There is no “Abortion Debate.”

There is really no such thing as an “abortion” debate. What we are actually having when we discuss abortion is a freedom debate. Who gets to decide whether or not a woman should stay pregnant against her will? Should it be the woman herself, or should she be forced to cede that power to the government? The current incarnation of the Republican Party, which thinks of itself as ‘”small government” thinks they should be able to try, convict and jail all of the women who choose to not stay pregnant.

Welcome to the “land of the free,” GOP style. There is more to this debate than meets the eye. For example, when I ask the following question, no self-respecting Republican will ever answer:

If we give the government the power to force women to stay pregnant against her will now, don’t we also give them the power to force women to abort once circumstances change? Isn’t that slope quite slippery?

Let’s face it; the Republican Party features an authoritarian ideology that seeks to take away a woman’s authority over her own body. Some of them refer to it as a “holocaust,” which indicates that they can’t even imagine that the woman’s rights should ever be factored in. When they use imagery designed to make people believe they’re protecting “babies” from slaughter, they couldn’t care less about protecting anyone; their focus is complete control. Women don’t “attack” the fetus, and they don’t “kill babies.” In an overwhelming majority of abortions, the fetus is incapable of life outside the womb. Republicans know this, which is why they have been passing legislation setting an arbitrary “20 weeks” as the latest that a woman can have an abortion. Make no mistake; they will reduce that in the future. And they will do it because nothing they do is based on science; it’s completely arbitrary. That’s how authoritarians work.

Abortion is about some women simply choosing not to bring an unwanted fetus to term. No one is “attacking it,” they’re removing it from their own body. Consider the following and you can see just how inconsistent their view can be.

(For the anti-choicers out there, the following is called a hypothetical. Have someone teach you what that is.)

Suppose you went to the hospital for an appendectomy. While you were recovering from surgery, doctors attached another man to your lung and advised you that he had to stay attached to you and be allowed to use your lung function for nine months, or he would die. Would anyone call you a murderer if you demanded the guy be removed from your lung, and he died as a result? Of course not. I even doubt that any far right anti-choice fanatic would consider “murder” to be the proper term for something like that, and I doubt seriously if they would demand that you be thrown in jail because you ordered him removed. The bottom line is, in that situation, it could not rightfully be said to have killed that person. Wait killed him was his inability for his lungs to function.

And yet, these same people would happily throw any woman in jail who wants a fetus removed from her body. They claim to be honoring the “sanctity of life,” but they apparently don’t “sanctify” all life, because the woman’s needs don’t even enter into their equation, even in cases of “legitimate rape,” a term that Republicans coined in their authoritarian zeal to force women to stay pregnant against their will.

I would have more respect for this “sanctity of life” garbage, if the right wing actually showed some consistency on the issue, but they really don’t. The fact is, those of us who belong to the pro-choice crowd actually do more to prevent abortions than the “sanctity of life” folks ever dreamed of.

Think about it;

  • Republican “sanctity of life” goons work hard to curtail welfare payments to poor families. Never mind that doing so increases the likelihood that a poor woman who gets pregnant will have an abortion.
  • Every chance they get, the “sanctity of life” Republicans cut food aid for children, thus making abortion a more viable option. Republicans apparently believe that cuts in Food Stamps/SNAP encourage women to have their baby, but they think climate change is a hoax.
  • Republicans actively advocate against the inclusion of contraception costs in health insurance, thus ensuring an increase in unwanted pregnancies, which potentially means more abortions.
  • Republicans are the first to label women who get pregnant outside of marriage as “sluts” and other derogatory terms, thus creating a “norm” under which women are more likely to try to get rid of the fetus before they can be ‘”found out.”
  • While Republican “sanctity of life” fools tout “adoption” as an alternative to abortion, they actively try to limit the population of “acceptable” adoptive parents by deny adoption rights to single people and gay couples.
  • Republicans have been killing sex education programs in schools for years, to replace them with “abstinence only” programs that are proven to not work.
  • Republicans have tried to kill Planned Parenthood, which prevents far more abortions than any “sanctity of life” group out there.

Essentially, anti-choice Republicans only want a law banning abortion. They have no real interest in reducing the number of abortions, or they would be on our side. They’re interested in one thing; giving themselves control over a woman’s reproduction processes.

There is no “abortion debate.” Call it what it is; a “freedom debate.” Republicans don’t want women to feel free. While the Republican Party talks about “freedom” and the “Constitution,” their rhetoric  features a whole lot of exceptions, especially for anyone who isn’t a rich white man.