Years ago opposing opinions in the abortion debate were welcomed inside the big feminist tent. Apparently no longer. Along with the zealotry that declares anyone who voted for Trump or supports his policies, (or perhaps even watched an episode of the Apprentice) is now a Nazi, you can’t be a feminist if you are pro-life.
But, so long as pro-lifers argue, they’re still feminists they’re missing the point entirely.
Abortion is fundamentally ANTI-feminist.
To make this argument, funnily enough, all you have to do is point out that the founding principle of feminism itself undermines the very need for abortion at all.
For the past fifty years feminism has been telling us that its goal is to enable women to be responsible, independent actors in society free from the patriarchal domination of men.
In the modern world women are all those things. Women are billionaires, babes and bitches all with society’s endorsement. In particular, women in the West are freer than at any time in history.
Surely it follows that if women are now the responsible actors in society they claim they want to be, fully in charge of their sexual lives, why is there a need for abortion at all?
The upward trajectory of women’s freedom should have coincided with a downward trajectory of abortions because an independent woman would never find herself in the position of needing one.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Ironically, with every advance women have made in recent decades, with every glass ceiling broken and cultural freedom won, rates of abortion have not decreased at all. Depressingly, they’ve increased. And the reasons for them are questionable.
According to studies the vast majority of women who have abortions are doing so for social reasons (either not being financially or emotionally ready to have a child, not in a stable relationship, or they just don’t want a kid).
If a woman is having an abortion for any of the above reasons she’s revealing herself to be without the maturity required for adulthood.
It doesn’t help that abortions are practically promoted in our culture today. For decades now Hollywood and its celebrity representatives have produced films depicting abortion as being socially acceptable, even emotionally advantageous.
How did we get to a point where killing an unborn baby is something of which a woman should be proud?
The measure of independence prudently exercised is not the preponderance of poor choices made with that independence, but rather with the wise choices made.
So the notion that abortion is an exercise in feminist freedom tells us something interesting about the pathology of the pro-abortion lobby.
Despite their rhetoric abortion advocates do not come from a place of wanting to make women’s lives better. On the contrary, their encouragement of sexual recklessness “remedied” by a medical procedure that destroys human life is not a healthy one, mentally or physically, for anyone. Especially women. Post-procedure, women are more likely to suffer depression and regret for undergoing an abortion.
Pro-abortion feminists are really arguing for the right to have NO responsibility at all.
What they really want is someone else (the government and the taxpayer) to pick up the pieces of their immature behavior. And they want the freedom to be reckless with no shame attached.
Moreover, with a sleight of hand that would have impressed Houdini, feminists have simultaneously advanced the idea that while women should be under no compunction to keep a child they create, they think men should be made (financially) liable for a child they don’t want. Men cannot walk away from a pregnancy so easily. How can this be fair?
We’re living in a strange world where women don’t go to prison for murdering an unborn baby, but men can be incarcerated for not paying child support for a kid they did not want, or in some cases paying for a child that is not even biologically their own.
If feminism were truly concerned with creating equity between men and woman they wouldn’t be supporting this outrageous gender-based inequity now enshrined in our culture and our law.
A real feminist would, primarily, recognize that the high rates of abortion are indicative of a failure of women to live up to the expectations society demands of the autonomous, responsible individual, and they would deplore any woman for whom unprotected sex is not non-negotiable.
Secondly, a real feminist would value the life of their unborn daughters and sons, for there is surely nothing more antithetical to the advancement of girls than the widespread, government-sanctioned murder of them.
As a society we should be creating a culture that incentivizes both men and women to take responsibility for the children they create. That means that women don’t abort fetuses because they’re inconvenient, and men can’t abdicate their financial responsibilities once a child is born either.
But if we are going to enshrine reproductive rights for women into law, then we should also afford men the same courtesy.
Parental responsibility either begins at conception for both parents or it can be abdicated entirely. A real feminist would support this gender-equitable notion.
And if these arguments fail to convince the feminist abortion lobby, use the liberals’ favorite trope and posit that unborn babies are actually the ultimate illegal immigrants. After all, these poor, defenseless babies are at risk of being murdered in their inhospitable homeland. Surely it’s our collective responsibility to welcome these unborn babies into the world and give them a better life, right?
Liberals, feminists and leftists can’t argue with that.
Robert Crosby is a writer and filmmaker who lives in the United Kingdom.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.