They’re Not Pro-Life, They’re Anti-Woman

They’re Not Pro-Life,

They’re Anti-Woman

It was 1989. It was two o’clock in the morning. I was a sophomore in college, nineteen-years-old, sitting on the floor in the living room of my college apartment. I can still remember the sounds of the screams; the feeling of shattered glass as it brushed passed me; and my roommate’s voice asking if everyone was ok.

We were making posters to take with us to D.C. the next day for the Pro-Choice March on Washington. “Keep your rosaries off my rosaries;” “Pro-Choice = Pro-Woman;” “Keep your legislation out of my uterus;” our signs read. That was why we were now sitting in a room strewn with glass. That was why we were suddenly looking at a brick in the center of the room.

That brick had a piece of paper wrapped around it held in place by a dirty rubber band. I can’t tell you why I remember it was dirty. But I do. I remember all sorts of minute details from that early morning because it was the most frightened I believe I had ever been up until that point in my life. No one said a word. My roommate rolled the rubber band off the brick and unfolded the note.

"Women have a right to their bodies and healthcare. So, there is no reason to make abortion illegal just because men want that control instead."

“Death to Feminazis and baby killers,” the note read. We were all stunned. We cleaned up the glass. We talked nervously about whether or not to call the police. We were scared. And then we were angry. We went back to our sign making. The terrorists had failed. They didn’t make us from our path. They only fueled our resolve.

That was nearly thirty years ago, and I still hear those words volleyed carelessly around – Feminazi, babykiller – and I am still stunned that denying healthcare to women is something people vehemently fight for and I am still puzzled at the arguments used as not one of them is valid or applicable. All I could think then, and all I still have to believe today, is that the battle is not about abortion or babies or human life. Never was. Never will be. The battle is over men controlling women’s bodies.

It’s not hard to see. A simple parsing of the “arguments” used by the anti-choicers. (I will not call them pro-lifers as they are not in any way supporting life). First they argue that life begins at conception not because of science but because of God. Well, seeing as believing in God is both a choice and something that the law says must be keep separated from matters of state, that’s a non-starter.

Second, they argue that abortion kills babies, also a non-starter. Abortion removes cells that would otherwise develop into babies. Cells have no rights. Third, they argue that “life” must be protected. But these same people have absolutely no interest in the life of the mother. They don’t care if her life is in danger because of the birth or because someone will kill her if they discover she’s pregnant. And they have equally no interest in the life of the baby once she or he is born as the same anti-choicers who kidnap women to keep them from having abortions do not support governmental services to care for the child.

"They don’t care if her life is in danger because of the birth or because someone will kill her if they discover she’s pregnant." Photo Courtesy of QNS

So, they have no right putting their religion on other people’s bodies, and they don’t actually care about life. They just feign to in order to help their cause. They don’t take issue with any other medical procedure. They don’t take issue with men masturbating and wasting their seed. Shouldn’t that sperm be saved to make a baby? And these are the same folks who are happy to see insurance cover Viagra. But if a pregnancy, even in the case of incest or rape is God’s will, how is impotence not God’s will? Clearly God does not want impotent men to procreate. Otherwise, he would have assured their ability to have sex.

The same arguments get played over and over and the fact that they are not arguments at all simply doesn’t seem to matter. Over the years, the anti-choicers have killed doctors, kidnapped women, and blown up clinics. Yet, they claim they support life. Over the years, anti-choicers have argued that more women die when abortion is legal. Yes, they actually argue that more women die from safe, legal, accessible abortions then from resorting to having wire hangers and filthy knives and probes inserted into their vaginas while they lay on soiled sheets draped over tables set in dirty alleys and basements.

This is not about opinions. This is about statistics. This is about facts. This is about thousands of women a year who died when abortion was illegal. This is about creating a myth about abortion doctors chopping up babies and selling their parts. This is about control. This is about control. This is about control.

What anti-choicers actually want to is control women. They want to control women’s bodies. They want to control women’s sexuality. They see abortion as a method of birth control, as an easy out for women whoring around and carelessly getting pregnant at every turn. Take it from a women who has had an abortion. Who has walked through the screaming protestors at the clinic, who has laid on the table and heard the whir of the machine, who has suffered the pain of the procedure and the blood of recovery. Women do not have frivolously have abortions. They do not figure, “Why not have unprotected sex? Who cares if I get pregnant? I can always just pop on over to the clinic and have a painful, expensive procedure that will leave me cramping and aching and sore and bleeding for days to come.”

And how do you explain the women who are anti-choicers? That’s easy. Brainwashing. It is a powerful tool. It is a tool passed down generation to generation. The lies are set in place. God’s law is law. Abortion kills beautiful little full term babies. A baby born as a result of a rape or a case of incest is a good thing coming out of something bad. Only sluts get abortions. There is a stronghold on the minds of women who still believe they in any way need a man to survive. Side note – they don’t.

It’s all wildly ridiculous and it is all wildly offensive. If anti-choicers were really about protecting life, why not stop things at the source? What about the men who get them pregnant? Why not control them instead? Why not give them reversible vasectomies? Why not teach them to be pure? Why not have them vow their virginity to their mothers until marriage? Why not teach them that birth control is their responsibility? Why not, hmmm? Why not? Why not indeed.

