Abortion Ensures Equality for Woman?
I just perused a document (posted on President-Elect Obama’s website)that was submitted to the Obama/Biden Transition Project by a variety ofpro-abortion groups urging our next president to make serious reproductivehealth reforms. Improved access to abortion care was among these hoped-forreforms. Nothing in the document was terribly unexpected (knowing it came from abortion supporters), but what did catch my eye wasthe last sentence of the opening paragraph: “[E]nsuring access to reproductivehealth services is essential to a woman’s full and equal participation insociety.”
Perhaps I misunderstand the statement, but it seems tosuggest that woman cannot achieve societal equality without access toreproductive services like abortion. That is, unless there is unrestrictedaccess to a certain medical procedure that terminates pregnancies woman willnot be able to participate in society the way that men do. I personally am infavor of gender equality in society, but if it is true that woman need accessto abortion to ensure that equality, doesn’t this suggest that they arenaturally inferior? If woman need to terminate the natural biological processin their wombs to be on par with man, then it can only mean, it seems to me,they are not equal by nature. I find it strange that feminist groups (like NOW) who fight for woman’s equality rely onarguments that assume inequality.
It is one thing to say that “society” has made it difficultfor woman to maintain jobs and continue education when pregnancies arise, butit is quite another to say that woman’s equality depends upon the freedom toterminate those pregnancies. Could there be a better way? Is there a way tocelebrate the equality of men and woman while also celebrating the capacity ofwoman to become pregnant and bear children? I do not see how we can celebratewoman while at the same time reproaching their biological capacity formotherhood through abortion.