The ongoing struggle for the anti-choice movement is
covering up the vicious misogyny that compels the belief that women who
have sex should be punished with mandatory childbirth. In the past, most of the
focus was on trying to argue for fetal personhood to distract from this ugly
misogyny, but I suppose it became clear that erasing women from the equation
altogether doesn’t do much to convince people you don’t hate women. So now the
anti-choice focus is on arguing that they’re not misogynist, they just simply
believe women are too stupid to make their own decisions and have to be forced
away from abortion for their own good. Again, feminists tend to balk at the
idea that "women are fundamentally stupid" isn’t a misogynist argument, but I
can see that anti-choicers might feel it’s downright compassionate compared to
the "stupid sluts should have kept their legs shut" argument of old.
Unfortunately for anti-choicers, the "punish the sluts"
message may lose points for meanness, but it really gains points for being
straightforward and easy to understand. Feigning compassion for pregnant women
has introduced levels of complexity that render anti-choice arguments
increasingly incoherent. For instance, a feminist buddy emailed me a link to 101 Reasons Not To Have An Abortion, a
faux "concerned" guide full of the usual lies about abortion, assumptions that
women who have abortions are a separate category from mothers (most women who have
abortions are already mothers), and maudlin rhetoric implying that all
women want exactly the same thing and anyone who says otherwise is in denial. But
what really jumped out at me about this pamphlet was that it was incoherent. I
could barely read it, because the author Serena Gaefke gets so bent into a
pretzel trying to make arguments against women’s hopes, dreams, and futures
so she can sound pro-woman.
So, as a public service to anti-choicers, I thought I’d
model a clear-cut argument stating in my terms the real reasons you don’t want women
to have abortions. Sure, these arguments might sound meaner than the
nonsensical ranting you’ve gotten into feigning concern for women, but they
have the advantage of clarity. And in the world of politics, clarity matters
more than anything.
Appreciate our work?
Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.
Reasons Not To Have
An Abortion When You Have An Unwanted Pregnancy
Education is wasted
on women. Hey, teenage girls with unintended pregnancies! I know you’re
thinking, "Gosh, I really don’t think I can go to college with a baby in tow
and very little help. It’s just too much." And you’re right; you can’t. But so
what? What are they going to teach you in college that you need to know? Getting
that education makes you start entertaining ideas like joining professions and
making your own money, instead of getting married and becoming dependent on a
man. Blegh, who wants to study anyway? It’s hard.
isn’t a lot of fun. You heard it from Bristol Palin — having a baby when
you’re not ready means watching your friends gallivant around, coming and going
and dating who they please, while you’re stuck at home changing diapers. Good! You
had it coming for thinking you could just have sex because you wanted to. Hope
you learned your lesson. And look on the bright side — having a baby around
means that you won’t be having nearly as much of that freedom and fun that
women weren’t meant to have anyway.
Hey, maybe he’ll
marry you. Sure, you had all these fantasies about having a baby with a man
when both of you decided that you were sure of the time and sure of each other.
But that’s that desire for self-care and control that’s so unseemly in women. Having
your spouse determined for you by the accidental slip of a condom is a useful
reminder that your life doesn’t belong to you, and your job is to passively
accept the fate that’s handed to you.
And maybe he won’t.
Whoops! Too bad for you. But take heart in this — conservatives are working
round the clock to make sure that you don’t have much financial support outside
of that you can get through marriage. And that means that you’ll probably be in
a situation where you’ll have to take anyone who’ll have you, because you’ll be
desperate. That sounds unfair and cruel, but think of it from a man’s
perspective. Who wants to have to be a good man when artificially lowering
women’s standards works so much better?
Pain is what you
deserve. Whether it’s the grief of giving a child up, the suffering of
marrying someone you didn’t really want, or even just they physical pain of
giving birth against your will, you have to ask yourself: Do you really think
you deserve better? You did, after all, have sex. Be grateful that unwanted
childbirth is all you’re getting, since stoning fornicators is the sort of
thing they did in less civilized eras.
No one cares what you
think. You’re a woman, which means that you have a uterus, which means that
you need to stop thinking and start procreating. A woman not having a baby is
like the refrigerator spitting out the gallon of milk you just put in it. It’s
job is to chill milk! And your job is to gestate. You can no more turn than
down than a refrigerator can reject a gallon of milk.
Of course, I have to point out at this point that
Gaefke’s rather incoherent pamphlet actually makes this last point, but in
obtuse, hard-to-understand language. She writes, " If
abortion is wrong… Then it’s the destruction of the family, the little child
and ultimately, women." Which is her attempt to say nicely that a woman not
having a baby is like a car that won’t drive, or a refrigerator that thinks it
gets to pick what food to contain. Except that she, in her attempts to make a
fundamentally misogynist idea sound better, ends up sounding dippy and