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June 1, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

A quick rant about abortion and feminism

There so many types of feminism, it almost means womens philosophy or womens studies.

Women’s rights are important.  I think thats hard to deny.  I think the feminist movement as one movement though should be sub-movements.  The idea of one version of womanhood and what the government should do in relation to that woman might be a little misguided.

Single women and married women sometimes have a significantly different perspective.  I would suggest that at this time in history that divide is greater than at any other time.  White-affluent feminism is usually the type of feminism that makes headlines.  The voices of other feminists are usually suppressed, ignored, or otherwise kept silence.

The problem I see is the women’s movement sets up women’s rights as absolute trump cards in all situations across all of society.  This is particularly the case when we look at an issue like abortion.  When someone shoots a pregnant lady its a double-murder, but when its an abortion its a “medical procedure.”

Moreover, the forces that are pro-abortion talk about the baby being a burden.  But that “burden” is a human being, its not a parasite.  Its troubling as someone who was at one time a baby and to write to someone who was at one time a baby–to not think that kind of language is an extreme form of dehumanization.  And history is replete with examples of what the results of dehumanization are in terms of domination and flat out ignoring the interests of people who are labeled as objects.  In fact, women should be the ones who are most sensitive to that as women.  The thump of the beating heart is the first indictation.  The unique identity inscribed on their fingers is the next.  The development of the brain is the next.  The learning that goes on in the womb points to a living being who is actively taking on new knowledge and developing a relationship with its mother.

An ethic of care, which is something many feminists care about would suggest that the values of care and loving trump the utilitarian considerations.  Moreover, its almost always the case that adoption as a realistic option is never really put on the table.  Finally, the science that women who undergo abortion experience emotional traumas later in life is almost wholly ignored.

So yes, feminism should exist, but it should re-orient its values to one which adopts the ethic of care that feminists like Carol Gillian talk about.

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