According to wikicommons:
“In 1614, Cambridge needed a new water supply. Thomas Hobson built a causeway bringing water from springs at Nine Wells into the city centre. . . Hobson made his money hiring out horses, but hirers had to take the horse closest to the door. This led to the expression “Hobson’s Choice” meaning “No choice”!”
I want to tread lightly on the topic of women being forced into abortion, especially if you’re reading this seeking relief from the cruel pain of losing your child by someone else’s choice. There are some experts who say the majority of abortions in the US are coerced due to pressure or abandonment by partners and parents. I’m truly sorry if you’ve survived your own personal war on women. I know far too many who have suffered this violation of our dignity and basic human right to protect ourselves and our child. This all-too common problem for women is a Hobson’s choice of the worst possible kind, but at least it’s not our national policy.
If you listened to Cradle My Heart Radio last night (podcast here) about China’s One Child Policy, you may have been thinking a national policy of forced abortion could never happen here. The USA would never try to limit the freedom and autonomy of women and families by mandating the number of children a woman is allowed by law to birth, you’d think.
Our guest, Reggie Littlejohn of Womens Rights Without Frontiers was careful to point out that forced abortion in America is illegal. We don’t have that particular human rights violation codified into law. It may be occurring to individual women, but as the Houston Chronicle reported last week, even a pregnant teen can legally resist parental coercion to abort. Organizations like the Texas Center for the Defense of Life and the Justice Foundation are engaged in helping girls and women protect their right to bear their children here in the US. In other words, as things stand today the American government is on your side if you want to choose the size of your family.
That could change if climate change activists get their way. Bill McKibben, an environmentalist and leader of a climate change campaign which last week held a rally in Washington DC against the Keystone Pipeline, has advocated for a voluntary Maybe One society which he deems “inevitable.” Others take the reasoning to extremes. Human Life International posted this report on participants espousing ‘Earth patriotism’ among other rationales for imposing limits on family size to achieve a lower birth rate.
This is a clash of worldviews. If you believe that the earth is being depleted by Too Many People, then One Child may make sense. If instead you believe that Life is the answer to the pressing problems of our time, you see the moral bankrupcy of blaming children and targeting birth rates for the challenges we’re up against.
If your abortion was coerced and chosen for you by someone else who pressured or failed to protect you, again, you have my deepest sympathy. And I want to encourage you. Sharing your story may help others understand the grief that comes when abortion is no choice at all.