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Self-ownership is irrelevant in the abortion debate

Self-ownership is a fallacious concept that sounds nice, but doesn’t do women any favors. In the abortion debate, this takes the form of,”Women can do whatever they want with their bodies.” Yet such a concept is not pro-abortion, instead tip-toeing around in an attempt to be a balanced view and make the issue an individualistic and not a collective one. Women need to have this policy completely decided now, either supportive of abortion or not.

TL;DR Abortion on demand, no exceptions, no restrictions, no time limits.

We do not own our bodies, because if we did, that implies we can give ownership over to someone else. You cannot be the owner of something and the owned at the same time. Rather, we inhabit them. By referring to self-ownership one implies that a woman is dissociated and does whatever regardless of her feelings or the effects on her body (even if they are negative effects). So there is a sort of refusal to discuss the negative effects of pregnancy, childbirth, and even motherhood and raising children. By association, a refusal to discuss the benefits abortion provides over going through with the pregnancy and giving birth, except in saving the would-be mother’s life in the very literal sense; saving her life in terms of time, energy, money, etc. are trivialized as selfish and child-hating. Anti-abortionists talk about supposedly traumatic abortions, yet pro-choicers also go with this to say something reluctant like,”Abortion is a hard and terrible thing, and it’s never an easy decision.” Women are afraid to say if they went with abortion easily, and wouldn’t have had it any other way, because of our culture geared towards procreation which considers the unborn’s life to be worth more than the woman’s and trumping her freedom.

I noticed also that when people start talking about refusing to procreate or are even just criticizing heterosexuality, the arguments tend to devolve to,”But humans need to reproduce or they’ll go extinct! We must perpetuate the species!” With a world population of 7 billion (and counting), there is no real danger of extinction from the rising trend of non-procreation, but this fact is also ignored. And notice who is really being enocuraged to procreate: ‘nice’ white people, seen as unselfish, whereas minorities are seen as irresponsible.

That’s not even talking about the number of unwanted children in the U.S. :

– 1/3 of births are unintended x

– Over a hundred thousand children sitting in foster care every year (not including those eligible for adoption) Stats: xxxx;  397,000 in foster care in the U.S. x

– Children who aren’t adopted because even many parents who have the best reasons to do so don’t (or they’re seen as failing or giving up), resent and abuse them

– Disabled, mentally ill, and gay/lesbian children end up thrown out and end up homeless or sexually trafficked

– – 1.5 million homeless children in America  X

– 16.2 million children who are going hungry in America X

– 18,900,000 children who are refuges, running from violence in their homelands X

– 6 million children in the U.S. alone who are abused each year X

– .2 million children who are trafficked, sold as slaves, usually sexual slaves, each year X

– the fact that having children is a gamble and a parent never knows if their children could end up torturing, raping or killing others as children, teenagers or adults; and as adults, they can end up abusing their partners many of whom do not report to the police

Yet anti-abortionists are more concerned with the the unborn, non-sentient fetuses over issues of personal responsibility and the desire to have and care for children. This is an issue of forced pregnancy, which should be considered a form of rape. Hence abortion (along with birth control) are not on equal grounds with procreation. It is the choice argument that pretends they are both viable to women.

The choice argument is closely related to the self-ownership argument and is just as erroneous. Choice has to do with family planning, as many women who have abortions go on to become mothers, so it is not supportive of being childfree which is decidedly pro-abortion, but childless which implies women are lacking. There are other implications. If a Christian woman can “choose” to give herself to God and/or her husband, and let her fate be determined by his will, then she doesn’t have the choice of abortion. It’s not an option for her. “Choice” is an illusion, and ends up being supportive of being either pro-choice or anti-abortionist (regardless of intent). Remember crisis clinics? They should be illegal, but they present themselves as offering women the “choice” to not go through with abortion, as if that isn’t already encouraged. Same with the lack of buffer zones for anti-abortionist protesters’ “freedom of speech”. I won’t go into detail here, but the choice argument’s implicit association with personal responsibility ends up being victim-blaming and is used as the same support for rape, prostitution, and slavery. It implies that people could have just as equally taken a different course of action and, in the case of victims, that they should regret they didn’t.

Men love the choice argument, because it allows them to have a stake over a woman’s body. If conservative men influence the women to be reproductive chattel, then liberal men do so for them to be sexual chattel. Notice that married women tend to have children, while prostituted ones abortion; both in their relation to men. Women thus end up “choosing” what is expected of them anyway.

Don’t get confused, I am not advocating forced abortion. I am not advocating against forcing people to not have children. But I’d like to point out that there are a lot of orphans and there’s this thing we have known as adoption; couples even get interviewed to see if they are fit to be parents, which is more than what I can say for most. The support of adoption, while seemingly benign, does get relegated to sterile people. Those who are “fertile” and want to adopt get hostility because “they’re supposed to want and love their own flesh and blood more” or “they’re depriving themselves of the joy of childbirth” etc. to say nothing if it’s a woman saying it because her “biological clock is ticking” and the prejudice that women are lacking or worthless without motherhood, so any single women need to “hurry up” and find themselves a man just to do the deed with  All excuses which are pretty damn selfish and in favor of suffering martyrdom, the belief that women need to/are made to suffer is so ingrained. I don’t see any problem with adoption and these supposed problems are promoted by people who not only procreate but believe others will/must procreate, based on the assumption that if you were made to reproduce then you should (biology as destiny). The adopters aren’t being deprived of having children; they’re just not having their own and producing more children.

“It was the brake that pregnancy put on fucking that made abortion a high-priority political issue for men in the 1960s—not only for young men, but also for the older leftist men who were skimming sex off the top of the counterculture and even for more traditional men who dipped into the pool of hippie girls now and then.
The decriminalization of abortion—for that was the political goal—was seen as the final fillip: it would make women absolutely accessible, absolutely “free.” The sexual revolution, in order to work, required that abortion be available to women on demand. If it were not, fucking would not be available to men on demand. Getting laid was at stake. Not just getting laid, but getting laid the way great numbers of boys and men had always wanted—lots of girls who wanted it all the time outside marriage, free, giving it away. The male-dominated Left agitated for and fought for and argued for and even organized for and even provided political and economic resources for abortion rights for women. The Left was militant on the issue.”

– Right-Wing Women, by Andrea Dworkin


3 thoughts on “Self-ownership is irrelevant in the abortion debate

  1. Pingback: Two entries on self-ownership and “choice.” | The Prime Directive

  2. You make an important point. Accepting a woman’s body as a commodity is unnecessary… it has been too long that women are considered property, objects, tools. “Owning oneself” is very different than being a free and free-thinking human being.

    Another point: “Choice” is a sort of ceding the moral high ground to the anti-abortion movement, who would have us think women who get abortions are murderers. They reject science and fight for a literal biblical role for women in society (property). They glorify fetuses and reduce women to incubators by doing so. In the meantime, the other side has spent decades inching away from even using the word “abortion.”

    Not only should women’s bodies as commodities not be the accepted standard (I own my body, my body = property/tool/slave), but anyone and everyone who believes that women are full human being should fight boldly for abortion on demand and without apology. Anything less is sliding off to the right. Progressives cry, “Choice!” and the Right says, “Aha! But some choices are wrong!” and you know what?? Some choices are wrong!! But abortion ain’t one of them! So let’s speak about women as human, and abortion abortion without squeamishness or euphemism, because at this point we are going to have to change a whole hell of a lot of minds and fight like hell to reverse this very dangerous path they have us on… back to openly dark ages female enslavement.

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