Sally Kohn tries, fails to link pro-life laws and domestic violence


Sally Kohn

Abortion activists love to try to paint the pro-life movement as a “war on women.” There is evidently a God-given right for a woman to kill her unborn child, and to question that – or, God forbid, try to prevent it – is an all-out attack on women. Deep down, all women just can’t wait for the day when they can kill their unborn babies, after all.

In that vein, Sally Kohn wrote a column attempting to link limits on abortion and domestic violence. There is absolutely no evidence for this, which she even admits, but no matter. The link is there somewhere!

Now, as women’s reproductive freedom faces an unprecedented onslaught of political and legislative threats, domestic violence is suddenly on the rise. Is there a causal link? Probably not. But it’s more than just a coincidence. The simultaneous attacks on women’s bodies in legislatures and homes across America are an ominous reminder that the political repression of women goes hand-in-hand with personal subjugation and vice versa. And it’s a warning that the gains won in advancing the equal treatment of women, whether big or small, must never be taken for granted.

Domestic violence has generally declined since the 1970s, a decrease in large part credited to the rise of the battered women’s shelter movement, which established intimate partner abuse as a public issue rather than a private matter. And yet rates of domestic violence have risen more recently, coinciding with the increased legislative and political push to curb the reproductive rights of women. The political vilification of women’s bodies and their self-determination known as the Republican “War on Women” likely didn’t cause the increase in domestic violence. Scholars and police attribute the increase in intimate partner violence to the overall downturn in the economy. And yet especially in the context of reactionary backlash against the advances women over the last 40 years, the increase in domestic violence seems to fit with an overall backlash aimed at putting women in their places economically, culturally and politically.

Interestingly, not only is there not a causal link between pro-life laws and domestic violence, but what has been found is a link between domestic violence and…abortion. Kings College London did a review of 74 studies, and found that 1 in 4 women who have had an abortion have also been victims of domestic violence. But of course that wouldn’t be mentioned, would it?

There is such a drive to paint abortion as somehow empowering to women. Unfortunately for abortion advocates, though, time and time again, studies have shown that it’s the exact opposite.

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