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Abortion Is Not Murder

Even if we granted the most generous possible terms to the anti-


abortion camp, even if we pretended the fetus was fully rational
and contemplating Shakespeare in the womb, abortion would still
not be murder.

By Jennifer Wright
Apr 13, 2018
It is not surprising that Kevin Williamson, who called for women
who had abortions to be hanged (because they are, to his mind,
murderers), was recently fired from The Atlantic.

It ought to surprise us that he was hired at all.

That fact that he was, is only one of many signs that the Overton
window is shifting dramatically on whether it is acceptable to call
abortion murder. The three-term Idaho State Senator Bob Nonini
has suggested the death penalty for women who have
abortions. Another Idaho state senator, Dan Foreman,
shrieked, “abortion is murder” at a bunch of college students.
Meanwhile a bill introduced in Ohio would charge women who
receive abortions with murder.

Facts, conservatives are fond of saying, do not care about your


feelings. That is, unless they are conservative feelings, which we
are expected to treat with unerring delicacy, even when they are
scientifically unfounded.

Ben ShapiroVerified account @benshapiro

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Facts don't care about your feelings.

8:03 AM - 5 Feb 2016


There are a great many facts that conservatives feel comfortable
ignoring when it comes to the abortion debate. They can pretend
that fetuses are indistinguishable from babies, despite the fact
that medical evidence tells us that fetuses cannot live
unsupported, even with a respirator before 21 weeks. They can
pretend that they feel pain, even though scientific consensus tells
us that until at least 24 weeks, a fetus cannot feel anything
like pain because they do not yet have the brain connections to
do so.

They can pretend that every fertilized egg is a human, ignoring


the fact that the majority do not actually make it to birth and
this does not seem to upset people overmuch. (Jill Filipovic,
lawyer and author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of
Happiness, has quite reasonably pointed out that, “There has
been no concerted anti-abortion effort to demand research
funding into why all of these fertilized eggs die, or to find a cure.
Perhaps that’s because even the most active anti-abortion
advocates know the truth is that a fertilized egg is not the same
as a three-year-old, and they do not genuinely believe that it has
the same right to life.”)

They can pretend that abortions cause women horrible


psychological damage, although they do not. Or that women
who have them are plagued by regret (Results of a 2015 study
showed that approximately 95 percent of women who had had
abortions claimed it was the right decision for them). They
can say that women who have abortions are
somehow unusually promiscuous (pre-marital sex is "nearly
universal" in America, according to a 2007 study, and has
been for decades) or that women could easily avoid having
them by being on birth control (more than half of women who
get abortions are also using contraception).
The Leadership Conference

✔@civilrightsorg

6 Apr

BREAKING: We oppose the confirmation of Wendy Vitter to the


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Vitter does
not deserve a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary, and the
Senate must reject her nomination:
http://bit.ly/2qa1oDa #courtsmatter pic.twitter.com/BOQjKui5KZ

Rover6s@Hankus12

Get a grip. Wendy Vitter is an awesome candidate and will help


save the lives of thousands of unborn babies. Abortion is murder
not birth control. Get a clue and use a condom.

hannah ➹ @frecklesnlove

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I consider myself to be somewhat pro-choice, but I just have to


say that abortion is not a form of birth control. If you don’t want
kids, use condoms or the pill. Don’t rely on a very serious
procedure that can cause emotional trauma.

NastyBaba@LisaWinslow

1 Apr

Replying to @CyborgRogue and 4 others

Its not miniscule when its you. Its EVERYTHING! Forcing her to
gestate and birth is just as much a violation as tye rape itself.
#Consent

Rogue Cyborg@CyborgRogue

Then USE PROTECTION.

Abortion is not birth control


As they do so, they continue to set up “crisis pregnancy
centers” with the aim of lying to women and
distributing scientifically discredited information about
abortion.

But they do not get to pretend that women who have had
abortions are murderers who should be hanged.

Abortion is not murder.

Even if we granted the most generous possible terms to the anti-


abortion camp, even if we pretended the fetus was fully rational
and contemplating Shakespeare in the womb, like an Ian
McEwan character, abortion would still not be murder.

