Commentary Abortion

If They Called It the “March for Forced Motherhood and Female Enslavement,” Then Would You Protest?

Sunsara Taylor

Without a doubt, those marching against women's rights this year will be as giddy with success as they are fanatical about their agenda. If they owned up to the program they are really pushing, that they are marching for “Forced Motherhood and Female Enslavement,” would that be enough to drive you out in the streets to protest? Stand up  for access to abortion and birth control at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC this Monday!

We are fast approaching the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. Shamefully, each year, this anniversary is not marked by a massive celebration that women no longer die by the thousands in the back-alleys; not a celebration that women no longer are forced to foreclose their lives and dreams because of unwanted pregnancies; not a celebration of the doctors who risk their lives every day to provide abortions.

Instead, this anniversary is marked by an outpouring that hates all of those extremely liberating things. This outpouring calls itself the “March for Life,” but a look at their stated principles reveals an agenda of female enslavement. The following is taken from the statement on their website, “Applying the Life Principles”:

“Although a pregnant mother and/or her preborn child may die, there is no justification in the law of God or man for the intentional killing of even one innocent born or preborn human in existence at fertilization. NO EXCEPTION! NO COMPROMISE!

First, a woman who is pregnant is… a woman who is pregnant. She is not a “mother.” Calling her a “mother” is unscientific.   As is the equation of “one innocent born” human with a “preborn human.” Fetuses are NOT babies. They have the potential to become babies, to become separate human beings. But, until they are born they are a subordinate part of a woman’s body and they do not have any independent social or biological existence.

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Second, calling her a “mother” reinforces the thousands of years of tradition’s chains.  Notice that the anti-abortion movement never screams at a woman, “You’ll still be a parent, you’ll just be the parent of a dead baby!” They always scream the word “mother.” Beyond being totally unscientific (as explained above), this both accepts the framework that views women as breeders of children (rather than full human beings), and uses the weight of tradition and its corresponding “cult of motherhood” to inflict guilt and judgment on women who do not submit to that tradition.

Third, to insist that even if an abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life, it should be against the law combines unscientific exaltation of the fetus with male-supremacist disregard for women.  Hence, the statement, “Although the pregnant mother… may die…” there is, “NO EXCEPTION! NO COMPROMISE!

In a part of their statement which I did not quote above, they insist that these principles be codified into an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The only difference between the implications of such an amendment and the recent “Personhood” initiative that was defeated in Mississippi last year– but which is being introduced in states across the country this year – is that such an amendment would be even more broad reaching. And let’s not forget, the Mississippi “Personhood” amendment would have criminalized miscarriages, banned all abortions, and even criminalized some forms of birth control.

As if these principles were too subtle, many of the organizers and speakers at the annual “March for Life” lay out even more extreme positions.

Nellie Gray, the March for Life’s late founder, used the March as a platform to call not only for criminalizing all abortions but for holding future Nuremberg trials against “feminist abortionists.” The implication is clear; those convicted at Nuremberg were executed.

It is inexcusable to allow this message and these political forces to dominate the political stage as we enter a new year.

Last year saw a record number of restrictions on women’s right to abortion. 92 abortion restrictions were passed, shattering the previous record of 34 restrictions passed in 2005 under President Bush. Nearly 90% of counties do not have an abortion provider.  New Year’s morning saw an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida set on fire. And even birth control is being restricted, including under the approving watch of the so-called “Pro-Choice President.”

Without a doubt, those marching against abortion this year will be as giddy with success as they are fanatical about going even further.

If they were to come out and own up to the program that they really are pushing, if they were to broadcast to the world that they are marching for “Forced Motherhood and Female Enslavement,” would that be enough to drive you out in the streets to counter-protest?

Now that you know their true intent, how can you sit this one out?

Be at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC this Monday, January 23rd at 11 am to: Stand Up for Abortion and Birth Control. Add your name to this Call for Action. As it says in this Call, “If 2011 marked an unprecedented escalation in the assault on women’s lives, 2012 must mark the launch of unprecedented resistance!

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