Friday, April 02, 2010

Hey Feminists: Reproductive Justice Means Supporting Women, Not Abortion

by Anne Marie Polak
April 1
, 2010 Note: Anne Marie Polak writes for Americans United for Life, a national pro-life legal and legislative group. This is one part of AUL's special series of opinion columns in honor of women's history month.

According to the National Organization of Women (NOW), real reproductive justice for women requires “self-determination, equality, and the respect and support of her society” to help end “the discrimination and inequality that keep women from controlling their own reproductive lives.[i]

NOW’s quote suggests two things; that access to abortion on demand will engender more societal support for women and that women are currently unable to control their reproductive lives.

Ironically, NOW’s first assertion, that access to abortion on demand will create greater support in society for women–and ostensibly for women in all of their capacities–has not only failed to materialize in the 37 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationally, but in fact has created just the opposite obstacle for women.

In the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, [ii] Justice Sandra Day O'Conner writes, “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.”

And concomitantly, women lawyers who support abortion, such as Dawn Johnsen who worked for the National Women’s Law Center, stress that limits on abortion affect women’s equality, going so far even as to say that pregnancy is “disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude” because of the physical demands involved.[iii]

Yet after 37 years of abortion on demand, perhaps the individuals who claim that more abortion will lead to more equality should ask themselves whether their fixation on choice prevents them from asking real questions about how to achieve further, actual, equality for women. Full story.

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