For the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade Vox.com chose to publish a piece entitled, “Why I’m a pro-life feminist.”
Given the ever increasing erosion of abortion rights and the fact that 2015 brought a banner year of criminalizing pregnant women one would have thought that focusing on facts instead of propaganda would be the ethical thing to do. Claire Swinarski, the writer, is allowed to have her opinion (no matter how ill-informed, patronizing, or steeped in the swill of patriarchy it may be), but Vox certainly doesn’t have to publish it on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And yes Vox also published a piece on post Roe restrictions, but here’s the thing, it’s the lies and half-truths and propaganda wrapped up in the illusion of “helping to keep women safe” that have contributed to this erosion of Roe so it’s a bit ironic to see the two side by side.
With that in mind I want to take a minute or two to explain why being *cough* pro-life means you are anything but a feminist. When I say pro-life I don’t mean what you would do when faced with the decision about your own pregnancy, I mean imposing your view on others. Like the author on Vox thinks is the right thing to do. For feminism.
It’s not the “pro-life” movement, it’s the pro-fetus movement
Pro-life should mean that you care about all life, like those murdered by guns or those who die from heart disease. Hey, if the fetus and kids is your only gig then stillbirths and neonatal demise from smoking during pregnancy (doubles the rate of stillbirths) and toddlers killed by guns (around 82 a year), or an entire generation of kids poisoned by lead in Flint would be right up your alley. Except the “pro-life” movement doesn’t picket the NRA or Philip Morris , work to pass legislation to make guns safer, try to raise cigarette taxes, or leave the picket lines of Planned Parenthood to hand out bottled water in Flint.
If the only thing you care about is a fetus then you are not pro-life, you are pro-fetus. A feminist would know that.
Actually, it’s the anti-abortion movement as well.
The author actually says the “pro-life” movement is trying to “make legal” abortion less available, but also wants to help women so they don’t “seek” abortion.
Making abortion illegal makes it unsafe which harms women. Feminists don’t like the idea of a woman bleeding to death on her bathroom floor because she took misoprostol to try to end her pregnancy as the nearest abortion was 250 miles away and she couldn’t afford the gas money for two round trips because of mandatory waiting rules. Women will bleed to death instead of calling an ambulance because at the hospital they get arrested for procuring a miscarriage or for murder. Feminists don’t like that too much either.
Want to make the changes to reduce abortion? Get every woman access to sex education (not the abstinence shit some people try to pass off) and free, reversible long-acting contraception. Science tells us this works.
Oh, and ending domestic violence, ending rape, teaching men that women have the same worth, and stamping out poverty would help too.
If you are trying to make abortion illegal all the while not paying for or handing out IUDs and Implanon you are nothing but a hypocrite and that makes you an anti-abortion activist, not a feminist.
Access to child care doesn’t reduce abortion
Really, how little do you think of women to say such drivel?
Ben Carson tried to say the same thing. It’s insulting to women. Feminists don’t insult women.
“I’m 22 weeks but just can’t bear the burden of finding affordable child care so I’m going to have an abortion,” said no woman ever.
Abortion is not the problem, it’s a symptom.
The claim about African American women disproportionately seeking abortion is misrepresented. Women at or below 199% of the federal poverty level have the highest rate of abortions and unplanned births. Unfortunately, African American Women are more likely to be in this demographic. Poverty doesn’t cause abortion it causes unplanned pregnancies which are more likely to end in abortion. Ms. Swinarski’s is exploiting and distorting the facts to serve her antiabortion agenda. Feminists don’t do that.
And sex-selective abortion? I’ve seen women sob at their ninth or tenth or 11th girl because they know they are coming back year after year until they produce a boy (something not in their power to control) or die trying. That’s not feminism. I’ve had women tell me how they were almost beaten to death by their husband for delivering a girl. That’s not feminism either.
Want to stop sex selective abortion, you need to work for sweeping cultural changes. Only when women are worth as much, or more, than men might the practice change.
Reproducing doesn’t make you a better person or holy or superior or special or give you a direct line to God. It means you had a uterus and you used it.
“Hillary Clinton’s a mother, and she’s running for president. Adele’s a mother, and she released the biggest No. 1 single in three years in 2015. Madeleine Albright, J.K. Rowling: Mothers — successful, thriving mothers — are everywhere. Having children should not rob you of your identity or your purpose. Pro-life feminists believe it doesn’t have to.”
But Adele is a mother! And J.K. Rowling!
What the actual fuck???
Does this mean that I was less of a person before I had babies? That women who chose not to or can’t have children are less successful? Or if you just don’t have that abortion you too can rule the world?
Popping out a baby doesn’t make you a mother, it means you reproduced. BIG DIFFERENCE. A feminist would know this.
I was awesome before I had children and I am awesome now that I have children. My awesomeness has nothing to do with the comings and goings of my uterus. No woman’s awesomeness has anything to do with her uterus. THAT IS A CENTRAL TENET OF FEMINISM.
If you are woman and you use half-truths and propaganda to convince yourself that you should work to make legal abortion less accessible you are not a feminist you are a tool of the patriarchy.