Why Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments Fail

Beth Presswood came across the most asinine anti-abortion article I’ve ever seen. Go and read her post. I’ll have a little something to say about it when you return. It won’t be nice, it contains quite a bit of foul language, and I’m not shielding anyone from my anger, but if you’re a secular forced-birther, you’d better damned sure show me you read, comprehended, and thought carefully about what I said before you dare to open your mouth in my presence.

Let me be blunt: I can’t stand secular anti-choicers. I get why religious people are so wrongheaded – I despise their dogma, but I can grok why they’re assholes. But the secular fools who think we should outlaw abortion? They disgust me precisely because they should know better. And this bullshit about women not being equal if they have to murder their precious bay-bees: they can fuck right off with that shit.

I do not need to be forced to carry a fetus I absolutely do not want in order to be a whole, complete woman who is equal to men. The idea that I’m somehow a lesser being for choosing never to reproduce is the most asinine fucking thing I have ever heard, and people, I review creationist textbooks for fun and profit.

Image is a gray background with a dark pink sunburst pattern at the top. A black silhouette of a pregnant female-presenting person is filled with the words, "Women are complete HUMAN beings, not potential mothers. Motherhood is just an option."

And look, you little asshats: when you force people to keep pregnancies they don’t want, it’s not like society will suddenly see women and AFAB trans folk as totes equal. We done gone down that route, and it’s what allows the fuckwads to grind women into the dirt. Taking away a person’s power over their reproduction is taking their power, period.

Contrary to what the author of that wretched article thinks, we can have our safe, legal abortion, and work on issues like childcare costs, parental leave, and all the other issues that make having a child in this country so damned hard. Abortion won’t keep people from having children and demanding they not be penalized for doing so. But we can’t have both forced pregnancy and equality. That’s not a possibility.

And that’s not even addressing the fact that you’re willing to subject people who don’t even want to be pregnant to some pretty awful shit. People die carrying pregnancies. They’re maimed. They end up with Postpartum DepressionPostpartum Psychosis, and PTSD. All. The. Time. It takes a hella strong person to take on those risks by choice. It’s a form of torture to force those risks on a person without their consent.

I don’t think pregnancy and childbirth make AFAB people equal. I think the ones who voluntarily endure that should be recognized as fucking superheroes. But it’s not something that should ever be forced.

There’s good reason why we don’t force people to donate blood and organs while they’re alive. Fuck, we don’t even take those things from corpses without consent. And yet, people die because we do not force those things. Tragedy? Yeah. But we know it would be dangerous to allow a world where we could be compelled to give literal pieces of ourselves to save others. We know that it’s horrible to see people as spare parts. We’re very careful to respect the bodily autonomy of everyone except pregnant people.* Yet the “life” they’re carrying is only a potential, not an already-realized human being. Somehow, these baby fetishists think those pre-humans are worth more than the five year-old who need a kidney, or the grandparent who needs a heart. They think that cluster of cells has more right to live than the person who didn’t want it implanted in them. I will never comprehend that.

There’s no secular argument to be made for ending abortion. Not if we truly value fertile cis women and AFAB folk as full human beings.

 

Want to do something to counter this nonsense? Donate to Planned Parenthood, or help support #ShoutYourAbortion, which is becoming far more than a hashtag.

Image shows a drawing of an androgynous torso wearing a tank top. The figure's arms are crossed over its chest. Caption across the image says "Abortion is not a privilege, it's a right."

*Well, and people of color. We white folk regularly seem to see them as spare meatsacks placed here for us to exploit. Thing is, on some level, most of us know that’s wrong – we don’t often parade around thinking we are righteous and good for treating them as something less than fully human. But when it comes to pregnant people, we suddenly think treating a human being as a mobile incubator is noble, and we’re proud enough of our stance to parade it publicly and make it into laws. How the fuck is that possibly equality?
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Why Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments Fail
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15 thoughts on “Why Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments Fail

  1. 2

    There’s good reason why we don’t force people to donate blood and organs while they’re alive. Fuck, we don’t even take those things from corpses without consent. And yet, people die because we do not force those things.

