Stop using sex and abortion to define women

Woe be it to the politician who dares utter that abortion is not the all-encompassing issue for most women that abortion advocates make it out to be. They’ll quickly be raked across the coals, accused of fighting the mythical “War on Women”. For pro-aborts, abortion is everything. It is the Alpha and the Omega. It is what defines women. Two blog posts published this week just further prove this.

Amanda Marcotte lashed out at Rep. Ann Davis for daring to suggest that women might be more concerned with other issues, like, say, the economy, energy issues, or entitlement spending. But oh no, says Marcotte — abortion is all of those things. Everything a woman cares about can be traced back to abortion.

The reality is that abortion isn’t just about abortion. For both sides, “abortion” stands in for a general worldview of what a woman’s place in the world is and how much right she has to decide that for herself. The anti-choice movement is rooted in a belief that a woman’s role is very narrowly written and that any rejection of a rigid, submissive gender role makes someone a “slut” or some other kind of “bad” woman. (There are a few conservative women such as Ann Coulter who elide this, but mostly by selling women out: They are given a pass for their own personal choices because they sell the idea that other women shouldn’t have freedom.)

That’s why relentless attempts by Republicans to paint pro-choice politics as a “single issue” that is beneath “whole” voters is missing the point entirely. Support for abortion rights is linked to a larger worldview, a worldview that takes a broad view of what freedom means: economic security, access to health care, right to self-determination, and a belief that a person’s goodness is determined by how that person treats others and less about how closely that person adheres to narrowly written social roles. Even if the abortion issue disappeared tomorrow, women would still lean more left than men as a group, because women are more likely to buy into the overall worldview more—and no wonder, as it’s one that’s more likely to see women as people and less as broad, ugly stereotypes.

Women all must see abortion as the single most important issue, EVER, because it affects every part of their life. Economic security? Destroyed without abortion! Access to health care? Silly, health care is abortion and nothing else. And Lord knows you can’t be seen as a whole person unless you support abortion,, at any time and completely on demand.

Meanwhile, an anonymous blogger at Abortion Gang calls abortion a human right.

I often think of abortion as less of a medical right and more of a human right. Without access to full reproductive choice and justice, one does not have full access to economic equality or bodily autonomy . We can think of this in terms of unequal pay in the work place, discrimination against trans* people within the legal system, and the lack of educational information about contraceptive choices across the country.

Considering the horrifying number of abortions performed each year, killing an innocent human being in the womb, it’s rather rich for someone to call abortion a “human right”. It’s also interesting how there is constant talk about bodily autonomy. Abortion advocates are often silent about how pregnancy — and therefore, the supposed need for abortion — isn’t something that just magically happens. It isn’t like getting cancer. It takes an act, something that the vast majority of the time is a willful act. Women can avoid pregnancy fairly easily, but then, that would mean that women (and their partners) would need to abstain from sex if they weren’t ready for a child. And that’s wrong because we’re all just animals who are slaves to our physical urges, or something. Meanwhile, abortion is also somehow similar to discrimination against trans people in the legal system and unequal pay? Um, OK.

The overall theme here is that the evil, nasty government is trying to control women, because PATRIARCHY! Never is it brought up that women, like everyone else, actually can do whatever they want. But also like everyone else, there are consequences to one’s actions. Having sex means opening the door to pregnancy as a consequence. But then, we can’t have women taking responsibility for their actions either, can we? Not when abortion is the single issue which defines every aspect of a woman’s life.

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