“Women’s Reproductive Rights” is the language of an industry that preys on the defenseless and on the doubts and fears of women. “Women’s Reproductive Rights” is the abortion lobby’s greatest trick, their biggest victory. But in the clever ways it has hidden the atrocity of abortion, the phrase is intellectually dishonest. I think it’s essential to acknowledge how and why in order to properly refocus the conversation.
The phrase has successfully removed the child from the conversation on abortion. It places the right to an abortion along the same lines as the right to an unmedicated birth, or the right to a tubal ligation. The manipulation seeks to avoid any mention of a second life. The pro-life movement hinges on the belief that every life, at every stage of development, regardless of the circumstances of conception or health or disability, EVERY life, has value and is worth protecting. So you can paint “My Body, My Choice” on ten million signs, but honesty demands we acknowledge that there are TWO bodies, two heartbeats, two lives in question.
The phrase places the mother as a rival against her own child. An unplanned pregnancy is not a condition to be treated like an infection. A pregnant woman should not see herself in a battle between her rights and the rights of an unwanted dependent. If there is a battle at play, it should be a woman, fighting FOR her child, against the fears and doubts that tell her that she couldn’t possibly. Not right now. Not this child. A mother should not be in opposition with her child, she should be his or her hero. And if you do not feel like a hero, there are plenty of people willing to help until you do.
The phrase places the woman in opposition with a Straw Man oppressor. Nobody wants to take away your right to vote, or get a tattoo, or dye your hair pink. I don’t think the “right” to hurt a child is real. So I don’t want your “rights”. I want to protect unborn children.
The phrase gives women something to fight for. Who doesn’t want to fight FOR something instead of against? But the fight for the legal right to hurt a child is not worth fighting. Instead, let’s fight for a woman’s choice to parent a child or choose a loving family to raise them. Let’s fight to get women assistance when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Let’s fight against shame and judgment and discrimination. Let’s fight for children to get a quality education and affordable healthcare and proper nutrition.
Let’s fight for truth; being honest about “women’s reproductive rights” is a good place to start.