    This is the analogy I have been using recently. Organ donations save lives. You can’t donate a heart or liver and still live, but you could donate a kidney, bone marrow or blood.

    Blood donation takes the least sacrifice. Your body will replace that blood within a few days, the3 experience entails minimal pain and inconvenience for most people. I donate blood regularly. And yet, I have never once heard a person attempt to make the case that the government should have the power to compel blood donation. Because, you know, “It’s my body, my choice.”

    Somehow, when the organ is question is a uterus, the entire discussion changes. I like the organ donation argument because it forces one to think about the rights of the woman, not the alleged rights of the zygote.

  2. 3

    For Offenders Who Can’t Pay, It’s a Pint of Blood or Jail Time


    “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” began Judge Wiggins, a circuit judge here in rural Alabama since 1999. “For your consideration, there’s a blood drive outside,” he continued, according to a recording of the hearing. “If you don’t have any money, go out there and give blood and bring in a receipt indicating you gave blood.”
    For those who had no money or did not want to give blood, the judge concluded: “The sheriff has enough handcuffs.”

  3. 5

    Bad indeed, but not quite as bad as the secular-Libertarian anti-abortion argument (I kept wondering when the cognitive dissonance would kick in and the person realize how contradictory their arguments were…)

    <sigh?

  4. 6

    There’s no secular anti-choice argument, which consistently preserves the right to bodily autonomy. You can either:
    1) Accept universal abortion rights – i.e. everybody has bodily autonomy
    2) Hand over your kidneys – i.e. nobody has bodily autonomy
    3) Be a bigot – i.e. those people don’t get the same rights as the rest

    I’ve never heard an argument that escapes this problem. I don’t suspect I ever will.

  5. 7

    OK, I’m one of those people with a functional set of uterus, ovaries, vagina. And if you want to have children, that is awesome. I actually consider this set of organs a huge bonus in that case because even if you’re not in a heterosexual relationship, having children is quite possible. I’ve been pregnant three times, I have two children. All three pregnancies were wanted and planned, the abortion of the first wasn’t. I love my children. They’re great people who can drive me up the wall before I’ve had my first coffee. I live in one of the countries with quite good support for pregnant people, babies, childcare. We’re pretty much middle class even without me having a paid job. And yet, and still, an unplanned pregnancy is one of my nightmares. Literally. Because abortion access is fucking limited and fucked up and I don’t ever want another pregnancy. That burden, that pressure is real and makes me fucking unequal to my husband. So yes, fuck anti-choicers.

  6. 9

    Somehow, these baby fetishists think those pre-humans are worth more than the five year-old who need a kidney, or the grandparent who needs a heart. They think that cluster of cells has more right to live than the person who didn’t want it implanted in them. I will never comprehend that.

    Because with an already-formed human, they already have their own personality and character. There’s not as much chance to mold into your own image as with a pre-human. It’s all about control of somebody else, and forcing them to become an extension of yourself.

  7. 10

    Reginald Selkirk: FYI a liver transplant an be taken from a live donor. Only a part of the liver is donated. The liver is an organ that has the capacity to produce new cells, so a donor will regenerate and the recipient will also grow new tissue from the donated part of the liver. Over time, the donor is better off than a live kidney donor who cannot grow anew kidney. The donor is only susceptible to the problems associated with major abdominal surgery.

  8. 11

    Huh? No the most asinine anti-abortion article and baffling that a secular person would try to make a case against choice and women’s bodily autonomy and in favour of a return to the horrors of illegal coathanger abortions which kill people and forced births with all the trauma , risk and long term harm to everyone that that causes.

  9. 13

    I was going to say the argument falls apart in the face of pregnant men who want abortions, but then I read the linked post and the argument needs absolutely no help at all in falling apart.

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