Published on December 6th, 2012 | by Rayne


Pro-life are anti-women

Note: Data from this post is in the context of America as the article in question is from an American author.

Lilandra from Ace of Clades recently posted this blog entry about a feminist pro-lifer. The pro-life feminist in question posted this article entitled “3 things we need more of (if we’re going to end abortion)”.

1) Pro-life feminists
2) Pro-life doctors and
3) Premarital chastity

What the fuck??

Exactly why do we need more people advocating for the disempowerment of women and policing not only our reproductive rights but also our right to get down and dirty whenever we want?

The pro-life movement is one movement I will never get. Deeply rooted in right-wing religious misogynistic thinking, the pro-life brigade justifies the continued oppression of women by yelling that their tactics are simply “for the children”. What? The foetuses who aren’t considered viable in America until 24 – 28 weeks as determined in Roe vs Wade (1973) let alone have personhood under the law until they are born?

Being pro-choice doesn’t mean that we tell or want pregnant women to get abortions – we merely want abortion as a legal option for women so they can make a safe fully informed choice and be more in control of what happens in their lives. Limiting women’s choices means taking control from women and putting a women’s right to choice in the hands of the government. Education around abortion and having abortion as a legal option for women means that women can evaluate all their options and make fully informed decisions.

So how can Kristen Hatten claim to be a feminist when she is actively attempting to abolish a service that is intrinsic to women’s health and economic development?

Well known authour Christopher Hitchens often spoke about women’s empowerment as a cure for poverty. Let’s dissect that.

          “There is a cure for poverty. It is a rudimentary one, it does work, though. It works everywhere, and for the same reason. It’s colloquially called ‘the empowerment of women.’ It’s the only thing that does work. If you allow women control over their cycle of reproduction, so that they are not chained by their husbands or by village custom to annual animal-type pregnancies, early death, disease, and so on. If you will free them from that, give them some basic health of that sort—and if you are generous enough to throw in, perhaps, a handful of seeds and a bit of credit—the whole floor, culturally, socially, medically, economically of that village will rise. It works every time.”  —Christopher Hitchens, in a debate with William Dembski at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas

This position is also supported by the United Nations.

So how does abortion empower women and cure poverty?

Health Care: If we abolish abortions, women wanting them will go to a backyard abortionist. According to the Our Bodies Ourselves Resource Centre “According to the WHO, in countries where abortion remains unsafe it is a leading cause of maternal mortality, accounting for 78,000 of the 600,000 annual pregnancy-related deaths worldwide”, access to safe, legal abortions means less deaths of women.

Economically: According to a report from the American Agriculture Department’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion featured on Huffington Post, “For $235,000, you could indulge in a shiny new Ferrari – or raise a child for 17 years. A government report released Thursday found that a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about that much in child-related expenses from birth through age 17. That’s a 3.5 percent increase from 2010”. If it costs that much for a middle income family, what about women on the poverty line? Or under it? Children cost money and how do pro-lifers expect women on low to middle incomes maintain jobs to increase their income and their quality of life when they have children dependent on them? Wouldn’t the smarter option be to be financially stable and then have children so they aren’t raised in poverty? Especially when the average income in America is only $50,054 per year.

Does anyone else think that pro-lifers that are so intent on helping children, should be helping more by supporting the mothers they want to force to give birth? None of this “they get government assistance and my tax pays for that” – who the hell survives on $400 worth of food stamps per month while raising multiple children?

But no, pro-lifers don’t really care about women, they care about the unborn foetuses and that’s it. They don’t really care that women are less economically stressed without children until they have a decent income nor do they care about women’s health.

Let’s look at some of the common pro-life arguments:

1) Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.

According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System for 2011, 400, 540 children were in foster care on September 30 of the Federal Fiscal Year. Children adopted (with Public Agency Involvement? 50, 516.

Now I know adoption is a lengthy process with a lot of criteria but honestly out of the alleged 1.5 million families, couldn’t they find 400,540 families to adopt one kid each?

2) In the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant.

I’m guessing pro-lifers against birth control and the morning after pill won’t be saying this out loud anytime soon.

From Scientific American “a lot of people are citing the Holmes et al (1996) paper that found a 5% pregnancy rate among rape survivors from 12 to 45 years of age. This is a great study that performed several telephone interviews with 4008 participants over three years to determine rates of rape (413 individuals experienced 616 completed rapes, a lifetime incidence of over 13% in this sample) and rates of pregnancy from rape (20 were reported from 19 individuals, or 5%).”

3) Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards.

From the Orlando Women’s Centre: “Fifty percent of U.S. women obtaining abortion are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 17%.”

Only 17% of women who get abortions are teenagers. 50% are under than So much for the “often are minors or young women” claim.

4) If women don’t want to have kids, don’t get pregnant. By that logic, if I don’t want to get sunburnt – I shouldn’t go outside in the sun. Instead of limiting my options, I’ll put on sunscreen. I may get burnt because sunscreen doesn’t work 100% of the time but at least I’ll have the freedom to go outside.

Again I’d like to know how any self-proclaimed feminist can be pro-life, when pro-lifers don’t give a flying rats arse about women or their health? Especially when abortion protesters themselves will go in for abortions and be out protesting in front of clinics the next week?

Links to check out:
Questions for Pro-lifers
How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement


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3 Responses to Pro-life are anti-women

  1. Pingback: Rayne's most popular posts Insufferable Intolerance

  2. Pingback: If you really were prolife Insufferable Intolerance

  3. Samm says:

    Very well written article!

    I am 100% Pro-Choice, but I just have a comment about your statistics used in response to the Adoption claim. I agree that the foster-care system in the U.S. is not only screwed up, it’s overcrowded. But of those 400,540 children in the system, not all of them are adoptable. Some have the goal of reunification. Some are aging out of the system. Some are temporary placements. And some, sadly, need professional care and are deemed “un-adoptable.” I only know this because my husband and I were trying to adopt. It’s such a difficult process (emotionally as well as red-tape wise) that only 4% of couples who begin the adoption process actually complete it. Not to mention the poor support systems in place for mothers who place their infants up for adoption. There are a lot of heartbreaking horror stories out there.

    I suppose the long and short of it should really be that if Pro-Lifers want to claim adoption is an option then their priority should be to fix the foster care system. Sadly, they only seem to care about children in utero.

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