Today I heard the criticisms of a pro-choice politician against a pro-life politician. The one politician had spoken at a pro-life rally and the other accused of him of being “anti-women and anti-choice.”
The goal of this post is not to debate whether abortion is right or wrong (although I have opinions on that).
What I would like to discuss is the motivation of people who identify as pro-life. Are they indeed, “anti-women and anti-choice”? More specifically, is their primary motivation that they desire to limit the rights and freedom of women?
There are enough misogynists out there that probably is the motivation for some. But to be honest, I have never met anyone like that and I have spent a lot of time around pro-life people.
Behind closed doors, when no “outsiders” are present, I have never heard a person say, “We need to limit abortion to keep those women down and prevent them from having equal rights.”
But doesn’t opposing abortion equate being anti-woman, since it calls for a limit on choice? In every civilized society, we limit some choices. Even the most zealous pro-choice person will not claim that everyone should have the right to choose anything they want.
The test that many people give is that you should have the right to choose what you do as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else. And that’s the problem for pro-life supporters. Abortion by definition ends a human life. One may debate whether the fetus/baby has attained “personhood” but it can’t be claimed that abortion is a choice that hurts no one.
This is what I want pro-choice people to understand. The motivation of people in the pro-life movement is not to limit freedom for women but to save lives of unborn babies.
You may believe that the life of the unborn baby is not worth the discomfort (emotional or physical) of the woman and that is fine. But stop with the claims of “anti-women and anti-choice.” Ad hominem attacks are not going to get us anywhere.
One of the best conversations between pro-choice and pro-life is the video below: