Ray Sanborn's naive views are steeped in a tradition of female exploitation and the primitive idea that women are a mere "function" and not complete human beings whose "justification" is not tied to procreation and the nurturing of children and men. His views are based on irreconcilable contradictions, as in, motherhood is noble on one hand, but is just a perfunctory process on the other, and its product can be handed over to strangers with complete ease.
The truth is quite opposite: many women never get over the guilt and worry of adopting-out, as unjustified as that guilt may be; women are socialized, among other things, to feel responsible for almost everything.
Sanborn seems to realize the overall triviality of the donation of children's clothing and diapers, even as he cites these band-aids. But the more expansive 'Hungarian solution' he presents is far from adequate.
Without a guaranteed annual income in addition to solid social support – like national daycare – it is virtually impossible for most unmarried pregnant women to continue a pregnancy. How do they support themselves and their child? Even when welfare is an option, students must postpone their education, and others, their careers because they can't afford almost full-time home care. Sometimes these pursuits are never resumed. What of the sleepless nights tending sick or restless infants? What of the emotional and physical toll caused by worry over children and their future in this exploitive, materialistic world?
But the punitive, irrational because contradictory idea prevails, especially among the religiously inclined, that socialism is bad, and that "if you have children you bloody well better take care of them – by yourself!" I have heard that sentiment expressed many times by the pious.
But all of that escapes Sanborn, as does the negative emotional and physical aspects of pregnancy as experienced by most women: among many others, morning sickness sometimes extending over nine months, weight gain, depression and the more serious postpartum depression.
And that doesn't include primitive societal shame-inducing, an aspect of the double standard that persists in this "enlightened" age.
What is most outrageous is Sanborn's arrogance, and I assume he is male, in so blithely expressing his outdated and inhuman views about an exclusively female experience. In the past, it took various forms of fascism or extreme authoritarianism with its concomitant marginalization of women to institute anti-abortion, anti-female legislation: check out fascist Italy under Mussolini, fascist Germany under Hitler and fascist Spain under Franco – just for a start.
Let's hope a redux in spades is not planned, because then life itself won't be worth living.
Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert