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Feb 19, 2013
Recently, a woman in Maryland passed away while having a very late-term, medically-indicated abortion. Naturally, anti-choice activists have been having a heyday with this tragedy. In an efforts to portray this woman as a hapless, uninformed victim of her abortion provider (while totally flouting her and her family’s privacy in the process), these anti-choicers have provided a telling glimpse at the seedy underbelly of the supposedly ‘pro-woman’ vein of the anti-choice movement, one that continues to push the notion that women are somehow incapable of making important medical decisions for themselves. Marcotte really hits the nail on the head in yesterday’s RHRealityCheck article:
This woman had a pregnancy gone horribly wrong and needed an abortion for medical reasons, an abortion that was no doubt difficult to choose because it represented the loss of a much-wanted baby. To paint her as some sort of moron who was hoodwinked into an abortion because she was too dumb to know better is beyond vile. That’s a level of misogyny that assumes women have no brains at all, that assumes women are too stupid to make even the most basic decisions about their lives with the assistance of expert advice. This is a worldview that assumes that a woman’s consent to surgery doesn’t matter, because it’s a worldview that assumes women are too low to be able to make decisions, much less consent to anything.
This instance of anti-choice bullying is only the tip of the iceberg where the paternalistic hypocrisy of the ‘pro-woman’ branch of the anti-choice movement is concerned. Anti-choice ‘feminists’ purport to care about the lives and well-being of women just as much as they care about the potential lives of the unborn fetuses whose rights they champion. They wield signs and shout slogans about how ”Abortion Hurts Women” and “Women Do Regret Abortion,” but it doesn’t seem to occur to them that women are autonomous, choice-making individuals who are fully capable of making informed decisions.
In exploiting this woman’s death to further the anti-choice cause, these activists have made their sexist assumptions abundantly clear. Pro-life feminism is fundamentally predicated on the assumption that women cannot be trusted to make their own decisions.
tl/dr: There is no such thing as pro-life feminism.