The abortion battle is not about abortion. It never was. The abortion battle is about reminding women of their place. The abortion battle is about controlling women and their bodies and sexuality. The abortion battle is about continuing the nauseating “boys will boys” mentality that will forever mean they need mommy to clean up their messes. They need women to be chaste because it suits the story they have created for themselves.

But it’s a story that simply does not make any sense. It’s a vision that perpetuates that virgin/whore complex. It’s a vision that infantilizes women. It’s a vision that kills women. It’s a vision that leads to unwanted babies. It’s a vision that simply cannot be tolerated any longer.

It’s simple. A separation of church and state is still the law of our land. So, there is no reason to make abortion illegal because the religion of some does not support it. Women have a right to their bodies and healthcare. So, there is no reason to make abortion illegal just because men want that control instead. Lives are saved when abortion is safe, legal, and accessible to ALL women. So, there is no reason to make abortion illegal because some people refuse to accept the facts that women die when abortion is illegal and babies suffer and die when they are unwanted.

This resurgence against abortion, like the horrible and devastatingly restrictive laws just passed in Mississippi and Iowa is a distraction. It is an attempt to chip away at women’s autonomy. It’s the same as suggesting insurance shouldn’t cover birth control. It’s the same as offering no sex ed or abstinence only education which is the same or worse. It’s the same as purity balls.

My mother was so upset when she found out I was headed to Washington for the Pro-Choice March. She wasn’t upset because I was supporting abortion rights. She was having upset that I was having to march for the same rights she had marched for decades prior. It is insanity that we are back here having this conversation again, or perhaps more to the point, still.

We have to pay attention. We have to vote in mid-term elections. We have to protest. We have to educate. We have to fight. If you think Handmaid’s Tale could never happen. Think again. Walls come down one brick at a time until there is nothing but rubble. Abortion rights must stand lest the world of freedom and equality that we are still at work building is at risk of crumbling to the ground.

Jenny Block

JENNY BLOCK is a frequent contributor to a number of publications from Huffington Post to Playboy, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex, and O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.

5 Comments
  1. Every single argument you put in their mouth could so easily be rebutted. Have a real conversation with a genuine pro lifer and you’ll see how wrong you characterize them. It’s easy to demonize your opponent when you refuse to talk to them. Get out of your echo chamber and engage in debate. This will strengthen your argument or let it evolve as you hear new ideas that you haven’t heard before. The people who are afraid of having a conversation are the ones who know they’re wrong.

  2. I’m Pro-Life and I recognize there is a lot of pain and emotion on both sides of this debate. Both sides talk past one another and there is little constructive dialogue. I only ask that you listen to what I have to say, even if you can’t agree with it.

    I have really tried to understand the pro-choice point of view, and I simply cannot. I believe this debate is about defining when a developing human fetus should legally gain human rights. When and if this happens, it is no longer just part of a woman’s body, but an individual human being with legal rights. It is completely logical to say that human life begins at conception, as the embryo is genetically fully human, and has all the potential to develop into a fully grown human being. Defining any other point as the moment when human life begins (90 days, 120 days, birth) is completely arbitrary. It concerns me that such a definition is weak against the tendency of some to push that definition even further (into infancy or later).

  3. “Potential” to develop into a fully grown human being is not the same as being a functional human being. As long as a fetus depends fully on its mother, it’s part of the mother. When the fetus is viable and capable of living outside of the mother, that’s when he or she should have personhood. And not all full term fetuses are viable.

    No one should be forced to be pregnant. And I am tired of reading comments from people who will never be forced to be pregnant or accept all of the risks that come from pregnancy.

  4. You are not forced to be pregnant, it is your choice to (in most cases, as there are outliers) be irresponsible and have sex without protection.

    Fact the amount of abortions that are performed due to possible harm to the mother if pregnancy continues is less than 1%

    Fact the amount of abortions that are performed due to rape of the mother is less that 1%.

    In this argument we need to focus on the majority, and 95% of abortions are performed due to the mother “not being ready for a child” whether it be economical, psychological, or social reasons. This is wrong. A woman should know that if she chooses to become pregnant due to negligence, she can’t just take the easy way out. She should be held responsible for her choices and actions.

    I hate this argument “viability” a human in a coma is not viable. But we still spend the money, and resources to keep this “viable” life alive. Because it has potential. If we can argue against killing someone in a coma, we can argue against killing a child in the womb. Therefore the “viability” argument is invalid.

    This child is a human, as soon as those two gametes combine you are given a full set of DNA, a full blueprint to a whole human. This DNA which represents a whole and complete human, will be the same DNA
    That individual will have 30 years down the road.

    I know life starts as soon as two gametes combine and start a whole new life with DNA completely separate to that of the mother. This “clump of cells” is no longer a part of you. It is not your body. Because no woman has two different sets of DNA. This new set of DNA is an individual.

    So please not all pro-lifers are Bible toting morons. We are people who think logically and critically. How about actually studying the side your opposing instead of just going on an uneducated rant.

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