Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Secular Anti-Choice and Faux Equality

Our friends over at Secular Anti-Choice have a new post up, "I am equal, not the same."

"Throughout history, women have been told we are inherently and biologically inferior to men. Our inferiority is evidenced solely by the fact that we are women. Our own biology, fertility and ability to bear children have been used to subordinate and objectify us. These have been used to prove we could never be equal to men."

So far, so good. Involuntary childbearing is the source of gender roles and subsequent oppression.

"The legalization of abortion is described constantly as the liberation of women. As one pro-choice organization puts it: “In the early 1970’s, the woman’s movement demanded that abortion be legalized... It was clear that, without [abortion], women couldn’t be the equals of men – no matter what advances women made in the job market or in higher education.”
Women who bear children cannot be equal? Is a pregnant woman who must choose between her career and unborn child liberated by the availability of abortion?"

Wait a minute here! Anti-choicers, as usual, are conflating forced childbearing with voluntary childbearing. They really don't get CONSENT. Half the human race isn't equal if they aren't liberated from forced childbearing. We can recognize this fact and also support voluntary childbearing so that people can work and parent. They believe that the mere availability of abortion represents massive pressure for women to not bear children, but this denies the actual difficulty of parenthood and the agency of pregnant people.

"Roe v. Wade was not our liberation, it was our defeat. It was when we stopped fighting the idea of a male default, when we stopped saying “we’re different but not inferior.” With a host of options both natural and artificial to time or avoid conception, a woman who does become pregnant needs to end the life of her unborn child to remain a fully functioning member of this society?"

First of all, contraception can fail. A woman does not need to end her pregnancy to be a fully functioning member of society. But if she is disallowed from doing so, she is unequal.

Even if parenthood is made easier, it is never easy. There are many reasons why someone wouldn't want to parent at a certain time, or ever. It does not make women "inferior" to recognize the fact that pregnancy can derail someone's aspirations and life no matter what social supports are put in place. The hard truth of life is that no one can do everything and half the human race has a special burden put on them by nature. Society has a choice as to what we do with that burden and if we force people to suffer for it.

"Pregnancy is not an infliction to be cured. To celebrate abortion is to agree with the archaic view of women as inherently flawed. "
ALL BIOLOGY IS FLAWED. The fact that we get old and sick means we are flawed. The fact that sex can result in pregnancy is flawed. The fact that pregnancy is dangerous is flawed.

I can't stand the way that anti-choicers insist that pregnancy isn't a disease. Well, it may not be, but IT CAN KILL YOU! It's a serious condition that just happens to be natural. It's the naturalistic fallacy in action to minimize its impact.

Mary Catherine Wilcox explains: “To say that in order to be equal with men it must be possible for a pregnant woman to become un-pregnant at will is to say that being a woman precludes her from being a fully functioning person.” says that being forced to use one's body to support another without recourse makes you unequal. Being female simply means you may be able to get pregnant. Being pregnant may or may not be dangerous or disabling for you. Parenting may or may not preclude you from reaching your goals. But if society sets up a system where you are not allowed to evaluate and choose to not take these risks, society perpetuates the inequity.

"There are real problems in this society that need to be solved, but the female body and its ability to sustain a new life that has already come into existence is not one of them. We must stop dealing in this archaic thinking: the idea that women are inherently flawed because they get pregnant and men don’t. To say we need abortion to be equal is in fact undeniable proof that we are far from equal. We cannot accept that to remain equal to men, we "need" to rid our bodies of new human beings. We are not liberated until both sexes are fully accepted as they are."

Again, we have the idea that forced pregnancy will force accommodation of pregnancy/motherhood on society, when we have experience that says the opposite is true. We have the erasure of women who do not want to be pregnant or parent, no matter what support is available. We have the minimization of the physical risks of pregnancy. We have the erasure of consent. We have the appropriation of feminist rhetoric.

All in all, very typical for the Secular side of anti-choicers.


  1. How is this really different from saying that if someone has diabetes or something, they should not try to alter their condition but just be accepted as equal in society as they are? They should be accepted as equal, but *also* have the option to alter their condition.

  2. The whole thing is one big fat non-sequitur. Abortion doesn't make women's and other AFAB's bodies icky things that need correction. Wanting an abortion doesn't even mean rejecting parenthood. Abortion doesn't mean male = non-pregnant = default, since most cis women aren't pregnant for most of their lives.
    Those forced birthers never ever allow women agency. They simply cannot imagine that we would have our own reasons for wanting an abortion and that those reasons are not "tragic circumstances" that can be corrected with money and support.