Open Letter to William Saletan: Women’s Bodies Kill

Amie Newman

Oh, William, you've come back. We've had moments where we thought you had slipped away from us - taken in by the sometimes masterful, most times absurd, anti-choice propaganda. But I can tell - you've seen the light.

Dear William Saletan:

Oh, William, you’ve come back.

We’ve had moments where we thought you had slipped away from us – taken in by the sometimes masterful, most times absurd, anti-choice propaganda. But I can tell – you’ve seen the light.

Really, it’s hard not to. When anti-choice doctrine infuses itself into potential public policy in such a patently ridiculous way, it’s impossible to ignore isn’t it?

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What was it about these new HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) regulations? Was it the re-defining of contraception –  family planning methods that 98% of women in this country will use at some point in their lives – as abortion? Was it the allowance for federal employees and institutions to essentially pick and choose what they believe contraception to be, and what they don’t, giving them the power to refuse to provide health services to anyone, anywhere? Was it the fact that these draft regulations make it okay to refuse to provide emergency contraception to rape victims in order to prevent possible pregnancy at the hands of their attackers, in the states that have these laws on the books?

Whatever it was, your letter to Secretary Leavitt, head of HHS, was brilliant.

I would say, however, that it didn’t go far enough. If breast-feeding, exercise and caffeine are all threats to a fertilized egg, or threats to the occurrence of conception, should we not ensure, according to most anti-choice leaders, that women do absolutely nothing that may cause a spontaneous abortion, otherwise known as a miscarriage?

These HHS regulations, to the extent that they are enforceable, should make sure to document any and all ways in which women’s bodies can be living abortifacients. 

We can’t just let women get away with being women and having our bodies do what they will during the time in our lives that we are fertile. 

Our bodies, as Saletan points out, are living, breathing destruction machines during childbearing years. If our bodies are able to get pregnant and sustain life, they are able to destroy that life just as easily.

Why don’t we ensure that these regulations stop women not just from breast-feeding, exercising and imbibing drinks with caffeine, but from any of our biological functions? After all, if we’ve got a uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, a cervix, a vaginal canal, and a vulva, we are a threat, are we not? Who knows, if we ovulate, how many times a fertilized egg may or may not have fallen by the way side? Not implanted? We are murderesses many times over and we should be corraled in any way possible. 

William, if I may, I would love to co-sign your letter. But I would love to make the above changes to make sure that our government severly restricts any and all biological action within the female-born body that in any way is related to fertility. 


Amie Newman


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