I like to read WordPress’s Freshly Pressed articles. I don’t always read them, but every now and then, one will catch my eye. The one that caught my eye today was called Frankie v. Debra, Roe v. Wade: Can you still be a feminist if you’re anti-abortion?
I read the article, but not all 200 comments. The article began by comparing two of Patricia Heaton‘s sitcom roles and then discussed some of the actress’s personal opinions, including her membership in a group called Feminists for Life, a group that apparently is very pro-life.
I really wanted to comment on the article, which went up about a week ago, but sadly, comments were closed, so I decided to turn my comment into a post. I believe that you can be a feminist if you’re against abortion. I don’t believe that the two ideas must be mutually exclusive. I mean, really, why should being a feminist automatically mean that you’re in favor of abortion?
According to Dictionary.com, feminism is defined as “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” Evidently the author has taken this definition to mean that if one is a feminist, one must also be pro-choice because men have the choice of what to do with their bodies. In order for a woman to possess equal rights with a man, she must therefore have the choice of what to do with her body. But I think women can choose not to have abortions, to carry their children to term and put them up for adoption, and have that choice be just as valid as having an abortion. One way or another, that child will no longer be part of its mother’s life.
For the record, I am against abortion. However, I do believe that there are certain circumstances when it is warranted (in cases of rape and incest and in cases where the mother’s and/or the baby’s lives are in danger) and I do believe that abortion should be legal. Why? Simple. The legality of abortion never stopped it from happening, just as the legality of drinking never stopped it from happening. Speakeasies were all over the place during Prohibition, if you knew where to find them, just as doctors who were willing to perform abortions were all over before Roe v. Wade. But if abortion is legalized, then it can be controlled and regulated. People are going to do it whether it’s legal or not, whether you agree with their choices or not, so wouldn’t you rather have them doing it in a safe and sterile environment? Why risk endangering the mother’s life in addition to her child’s?
Maybe I’m just talking in circles here. It’s getting late and I’m tired; I started this post four hours ago when I was much more awake. I think I’ve stated my case. Now it’s your turn. What do you think: Can you be a feminist if you’re anti-abortion? Why or why not?
(c) 2012. All rights reserved.
- Frankie v. Debra: Can You Still Be a Feminist If You\’re Anti-Abortion? (beamagazine.wordpress.com)
- Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for August 2012 (en.blog.wordpress.com)