So I recently found this article in the Telegraph about Maria Miller, a conservative MP, who advocated lowering the abortion limit from 24 to 20 weeks. She also did this while calling herself a feminist, because apparently restricting women’s bodily autonomy is empowering or something. The Telegraph article says this:
Ms Miller is brave. In one bound she has liberated those of us who care about promoting women yet want the debate on abortion reopened.
I don’t think that second sentence is very clear. Allow me to correct it:
In one bound she has liberated those of us who care about promoting women yet want to restrict their right to choose.
It doesn’t sound quite as noble that way, does it? Those of us who are actual feminists understand that the issue is whether or not a woman has the right to choose what she can do with her own body. The anti-choice side doesn’t care about women at all; instead, they’re focused on “saving babies.” Oh, they pretend to care about women, sure. Like this:
It isn’t a vote against women to wish them free of the trauma of late abortions.
Oh, how terribly generous of them. They’re saving women from the trauma of late-term abortions. Except that, as I discussed earlier, pregnancy can be traumatic as well. Unwanted pregnancies are even more traumatic. So this actually doesn’t spare women from trauma, and it might actually increase it.
Then there’s this little fact vacuum:
A foetus at 24 weeks may never have survived back in 1967, when David Steel was pushing to legalise abortion; now it can – and many thousands of people are alive, and healthy, as proof. It makes no sense then to continue to treat 24 week foetuses as if they were nonentities and their lives non-viable outside the womb.
Except that fetuses born at 24 weeks only have a 50% chance of survival, and 80% of those that survive have disabilities. Furthermore, most women get abortions at that stage because there are other complications that would make childbirth or child raising difficult or impossible. And even if a fetus were fully conscious (which it isn’t), I would still support a woman’s right to have an abortion.
The anti-abortion movement will never be “feminist,” regardless of the number of people claiming it is. Ms. Miller’s attempt is shamefully dishonest and transparently false. I should mention that Ms. Miller is the Minister of Women and Equalities. Good choice there, David Cameron. Good choice.