A reviewer of a new book about reclaiming abortion rights from the pro-life community says abortion is not only “no big deal,” but actually a social good of which the pro-abortion crowd should be proud.
Writing at Slate, Hanna Rosin is beside herself that feminist Katha Pollitt felt the need to write her new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. Pollitt’s book is described as “a powerful argument for abortion as a moral right and social good.”
“We shouldn’t need a book explaining why abortion rights are important,” writes Rosin. “We should be over that by now.”
Rosin bemoans Pollitt’s premise that not everyone is celebrating the greatness of abortion because of the efforts of “a small minority of pro-life activists.”
“Only 7 to 20 percent of Americans tell pollsters they want to totally ban abortion, but that loud minority has beaten the rest of us into submission with their fetus posters and their absolutism and their infiltration of American politics,” Rosin complains.
She observes that Pollitt uses the word “awfulization” to describe what has happened to abortion and its fans who are now “falling all over themselves” instead of rejoicing at the “social good” that is the killing of unborn children.
Noting that Pollitt’s aim is to get to the “muddled middle,” or what might be termed the low-information, pro-abortion crowd, Rosin says these individuals have been “infected by the awfulization without thinking about it that much.”
“[W]hile the fight over abortion has been going on for more than 40 years, we’ve forgotten what’s at stake,” writes Rosin. “The left especially has lost sight of its original animating purpose.”
Rosin takes the left to task for getting “defensive” about abortion, even to the point of portraying Planned Parenthood – the abortion industry giant – as performing mostly “preventive” care. Fellow pro-abortionists are rebuked by Rosin, speaking for Pollitt, for slogans like “Safe, legal and rare,” which “have left the pro-choice side advocating the neurotic position that you can have an abortion but only if you feel ‘really really bad about it.'”
“This is not the right time for me” should be reason enough for an abortion, says Pollitt, according to Rosin. Apologies for having an abortion should be verboten.
Rosin observes Pollitt’s skillful way of querying why women should accept a life of “dimmed hope” because of a single sexual encounter when, according to them, no one expects men to do the same.
Similarly, she explains Pollitt’s dissection of what she calls “the pro-life side’s contradictions,” particularly the notion that some pro-life people like to say it is fine to abort a baby to save the life of the mother.
“If you really think about it, this position is untenable,” says Rosin, explaining Pollitt’s point. “No one would say it was fine to kill a toddler if the mother needed its heart.”
“The pro-life position, she [Pollitt] concludes, involves a reflexive moralism,” Rosin writes, “but doesn’t really reflect what people know to be true, which is that the fetus and the mother have a complicated relationship, unlike any other.”
Rosin is fine with Pollitt’s dismissal of conservatives, pastors, and priests as “patriarchal or women-hating,” but admits this approach doesn’t go far enough.
“Her book would be more convincing, and also strategically smarter, if she actually examined what’s happening on their turf,” she offers, and reasons that as more people have become pro-life, the number of single mothers has risen, leaving what she views, ironically, as a positive relationship between higher abortion rates and the number of couples in traditional marriages.
Rosin states her greatest concern is poor women who “drift into parenthood without thinking about it that much,” and supports accessible birth control that also includes abortion.
“The pro-choice side should be able to say that a poor or working-class woman getting an abortion is making a wise choice for her future,” she says. “That way, the left would own not only gender and income equality, but also a new era of family values,” juxtaposed with “the pro-life side’s very weak response to the proliferation of young, struggling single mothers.”
Reflecting on her own abortion, in between her other children whom she allowed to be born, Rosin said, “The aborted fetus hung around as a concept, nothing at all like the living children I already had.”
“Having an abortion left me with a sense of what a great power it is to be able to give life, but also a sense that I can trust myself to use it carefully,” she concludes.