In large part, that’s because anti-abortionist’s argument hinges


upon the notion that life is always sacred and ought never be
taken. That is not the way the world operates.

Some pro-lifers are fond of exclaiming that we should treat


fertilized ovum with reverence since “A single cell discovered
on Mars [would] be considered life!”

Yes. And if that life posed any threat to us, we’d kill it
immediately.

One has a strong sense that people who invoke that argument
have never seen a movie about what happens when humans
encounter life in outer space.

But even in the case of human life, there are a great many
situations where, when one life poses a threat to another, that
life can reasonably be taken.

As for the notion that the fetus is non-threatening—it’s


impossible to deny that a fetus poses a risk to a woman purely
because she has to use her body to incubate it. And in America,
she has to do so in a country with the worst rate of maternal
deaths in the developed world.

"A fetus poses a risk to a woman purely because she


has to use her body to incubate it. And in America, she
has to do so in a country with the worst rate of
maternal deaths in the developed world."

If you think “okay, but that only happens to poor women”


well, no, but low income women do face greater risks. That is
one reason that denying women the right to abortion is a kind of
class warfare.Seventy-three percent of women seeking abortions
do so because they’re financially unready to have a child.
Legal abortions are considerably safer than childbirth. So, if
you believe in abortion only in cases where it endangers the life
of the mother, well, welcome to America, one of the few
countries where the maternal death rate is on the rise.
Pregnancy always endangers the life of a mother.

Even if a pregnancy is healthy and relatively free of


complications, it’s a grueling process.

We rarely talk about how difficult pregnancy can be. Socially, we


often opt to talk about how “pregnancy is
a beautiful experience”. But the notion that pregnancy is just
this beautiful, carefree experience doesn’t take into account the
vomiting, the gestational diabetes, hemorrhoids, bowel
problems, incontinence or any of the common
complications that follow pregnancy and birth. Even if you are
blessed with an easy pregnancy, some reports say as many as
95 percent of first-time mothers experience vaginal tearing.
You’d think that the likelihood of lacerations that require stitches
around your genitals alone would discount that rhetoric that a
woman can easily just have a baby and put it up for adoption.

Adam King@AdamIanKing

11 Apr

Replying to @GrantStanleyUK

They are trying to act like women have a right to feel comfortable
with the decisions they make. That’s just not a right anybody has. I
agonise over the decisions I make, because I want to make the
right one. I don’t demand a buffer zone around me and shout
#backoff....

Grant Stanley@GrantStanleyUK
Btw, I don't oppose what some call 'abortion' for bonkers religious
reasons. I oppose it because innocent babies are just that -
innocent. A solution already exists and it's called adoption. Lots of
couples who can't have kids for many reasons that would love to
adopt. #ProLife

Momma J @jordinnicole

11 Apr

Replying to @rea_t12

Women go through so much during a pregnancy and in my opinion,


it’s up to the woman if she wants to go through with it. Having a
child changes your life forever and if she’s not ready, she should
be able to do whatever she pleases

Kaitlyn Artman@artmankaitlyn

If you don't want to parent the child, there are other options aside
from abortion. There are SO many families who can't have a child
and choose to adopt. Put the baby up for adoption, but don't be so
selfish to take a innocent child's life.

There is a reason that those pro-birth ads show a


fetus magically suspended in darkness, as though it just
appears painlessly and does not necessitate the bodily sacrifice
of another human.

Because that’s not true.

Happily carrying a fetus to term is an act of the most profound,


generous love precisely because it does entail pain and sacrifice.
That should never be forced on anyone.

People do have a right to life, but they do not have a right to live
inside someone else’s body especially when doing so poses a
threat to that person’s body. Hell, to paraphrase
famous penis exposer and former comedian, Louis C.K., people
aren’t even allowed to live inside your house without your
consent. That’s based on the Castle Doctrine, which allows
individuals to use force—up to and including deadly force—to
remove individuals trespassing in their homes who they have
reason to think pose a threat to them. In the case of pregnancy,
keep in mind there’s a 95 percent chance that intruder will be
tearing up your genitals.

