Jessica Valenti on abortion (please, stifle those yawns!):
There are certain polite terms that even the most well intentioned, prudent pro-choice people use when they talk about abortion. The most difficult decision. Tragic. Safe, legal and rare. But as state after state makes abortion effectively illegal in the United States – and as the anti-choice movement prepares for a US supreme court fight to end the right entirely – it’s time for the pro-choice movement to lose the protective talking points and stop dancing around the bigger truth: Abortion is good for women.
Not quite so good for unborn babies, but hey, who cares about that, eh?
In Katha Pollitt’s new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, she argues that, as much as abortion is a private medical decision, it’s also a necessary public good. “We should accept that it’s good for everyone if women only have the children they want and can raise well,” she writes.
Oh, if only we had a reliable method of preventing women from having children, eh, Jessica?
The pro-choice movement needs to put the opposition on its heels, and make what some in the “pro-forced birth” movement say what they’re really thinking: that it’s more important for women be mothers than go to college; that the ability to support existing children, to have a job that pays well or to pursue a career path we love are inconsequential realities compared to embracing our “natural” role as perpetually pregnant; that a woman’s ability to incubate a fetus trumps any other contribution to society that she could possibly make.
And none of that load of old emotive codswallop seems to take account of the fact that, in 2014, no woman need be risking pregnancy.