Monday, August 20, 2012

The real problem with girls and gendercide.

Originally posted at AbortionGang.

There has been a lot of talk about sex-selection and abortion in the news lately. Anti-choicers have created misleading videos to lie about Planned Parenthood’s stance on sex-selective abortions, PRENDA (a bill that would outlaw sex-selective abortions) was facing a vote, and some twitter users have begun using the term “gendercide.”
But the real issue here isn’t sex-selection. The real issue is that anti-choicers don’t believe that women and girls are capable of taking care of their own lives.
While this extreme level of obsession with female fetuses is new, anti-choicers have long used the female fetus as a symbol for “someone in need.” Their own version of a “damsel in distress,” if you will. The thinking goes like this: people want to take care of those whom they believe are helpless. For a long time, women and girls were thought to be weaker than men and boys, incapable of taking care of themselves. That’s why women in decades past were not allowed to own property, or were themselves property of their fathers and husbands. If anti-choicers can convince you that women are still incapable of taking care of themselves, they might be able to convince you to step in and “help.”
We’ve come a long way since women were property in America. We now know that women and girls are just as capable as men and boys. Anything men can do, women can do. We can own property, vote, and even run for President if we like (whether we can win is another story).
But anti-choicers haven’t caught up with us, and they’re hoping they can bank on that historical sense of “need to help the helpless” people might still feel. And because they believe girls are weak and helpless, they use that to their supposed advantage. This is why sidewalk harassers tell women that their “baby girl” needs them to choose life, or why every anti-choice fetus is a “she” with “her” this and that. It’s even why those creepy stories written to be seen from the point of view of a fetus to their “mommy” is a written by a female fetus.
It’s also why many anti-choicers say that the women who choose abortion shouldn’t be punished, because they were mislead and ignorant and didn’t know what they were doing.
Anti-choicers aren’t worried about sex-selection because they value women and girls; on the contrary, they are worried about sex-selection because they think it will help them take away more rights from women. I find it hard to believe that any anti-choicer would actually care if girls are aborted for their gender, with how little respect they often show for women. Instead, I see this as another slap in the face. Anti-choicers are pretending to care about my gender so that they can hurt my gender more.
This type of behavior must be recognized, called out, and stopped. We must show that we value, respect and trust women and girls to make the correct, moral choices for their lives. Only by valuing women as capable moral agents can we teach others that women are of value.

What does the Gallup poll on abortion really mean?

Originally posted at AbortionGang

It’s that time of year again–Gallup Poll season! Which means it’s also the season of “anti-choicers claiming and celebrating their majority.”
We’ve talked about before how antichoicers are only interested in how they look, not what good they actually do (See Mississippi Representative Lester “Bubba” Carpenter admitting he doesn’t care if women die as long as abortion is illegal). The Gallup poll rejoicing is another one of those situations. This year’spoll shows that 50% of those polled identify as “pro-life,” and 41% identify as “pro-choice.” This is a change from last year’s 49% prochoice and 45% prolife.
Now, this might sound like a serious problem to some pro-choice advocates. However, one needs to look further into the polling to see the real situation.
52% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal under some circumstances. An additional 25% believe it should be legal under any circumstances.  Together, that means a whole 77% of Americans support abortion being legal.  In contrast, only 20% believe abortion should always be illegal (and that’s down 2% from last year!).
Obviously, this is a case of people not understanding what “pro-choice” and “pro-life” really mean.
Now, are some of the people who think abortion should be legal “sometimes” perhaps prolife? Yes. But we asked antis last year if they would really accept people who found abortion to be okay sometimes (if you truly believe abortion is murder, would you be okay with people saying ‘sure, murder is acceptable sometimes?’). My feeling is that no, the leaders of the anti-choice movement do not want those on the fence people. So really, they’re celebrating a hollow victory.
Pro-choicers, on the other hand, do have something to celebrate. Even with all the numerous attacks across state lines against abortion, birth control and freedom, support for abortion hasn’t declined. The number of people who think abortion should be legal in all circumstances hasn’t fallen below 23% in at least 10 years. The number of people who think it should be legal in some circumstances has steadily hung out in the 50-58%. As Gallup says, “it is notable that while Americans’ labeling of their position has changed, their fundamental views on the issue have not..”
Perhaps people are more worried about calling themselves “pro-choice” in an environment of constant anti-choice attacks.Or, perhaps we are taking back the pro-life label–because we are pro-life when we are pro-choice. We are saving, supporting, and creating lives. And that is something we should always celebrate.