I’m going to try to make this quick because as I type, I’m getting ready for vacation.
This week’s #FeministFriday is further explaining the pro-choice movement, mostly because I’m still getting asks about why I want to force women to kill their babies, and also because this is a thing that actually happened:
Last week, Ilyse Hogue announced she was pregnant with twins, due in July. This caused mass confusion in the anti-choice community.
Ilyse Hogue is the president of NARAL Pro Choice America, an organization dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive rights in the United States.
Her pregnancy has apparently proven confusing for the people who argue with her for a living, to the point that when she walked into a hearing on Capitol Hill, an anti-choice advocate pointed to her swollen belly and asked, “Is that real?”
They literally thought she was wearing a fake baby bump to a federal government hearing just to mess with them.
Most anti-choice organizations haven’t publicly commented on Hogue’s pregnancy, because if we’re being honest, that would be almost ridiculously tacky. Unfortunately the emphasis of that last sentence is “most“.
The American Spectator, a conservative magazine, published a piece by Esther Goldberg, who speculated that Hogue had used fertility treatments to get pregnant, as if that were in some way shameful. She went on to remark that the pregnancy, “marred her perfection as a lib-fem” and sarcastically commented that now Hogue realizes how important choice is:
“Rest assured, readers, that she received ‘nothing but support.’ Whew! And then she had yet another epiphany: NARAL was all about choice. Hogue wasn’t obligated to abort her twins. She could choose to have them. Lucky babies! How much more wanted and loved they will feel when she tells them that they were chosen, that they are alive because she chose not to kill them.”
That’s all just in really excellent taste, Esther.
It’s clear that Goldberg may not realize that NARAL doesn’t advocate for mandatory abortions, insofar as it almost seems impolite to point out that the words “pro-choice” are literally part of the organization’s name. Additionally, their mission statement — which I’m sure someone at the Spectator could have figured out how to Google — reads, “NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation’s mission is to support and protect, as a fundamental right and value, a woman’s freedom to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices through education, training, organizing, legal action, and public policy.”
“It’s like, ‘What don’t you get about choice meaning choice?'” recalled Hogue to the Washington Post. That’s the thing about the Pro-Choice movement: choice. No part of our agenda includes mandatory abortions for all pregnant people, because that wouldn’t be the best fit for every single pregnant person in the country.
Much like mandatory birth isn’t a viable option for every single pregnant person in the country.
Are Pro-Choice activists pro-abortion? Absolutely. Being Pro-Choice means protecting pregnant people’s access to safe, legal abortion, but that’s not the only part of being Pro-Choice. We’re pro-birth. We’re pro-parenting, and pro-adoption, and pro-choosing-the-best-option-that-fits-your-own-individual-and-unique-needs. We’re pro-birth control and pro-sex education because it will reduce the need for abortion and give teenagers the information they deserve to make good decisions for themselves. We’re pro-healthy pregnancies because the people who choose to carry their pregnancies to term should get all the support they need.
Meanwhile, the activists claiming to be pro-life are actually pro-violence to intimidate doctors and patients, pro-abortion bans that block safe abortion procedures, and pro-restrictions that limit insurance coverage and make it nearly impossible for low-income women to access health care. They’re pro-Crisis Pregnancy Centers that intentionally mislead women, pro-distorted science to instill fear, and pro-laws that jeopardize the safety of young women.
Even supposed pro-life politicians who talk about “respecting life” in their effort to ban abortions can’t be bothered to be pro-life for born persons, opposing the Children’s Health Insurance Program — a federal program that provides millions of children with access to basic health care — and refusing to support laws that would help pregnant people who choose to continue their pregnancies.
As for Goldberg’s point that Hogue’s future children will feel much more wanted and loved when she tells them that they were chosen, I get that it’s supposed to be sarcasm, but she isn’t wrong. Why wouldn’t a child feel happier and more loved knowing their parent truly loved and wanted them when the parent willingly chose to give birth rather than being forced because they had no other option?
Leave any questions or comments below, and see you next week.