Frenier: Abortion and power

By Carol Frenier

This past week the majority of women representatives in the Vermont Legislature voted “yes” on H.57 prohibiting restrictions on abortion by public entities. They wanted to ensure that the protection of Roe v. Wade would not be lost should the Supreme Court overturn this landmark decision. When asked why they went so far beyond Roe, which only protects abortion in the first trimester, many of them replied with a question: “Why do you want to restrict a woman from having control over her own body?”

As a woman coming of age in the 1960s, when women’s rights emerged as a life-shaping issue, I understood the question. I have had to work out an uneasy peace within myself on the abortion issue. While I knew I wouldn’t abort a fetus, I also felt that I did not have the right to stand in the way of other women making a different decision under different circumstances.

Why, then, was I so distraught about what happened last week? Because it finally dawned on me that an important piece is missing from this debate and from our consciousness. Even as we fear others controlling our bodies, we never question our own quite absolute power over the body of the small persons we grow inside us. And this bill will chisel that absolute power into granite.

As women we have been criticizing men for at least the past 50 years about the abuse of their power. We have argued long and hard that positive use of power requires restraint. George Washington, for example, is revered by many precisely because he walked away from the power he could have grabbed to become the first American monarch.

In my view, we women are in a power crisis right now over abortion. We are so focused on ourselves as victims that we are blind to the fact that, in this situation, we are the oppressors. Is a third trimester fetus really not a human being? Have we convinced ourselves of that, like the Southern planters in the pre-Civil War era had to convince themselves that African-Americans were not fully human?

We have been arguing for decades that women are not too weak to take our rightful places in business and in politics, even in combat. So let us woman-up and think through how civilization should demand we treat those unborn children we carry. Will we continue our policy of deadly oppression toward those we claim to own? This may well be the hardest moral issue of our time, and we need to be fully engaged in resolving it, not excusing ourselves from its moral weight.

Carol Frenier is a business owner living in Chelsea, Vermont. She is chair of the Orange County Republican Committee.

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7 thoughts on “Frenier: Abortion and power

  1. Thank you, Carol I wish we had more like you in the State House as it appears most have
    lost their common sense of reasoning !!

    H.57 what a brutal bill and those that approved will face there own justice. I believe that an
    abortion is a necessity under specific conditions. If you are just using it for birth control and
    you cannot make up your mind until the due date ………you have other issues, you don’t
    deserve to ever become a Mother, try sterilization.

    There are thousands of people who cannot conceive and would die to have a precise new
    baby in their life and these fools want to ” Kill ” this baby because it’s an inconvenience !!

    What have we become ??

  2. These comments, and most likely commentator would not have been allowed to post these well thought. Provoking questions on such sites as Vermont digger.

    What a group of people in our state house are attempting to do is not any less than a soft coup of our constitution, a word smiths twist of the meaning of is, it’s making stuff up out of thin air. Make no mistake it’s coordinated and planned.

    The rights of an unborn child, the rights to defend one self, the right to have sovergn control of what goes into your body (vaccination, pain killers, opioid treatment, Ritalin for kids)the rights of what goes into your child mind (sexualization of toddlers and pre school), Kamala Harris’s latest push for legalizing sex workers, the right to a free and uncensored press,these actions are not a coincidence.

    We only need to use our right for the freedom of assembly. There is so much going on, none of which can stand the exposure to the sun, none of which can with stand the challenge of free men seeking truth, in the spirit of love, joy and peace. All we need to do is come together and turn toward the same spirit that led our forefather to found this country, to abolish slavery, to form a more perfect union a spirit that leads us to love our neighbor as our self. We need to embrace the divine, the divine truths our fore fathers were so intimately aware of.

  3. The way i see it, in this day and age and how far we’ve come, we should not be having this horrifying issue of 6 million abortions in this country just last year alone. unacceptable! what happened to safe sex practice and taking preventative measures? Come on, you can pop pills for addiction without fail but leave a birth control pill out? Are we not educating ouur new generation? This has got to stop right now!

  4. “Is a third trimester fetus really not a human being? Have we convinced ourselves of that, like the Southern planters in the pre-Civil War era had to convince themselves that African-Americans were not fully human?”

    1) If it’s NOT human, then somebody has been playing around with gene splicing. To call a human fetus by any other name is pure sophistry.

    2) The fractional thing re the Negro was a product of the Northern states’ fear that they would lose power if all dem black folks got the vote. It would also have affected the Electoral College in a national vote. THAT was the reason for the fractional person. The Dems have got much mileage out of that generally misunderstood issue.

    It is to be hoped that good sense prevails and H57 itself is either aborted or “genetically modified”.
    I did BTW much appreciate your well stated points for which, Thank you.

  5. There is something eerily similar to the debate over abortion rights and the debate over the removal of the so-called ‘slavery clause’ from the Declaration of Independence more than 240 years ago.

    What is the difference between the right to determine the fate of an unborn child today and the right to determine the fate of a slave in 1776, when slaves were deemed by many to be the ‘property’ of their owners, not ‘men’?

    Today we debate the rights of a fetus. Does the mother’s right to ‘privacy’ and ‘reproductive freedom’ take precedence because the fetus is, well…, little more than one’s ‘property’ whose value is consequential only to the mother – as its ‘owner’?

    As with slavery, the abortion debate is, significantly, one of societal discernment. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the ongoing sequence of events determining our mutual understanding in this regard will be equally trying.

  6. Thank you Carol, As a lifelong Vermonter, I am disgusted with what these people have done. As a man, I also see that the father of a child to be aborted has no say at all. It takes two to make a baby but only one can decide life or death of a baby. You have written words that all women should be required to read.

  7. What a great representative, wish we has someone like you for our area. You hit on some fabulous points Carol, well done, well done. I’m sure you and others have some great points to make, but it’s very hard to get them out across our state. Keep up the great work.

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