This notion that a man’s home is his castle and a woman’s body
is somehow a vacant space to be used by men as they wish—
whether they wish to grab it by the pussy or use it as a “host”
for a fetus—is one area where Trump’s more licentious
followerscan find common ground with Mike Pence’s devoutly
religious ones.

Most people’s bodies are, correctly, assumed to belong to the


soul inhabiting them. They—and all their parts—belong to them
in perpetuity, even after they have ceased to live. Doctors in the
U.S. can’t even use a deceased person’s organs to save other
lives unless the prior inhabitant of that body has agreed in
writing, despite the fact that an estimated 20 people a day
die in the U.S. waiting for transplants. (And presumably, the
removal of those organs would not endanger the wellbeing of
the person, who is already brain dead.)

The government using pregnant women’s bodies would require


no such consent from the women.

“Consent” of course, is a word that seems to carry greater weight


when applied to men than women. It is not mysterious that the
same party who cannot understand why women might feel great
tenderness and love towards a deeply desired fetus, yet none
towards an unwanted fetus, can’t seem to figure out why women
might consider sex joyful in circumstances when it is desired,
and violating when it is not.

But then, a “good” woman is basically supposed to be a giving


tree who consents to whatever men ask. A woman who doesn’t
consent to just about anything asked of her, whether it’s entering
a “caring career” or carrying a baby to term, is very quickly
labeled selfish.

@LadiesLoveBP

Ladies if you are finally at the spot in your career that you worked
so hard to get to but you got pregnant....would you keep and put
your career on hold or be selfish and abort the baby?
We might do better to consider whether what is being asked of
women is grossly unreasonable.

And frankly, if, rather than the government, any individual were
to force a woman to have a baby against her will, it would be
clear how unreasonable that request was.

My husband and I are trying to have a child. If we can’t conceive


naturally, would we be happy to adopt? Of course. That would
be a wonderful blessing. Would we threaten a pregnant woman
who didn’t want to give birth with terrible consequences (up to
and including death) if she refused to bear a child for us, simply
because we wanted one? No, because we are not sociopaths who
think other people exist solely for our benefit. If that’s obvious
to us (people who would really love to have a child), it should be
very obvious to a party that has absolutely no interest in
providing happy, healthy life for that child once they’re born.
As The Daily Intelligencerreports, "the GOP believes that it’s
more urgent to deliver tax cuts to corporate America than to
guarantee health care to working-class children."

But this was never really about babies.

Criminalization of abortion doesn’t lead to fewer abortions. It


leads to more women dying in unsafe procedures. I’m going
to say that again, because a lot—a lot—of people will tell you that
their objection to abortion is all about saving babies.

Criminalization of abortion doesn’t lead to fewer


abortions. It leads to more women dying in unsafe
procedures.

Studies from The Lancet have shown that the abortion rate
is higher in countries where the procedure in banned than
in countries where it’s allowed.
That may be because women in those countries also have less
access to birth control. But then, Planned Parenthood is a place
that also helps women get birth control. So shutting those
clinics down, as anti-abortion advocates claim to wish to do,
puts us in a position closer to those countries.

A representative from the World Health Organization put it


like this: “The law does not influence a woman’s decision to have
an abortion. If there’s an unplanned pregnancy, it does not
matter if the law is restrictive or liberal…. Generally, where
abortion is legal it will be provided in a safe manner.... And the
opposite is also true: where it is illegal, it is likely to be unsafe,
performed under unsafe conditions by poorly trained providers.”

When conservatives are bewildered that liberals can think that


gun control will work while criminalizing abortion will just drive
the procedure underground—

DC - Reagan Conservative Against Trump@dccra

9 Apr

Replying to @PenelopePratts and 49 others

Wow! Another thread hijacked by gun-grabbers and child-


murderers. NeverTrump or no, you can kiss my Conservative ass.
Larry Wallenmeyer@BuckWheezer

Has anyone noticed that those who support Abortion, and act that
has murdered between 62-73 MILLION HUMAN BABIES SINCE
1972 are ALSO THE SAME Liberals/LUNATICS that are FOR gun
control to save children's lives?? THAT IS BOTH Hypocrisy AND
Lunacy to the Nth degree!!

