Katha Pollitt writes:
The difference is that when abortion is legal it is a remarkably safe procedure; when it is illegal, women are injured, women die, children are left motherless. (True, these are already existing, sinful children, not embryos or fetuses, but still.) This simple public health argument has gotten lost in a thicket of theology, sexual morality, "family values," politics, spin and outright disinformation.
Abortion proponents write as if the whole issue is just about health.
I suspect that they think: if we can just get people to assume that women suffer because a lack of abortion, they will abandon their belief in the importance of the fetus, which is a shallow belief in any case, because who really takes the fetus seriously?
Their thinking really shows an ignorance of why people support fetal rights.
And that is their intellectual Achilles' Heel.
They think: just keep on harping about the women. Just the women. Never mind the intellectual elephant in the room. Women,women,women,women. Don't touch the fetus issue.
It is never assumed in these articles that coathanger abortions are a stupid thing to do. I have never heard a feminist saying: listen women, if you don't want to die of abortion, don't go out and get one. It's a really stupid thing to do.
Because arming women with that knowledge could help save their lives.
The woman's desperation is enough justification for such a stupid thing, as if there is ever any justification for stupidity. Women are not responsible beings. They have to be victims and coddled.
That's why the "women die" line is a bit hollow. Women have the power to save themselves in a country that has no legal abortion. They should just not get one.
But it's not really about that, isn't it? These women who are dumb enough to get an illegal abortion are used to help the other women who would otherwise not get one access legal abortion.
Legalizing abortion is just an out for not dealing with all the issues that drive women to want an abortion.
Is it a health care issue? Then deal with health care.
Is it an economic issue? Then deal with economics.
Is it a relationship issue? Then deal with relationships.
But that's too complicated. Much simpler to legalize abortion. Use the women who are stupid and desperate as a kind of red herring and legalize abortion for all the other women.
And above all, do not talk about the millions of unborn children who are killed by abortion.
Do not confront the issue that drives the opposition to abortion.
I think that feminists don't confront that issue, because it's a loser for them. They have to argue their point assuming beliefs that people can see past:
- A fetus is a blob of tissue. Okay, feminists don't seriously use that argument any more, except for the earliest abortions, because when the embryo is past 6 weeks, it's easily disprovable.
- A fetus is not a human being. Except the fetus looks like one, and biologically is one.
- A fetus is not a person. Except people in vernacular conversations treat their unborn children like persons. Until they want an abortion.
- Even if a fetus is a person, a woman's rights trumps his: that destroys the notion of human rights and equality.
People see past those arguments. The only argument that feminist can rely on to make their point is that a woman has a right to do what she wants with her body. Because people do not like imposing on others, because they do not like being imposed upon themselves.
But if you make people confront the issue of the fetus, they often stop thinking only about the woman's side of the story. They think about the sanctity of human life, how human individuality begins at conception; how disrespecting one group of humans leads to disrespecting other groups of humans. And so on.
I think that once women have children, many of them become more pro-life. I don't think it's a coincidence that many pro-lifers are older and many abortion proponents are younger. Once women have carried children, they know they carry life in them. They can dress it up in the terms they want: they know the unborn baby is alive. Once you've cared for your own unborn child, the argument that only the woman matters becomes more hollow. You've loved an unborn child, so how can you kill him? How can you deny he's something special?
Sure, some proponents manage to bear children and live with the contradiction of having loved of unborn child, but allowing for other women to kill theirs.
But people can see through the contradictions. And the one thing about contradictions, is that even in a climate of philosophical relativism, they cannot be sustained indefinitely. The human person cannot live in an inauthentic state of something being true and not true.
And that's why I am certain that fetal rights will be established one day in Canada. Feminists don't confront the issue, because they don't have to and they know it's a loser for them.
But they will have to, sooner or later. And when they do, their arguments will cease to have credibility among the population.