Princess Bride, I don't think that word means what you think it means. Convenience is walking to the market a block down the street instead of driving ten miles off to a shopping center. Or being able to buy both of your beloved Ben and Jerry's flavors in a single carton (it's called mixing brownie batter with cookie dough). Or that Grey's Anatomy is repeated on Fridays, just in case you missed it. It's not, however, a good word to describe a medical procedure (especially one as difficult to obtain as an abortion in this country) that prevents a more serious medical procedure (ie, sustained pregnancy and birth). We don't say, oh, I'm trying to get my body back from this flu virus "for convenience." Or, "it's so 'convenient' that I can drive a hundred miles to a clinic and walk through anti-choice protestors screaming that I'm a slut so that I can keep my minimum wage job and hopefully afford to buy my already very much alive kids food and clothes." Or, it's so "convenient" that I can wait to have children (despite my contraception failing) until I have a job and a life-partner. Or, it's so "convenient" that I can terminate this pregnancy before my abusive boyfriend finds out I was pregnant. I think the word "convenience" seriously undermines the moral decisions women make about their bodies and families.

I propose a new term.

No comments: