Mehdi Hasan has written an infuriatingly limited piece for the New Statesman called “Being pro-life doesn’t make me any less of a lefty”. Not being ok with abortion for yourself doesn’t make you less of a lefty but calling women who choose abortion selfish individualists is incompatible with being progressive. Hasan’s thoughts are not progressive and they’re certainly not new.
When it comes to abortion it is worth remembering the following:
There will always be unintended pregnancies. That is a function of being human. And there will always be abortion. There always has been. Some people do not agree that women should have the right to do that and they will agitate to outlaw it. But it will not prevent it. Because women do own their own bodies and direct their own lives and some of them will go to extreme lengths to maintain that autonomy, even if it means putting their health and lives in danger. We have centuries of data supporting this.
So when a couple of elite males decide that they will find some sweet spot that will make these women happy as well as those who don’t think these women should have the right to make that choice, it’s an infuriating denial of women’s basic human agency. It is simple. Women are going to have abortions, full stop. The only question is whether or not they are going to be forced to go through hell and possibly die to get them — and whether society is going to admit that it cannot and should not make that decision for them. Once you accept that reality, the rest is just talk. If religious leaders want to counsel their adherents not to do it, fine. If politicians want to lecture the public that it’s wrong, fine. If they want to create programs to help women get access to birth control and afford to raise kids if they want them and all the rest, terrific. If you care about your fellow humans, you should want all of that. But the right to abortion is a fundamental human right and the necessity of it being safe, legal and available is a requirement for a decent society.
From Digby’s Blog via Tedra.