Abortion serves men, because it allows them sex without responsibility, and always has. “You take care of it.” A Democratic administration is intent on enshrining it. Who says they don’t open doors for us anymore? Which is why the hands-off-my-body placards at abortion-rights rallies and posters in dorm rooms—the tacit implication being that they are male hands—make no sense. But it’s an emotional narrative and it’s got legs, which says a lot about the seething and under-examined anger that “pro-choice” women have towards men. Indeed, in so many ways, the imagery and posturing surrounding abortion presents as one thing but is actually another. A rose is a rose is a rose? The hell it is.
At a press conference last fall, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi responded to criticism of her so-called Women’s Health Protection Act (“health” presented here as one thing but really meaning another), which aims to codify abortion on demand in federal law in order to nullify the overturning of Roe v. Wade (should it happen). Pelosi pointed out that she had given birth to five children in six years, and then insisted that only those who did as she had done had a right to be critical of her stance. Lots of pro-life women have lots of kids, and Pelosi knows it. And demanding awe for the “five kids in six years” marathon of her own choosing? What’s that got to do with the price of coffee? Pelosi’s chin-jutting challenge was really a dig at those for whom it’s impossible to bear children at all, that is, men, effectively eliminating 50 percent of the population from the discussion.
“When men can get pregnant then they can tell me what to do” is a pro-abortion trope. Who are these men? Politicians? A mercurial lot. Last year, “pro-choice” Republican New Hampshire Governor Sununu attempted to add some “pro-life” cred to his resume by not vetoing a state budget bill that included a late-term abortion ban, hoping it would bring him national attention with a bid for the U.S. Senate. The abortion lobby applied pressure and, presto, now he’s trying to gut it (as per Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life Action). Again, “When a man gets pregnant . . .” creates a standard impossible to meet but by foot-stomping such as Pelosi’s it’s anointed as criteria. It’s a poor argument, embarrassing in its flawed logic, and built on sand. Should men stop wanting abortion on demand—that’s when “pro-choice” women need to start worrying. Fat chance.
A familiar female posture when the subject of abortion arises is with eyebrows raised, arms outstretched, palms turned up, and then, in a defensive tone, uttering: “It’s legal!” This doesn’t only indicate end of discussion; it indicates end of her need to be involved in any discussion. Because it’s legal. That’s what she says, but does she really think that black people being handcuffed and arrested for the crime of sitting down at an all-white lunch counter was justice for all? She says it’s about what’s legal, when what she means is it’s about having a free pass to suspend feeling. And those are the women still capable of feeling something.
The pro-abortion front says it is terrified at the mere possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned with the Dobbs case. But what would that mean? That overnight every state in the union must make abortion illegal the way Roe declared it must be legal in every state? Ridiculous. Because that is the precise Constitutional issue that afflicts Roe. Overturning it would only mean that the issue would return to the jurisdiction of individual states. In practical terms, that might mean extra travel for some seekers of abortion. But in America, the land of the entrepreneur, someone no doubt will launch a charter flight business, low rates. Gosh knows, Amtrak might even run a Women’s “Health” Protection Acela special. When Texas won the first round in its heartbeat-law legal fight, newly minted New York Governor Hochul jumped up to promise a free trip to her state for any woman in Texas who wanted an abortion. The pesky business of who would pay for it was sketchy, but, hey, it’s the thought that counts.
So, they say it’s about access, but what do they really mean? It’s about an idea. The idea that saying abortion is a “social good” and “sacred right” in one state but a “social ill” and “barbaric transgression” in another makes it untidy. It’s no longer one size fits all. And bureaucracy especially loves one size fits all. It’s ersatz consensus. Not that they’ll say so. Even if it’s what they mean.