I was frustrated by your recent decision to allow Liz Armstrong to attempt a political statement with the otherwise (thankfully) easy-to-ignore transcription of her drunken exploits. "The Trouble With Roe v. Wade," her Chicago Antisocial column for March 17, read like an endless stream of bumper stickers, and her engagement with what many consider the most important political issue of our time was no less trifling. In particular, the statement "I'm pro-choice but not pro-abortion" merely reduplicates the myriad problems with the legislation made possible by Roe v. Wade--a law which, although still on the books, allows for hundreds of ways in which all women's access to abortion can be controlled through funding restrictions, clinic information-dissemination restrictions, and of course propaganda. And Armstrong's vapid column and statement played directly into antiabortion propaganda.
I happen to believe that if you support abortion you may as well go ahead and call yourself pro-abortion. Yes, the religious right may label you a baby killer--but that's survivable. My personal experience having an abortion was awesome: it may have hurt like hell, but it got me out of a bad jam there was no other way out of. I know a lot of other women who feel the same way. The "I Have Had an Abortion" T-shirts making the rounds a few months ago--a phrase actually first uttered in print by my abortion provider and friend--were a start. Now we need to start standing up and proclaiming ourselves pro-abortion.
But this is not a movement Liz Armstrong--whose research into the issue seems to have come entirely from the Jane film she watched followed by a quick search on Wikipedia--will initiate. This is a movement we need to find well-spoken political voices to lead--and to create a new vocabulary for.
Anne Elizabeth Moore
Associate Publisher, Punk Planet