Abortion is health care. It is ending a pregnancy using medication or a medical procedure. The same medication and medical procedure used in abortions are also used routinely in miscarriage management. “Decades of research has shown that abortion is a very safe medical service” (Ranji et al, 2023).
Debating abortion as a moral or ethical issue only contributes more to the anti-abortion movement’s strategic fight to end access to safe abortions. Yes, deciding whether to have an abortion is a personal decision. But we need to stop debating people’s humanity. And we need to care about future generations having access to medically accurate health information and services.
Debating abortion makes space for the anti-abortion movement. And…
The anti-abortion movement is violent:
One side of the abortion debate has been fighting to restrict access to safe abortions through violence and stigmatization.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) released its 2021 statistics on violence and disruption against abortion providers, compiling statistics on incidents of violence for 45 years. “Since 1977, there have been 11 murders, 42 bombings, 196 arsons, 491 assaults, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at patients, providers, and volunteers” (NAF).
The anti-abortion movement is racist:
When we unpack the history of the anti-abortion movement, we see clear links to “the great replacement” conspiracy theory, as well as white nationalists, KKK members, and even January 6th insurrectionists. The anti-abortion movement is fueled by racist attempts to grasp power and control, in the name of white supremacy. In fact, the religious right did not originally object to Roe v. Wade, but rather took up abortion as a moral issue in order to consolidate conservative voting power, specifically when fighting for desegregation in schools became an unfavorable cause to rally around (Balmer, 2014).
The anti-abortion movement uses mis- and disinformation as a tactic:
Mis- and disinformation is strategically used as a way to coerce, intimidate, stigmatize, and restrict access to abortion care for people who need it. The fact is that the most common claims against abortion are medically inaccurate and untrue.
One example of this strategic move is Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs). CPCs are unlicensed, fake medical clinics that are “designed to be deceptive — to open as close as possible to real abortion providers, to use names that sound like real women’s health centers, and to deflect on the telephone when asked if an abortion is provided.” The goal of these fake clinics is “to deceive and pressure people to carry a pregnancy to term”.
The anti-abortion movement is not “pro-life”:
This side of the abortion debate is the same people fighting to ban trans health care, pass anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation around the country, and block gun legislation. “Policies that force people to remain pregnant and give birth are unconscionable, cruel, and dangerous” (ACLU, 2022).
“Everyone loves someone who had an abortion”
Debating the topic of abortion does nothing to address the fact that people of all demographics and belief systems have abortions. Restrictions on abortion only makes abortion care unsafe and less accessible to the people with the fewest resources.
Balmer (2014 May 27). “The Real Origins of the Religious Right“. Politico. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133/
Carmon, I. (2023 May 27) The Shared Anti-Trans and Anti-Abortion Playbook. New York Magazine. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/04/anti-trans-anti-abortion-activism-playbook.html
End Forced Pregnancy. (2022 September 20). ACLU. Retrieved from May 2, 2023 from https://www.aclu.org/news/topic/end-forced-pregnancy#:~:text=Long%2Dlasting%20health%20consequences%20as,like%20food%2C%20housing%2C%20and%20transportation
National Abortion Federation (2021). 2021 Violence & Disruptive Statistics. Retrieved from https://prochoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021_NAF_VD_Stats_Final.pdf
Ranji, U., K. D., & J. (2023, February 3). Key facts on abortion in the United States. KFF. https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/report/key-facts-on-abortion-in-the-united-states/
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Pair this blog post with the following:
What Divides Us, Becomes Us by Michelle Rawcliffe
It’s Time To Speak Out by Drew Miller
Panic Over SEL Is Unfounded. Here’s Why via EdSUrge
Sex Ed Needs You by Christopher Pepper
In Support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education by Andy Milne
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