Just received a critique. How can we at PWPL take away medical treatment from women? Here’s the quote:
You people are just about as frightening as the men who seek to make this medical treatment unavailable to women. If not more so seeing as you are women. The women who find themselves in this situation should be free to choose and make their own informed decision and have access to whatever treatment or option they choose.
If it’s medical treatment–then it’s not a choice. And if it’s a choice, it’s not medical treatment. I don’t choose to have a colonoscopy. Or my appendix out. I listen to my doctor. I don’t waltz into her office and demand treatments. (Forget the fact that pregnancy is not an illness.)
So which is it, ardent pro-choicers? Hone in on your argument there, because this one’s pretty superficial.
Rebecca says: I mostly agree, with a slight quibble. As a health consumer advocate (shameless plug) I would argue that in fact all medical care involves choices. Some of them are no-brainers – if you have an appendix about to rupture, choosing not to have surgery is tantamount to suicide – but lots of other legitimate medical choices exist, when deciding whether or not to use HRT in menopause, for instance, when choosing between treatments for cancer, each of which has its own risks and benefits, or even when choosing orthodontic treatment (pull some teeth to make more room, or have braces on for longer, and more painfully). The thing is, these are choices about treatment to address a medical problem.
One of the things feminists got right was insisting that pregnancy and childbirth are not medical problems. Putting on my Ivan Ilich hat, I agree that the construction of obstetrical care as a tool for managing the disease of pregnancy resulted in an incredible power imbalance in which (often male) obstetricians imposed a huge degree of control upon women. That model is no longer upon us. But if a healthy pregnancy is a natural part of life, not a disease (with which I fully concur) then abortion on demand is absolutely not a medical matter but a cosmetic one.by