Frederica Mathewes-Green explains why abortion remains the sacrament of feminism. The fact that she was once an ardent feminist herself makes her perspective quite compelling. She argues that feminists sought to be equal to men with respect to having a career and having a promiscuous sex-life. The main obstacle to those two goals was the possibility of a pregnancy. So abortion became the necessary condition for careerism and promiscuity. Women could not have complete sexual and professional freedom without unfettered access to abortion on demand. She writes:
Thus these two bad ideas come together, pressing in like the jaws of a vise, and making a woman feel she has no escape but abortion. Feminism sought (1) increased access to public life, and (2) increased sexual freedom. But that participation in public life is significantly complicated by responsibility for children, and uncommitted sexual activity is the most effective means of producing unwanted pregnancies. This dilemma—simultaneous pursuit of behaviors that cause children and that are hampered by children—inevitably finds its resolution on an abortion table.
Feminists defend abortion with desperate passion because the whole shaky structure of their lives depends upon it…
This is why the fight against legal abortion cannot stand alone. If we could padlock all the abortion clinics tomorrow, we’d see the next morning a line 3,200 women long pounding on the doors. We wouldn’t have solved the problems that make their pregnancies seem unbearable. We wouldn’t have changed the context that normalizes promiscuity and undermines their power to say no. We wouldn’t have restored respect for the profession of mothering, or respect for fathering for that matter, so that men would be proud to love the moms and support the children whose lives they begin.
These three interlocking bad ideas—abortion, careerism, and promiscuity—present a complicated picture, and initially a depressing one. If you’ve ever played the game of pick-up sticks, you know how impossible the task looks at the beginning, when you must gradually and carefully dislodge the first sticks one at a time without collapsing the pile.
While pro-choice advocates present abortion as an act of autonomy, pregnant women experience it rather as a response to abandonment. Pregnancy is the icon of human connectedness, binding a woman to her child and the father of the child. Abortion shatters those connections and leaves her desolate.
This article is fantastic and well-worth your time to read. Feminist ideals have become so much a fixture of American life that many people hardly realize the extent to which their own worldview has been shaped by it. I would challenge readers to test yourselves as you read this article to see how deeply you may have drunk from the well of feminism. Read the rest here.