Their priority is providing better economic support for pregnant women and girls, rather than outlawing abortion outright. I can definitely get behind that goal, but not just because I’d like to reduce the abortion rate. I want to lift women out of poverty for the sake of the women, not just their fetuses. They also want to make the adoption process friendlier, which sort of misses the point. Adoption is an alternative to parenthood, not pregnancy. Some women simply do not want to be pregnant.
This is what the new pro-lifers cannot seem to grasp. As Frances Kissling points out, they use a rosy view of pregnancy to advance their policy positions. It’s not grounded in reality – the reality that pregnancy is dangerous and babies are not always blessings and women are autonomous moral and physical agents. Both the new and the old pro-lifers treat women as incubators. The former group just uses more flowery language.
The new pro-lifers minimize the risks of pregnancy, claiming there is never a “need” for abortion. You can only believe this if you reject the idea that women are independent beings with a right to determine the paths of their own lives. To the new pro-lifers, women don’t choose their destinies; their biology does. And as you may have guessed, our biology wants us to carry every pregnancy to term. What really baffles is the new pro-lifers’ rejection of contraception. Pregnancy prevention does not play a central role in their platform. Support for contraception even gets some new pro-lifers kicked out of the club.
The realities of women’s lives are ignored by the new pro-lifers. Pregnancy is treated as a mere “inconvenience” and women are thought to be empty vessels who’ll always “choose life” if the price is right. And a lot of the new pro-lifers’ beliefs are religious in nature, natch. Self-determinism isn’t given consideration because we do not own ourselves; god does. The new pro-lifers may be kinder and gentler than the old ones, but their simplistic worldview is not only a fantasy; it’s insulting to women.