—well, that is because in other countries, gun control has


been proven to work. And other countries offer us consistent
proof that criminalizing abortion just kills women, and doesn’t
stop the procedure. Or, I suppose, we think this because facts
don’t care about your feelings.

But, alas, conservative feelings seem to be influencing more and


more policy.

We are already going back to the bad old days of the back alley
abortions that killed women like Gerri Santoro. As much as
conservatives try to dismiss grotesque acts like coat-hanger
abortions as mythological, they’re happening right now. We’re
seeing multiple cases in the U.S. of women trying to induce
abortions with coat hangers in the past decade. Secret
networks are already forming of women to provide at-home
abortions for women who can’t access legal ones. They
shouldn’t have to form. As they do, it’s only a matter of time until
we see more back-alley abortionists like Pennsylvania doctor
Kermit Gosnell, who provided illegal abortions to low-income
women, killing a woman in the process, spring up. If we
valued women’s lives even a little, if we did not think that
endorsing killing women was merely a “controversial view”, as in
the case of Kevin Williamson, they wouldn’t need to spring up.

A fetus’s right to life is debatable. A woman’s is not.

"A fetus’s right to life is debatable. A woman’s is


not."

Legislators who could criminalize abortion can find information


about this with tremendous ease. If they don’t, they are either
too poorly informed to be legislating on this issue, or they are
aware women will end up dead and they don’t care. They know
it won’t save babies, because, again, comparable numbers of
women have sought the procedure whether it is legal or illegal.
They don’t care about that either.

If they don’t care about that, what do they care about? All that
seems left is punishing women who don’t desire motherhood.

But then, abortion panic was borne out of hatred of women


taking on new roles in the world. In the mid 19th century, when
one estimate reportedly suggested there was one abortion for
every five or six live births, the politician Augustus Gardner
claimed, “We can forgive the poor, deluded girl… But for the
married shirk, who disregards her divinely ordained duty, we
have nothing but contempt.” This rhetoric and the criminalization
of abortion occurred just as women were beginning to campaign
for the vote. Women, if Gardner’s view is something to go by,
were becoming unruly shirkers, and they needed to be put back
in their place.

That rhetoric doesn’t sound so different than the men who claim
that women getting abortions are “selfish” today. There
are people who think: “I believed that it was women’s role, as
laid down by God, to have children….child bearing was what
women were made for, after all." And if they don’t want to bear
children, there are people, sometimes in their own family, who
think they should be punished. Statistically, it’s likely that
being forced to give birth will have some punishing impact on
women’s lives.

Restricting rights to abortion does limit women. A 2017 study


found that women who are denied abortions are
significantly more likely to experience extreme poverty.
While studies indicate that women who have had abortions
experience little psychological distress afterwards (well, except
when people are calling for them to be hanged) women who
are denied abortions do have worse psychological outcomes.

It is a popular argument that an aborted fetus might have grown


up to be the doctor who cured cancer, or the President of the
United States. Well, so too might those women who were forced
against their will to function as breeding chattel. But pursuing
those dreams, which might have necessitated an abortion, well,
that would have been selfish.

Margaret Atwood remarked in a recent interview: "Of those


promoting enforced childbirth, it should be asked: Cui bono? Who
profits by it? Sometimes this sector, sometimes that. Never no
one.”

Today, it’s beneficial to the legislators who want to appeal to


certain factions of the right. Being anti-abortion is a stance that
appeals to the Breitbart-reading right who believe “We need
the kids if we’re to breed enough to keep the Muslim invaders at
bay.” Or the evangelicals who seem generally upset about the
outcomes of the sexual revolution. Or those who believe that,
“Motherhood is the most sacred duty of White woman, duty
towards our ancestors and descendants alike." Or, of course, the
poorly informed, of whom there are many.

Ask yourself if those are the people you want determining the
legal policies surrounding your body. They might be.

But if they’re not, in general, the answer to Atwood’s “cui bono”


is not "women." It’s not even "babies."

If you are a woman, never forget that your body is yours. No one
has any right to any part of it without your consent. Your breasts
are yours, your vagina is yours, your womb is yours. The body
that houses your soul is already occupied. It is occupied by you.
You live there. And you do not have to let anyone use it without
your permission.