It was hard to pick just three breathtakingly ridiculous statements in Sally Kohn’s article on the Daily Beast, “Abortion Access For All Our Daughters.” But I make the hard decisions so you don’t have to. Let’s do this.
1. “So much of the judgment and fear-mongering in our culture about abortion and contraception is an extension of the demonization of female sexuality.”
And we’re off!
True story: what would be far more accurate is the exact opposite of the above sentence, which is to say: abortion and contraception are a direct result of the demonization of female sexuality.
If we honored and embraced true female sexuality, we would honor and embrace its natural results, such as emotional attachment and pregnancy. We demonize female sexuality when we treat love and marriage like traps and fertility like a disease.
When I think of abortion and contraception, I sometimes think of the now outmoded Chinese practice of foot-binding. At one time, small, delicate feet were considered so completely fetching that the feet of young girls were kept tightly bound, retarding their growth. The result was pain (duh), sometimes infection, and usually a small, horrific-looking foot that was utterly useless. It left many women unable to walk. And it wasn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing. But, by God, it was small!
We’re basically binding our wombs, ladies. Society has told us “barren is better,” so we ignore and suppress what our bodies are naturally supposed to do. We negate it with pills. We destroy our offspring. And anybody who tells us that’s a bad idea is engaging in “judgment and fear-mongering.”
I’ll say it again: abortion and contraception are a direct result of the demonization of female sexuality.
2. “Reading about the atrocities in Gosnell’s clinic—it takes your breath away. What he did was monstrous. Monstrous. And thanks to repeated exposure by reproductive justice activists and feminist journalists, Gosnell was exposed and arrested and tried and convicted for his crimes. What Gosnell did wasn’t medical treatment. It was illegal, unethical and criminal. Period.”
I couldn’t agree more that Gosnell’s practice was “illegal, unethical and criminal.” But it’s patently false that Kermit was flying solo as the one dirty butcher working as an abortionist in America.
What exactly is Kohn upset about? What part of Gosnell’s practice bothered her? Unsanitary conditions, low standards of care, illegal late-term abortions, injured mothers? All of those things can be found in clinics across the country. And every time regulations are imposed on abortion clinics – in many states, veterinary clinics and beauty salons are more closely inspected and carefully regulated – no one screams louder about “unfair restrictions” than Kohn and her pro-abortion buddies.
Even if we give Kohn the benefit of the doubt and assume she truly is horrified by shoddy abortion care, that still means she’s okay with killing a 23-week-old baby but not a 24-week-old baby, for example. She’s fine with everything about abortion clinics as long as they stay clean (enough) and abort the approved babies.
I want Kohn to tell me exactly what about Gosnell is “monstrous” that isn’t monstrous about virtually every other abortionist. The difference between Gosnell and Your Friendly Neighborhood Legal Abortionist is one of degree, not kind: smaller fetuses, cleaner sheets, more conscientious employees, and a refreshing lack of cat urine. But they still get paid to kill people’s children. Essentially, they’re all the same.
3. “[T]he same people who want to restrict access to abortion services also want to cut Medicaid and food stamps and public housing funding and Head Start and basically anything and everything that would make it possible for poor women of color to support themselves and their families. How dare we criticize poor women for the choices they make when we leave them with so few choices! … [W]hat that really translates to is: Poor women shouldn’t have sex. …”
I hear this – listen to me – all. The time. I am so tired of it. So tired.
I have two words for Sally Kohn, and for every woman, everywhere, who is considering having sex with anyone, ever. Those two words are: personal responsibility.
Those are ugly words to a lot of people. Those are mean words. But I can’t snap my fingers and make life awesome and fair. I can’t make the true things untrue.
The following things are true:
Sex makes babies. I’m so sorry about this. It’s not my fault. Blame God if you want, or Mother Nature, or Whomever. Sex leads to babies – sometimes even when you use a condom, take birth control, or undergo a sterilization procedure that doesn’t quite take.
Please listen carefully: unless you are 100% sure that you are 100% infertile, having sex might result in a baby.
And – again, I’m terribly sorry – if you get pregnant, that life is immediately your responsibility. It’s the father’s responsibility, too, but our culture (not to mention the simple, biological fact that he isn’t carrying the child) makes it easier for him to peace out and leave you holding the bag. Or the sac, in this case.
Now. If you ignored that first part – about sex leading to babies – and you had sex even though you didn’t want a baby, that doesn’t make you any less pregnant or any less responsible for the life of your child. This is not my opinion. It is truth.
Our current laws say that you can choose to end that life. That law, like a lot of other really crappy laws (slavery, segregation, that whole thing where women couldn’t vote or own stuff), is morally wrong. And one day, I hope and pray, we will scrap it like we scrapped the others.
It is not the taxpayers’ fault or problem that you got pregnant, that you can’t afford a baby, that you don’t want responsibility, or that your boyfriend is mean. Your unfortunate situation does not morally justify coercing money or services from other people. (Please read that last sentence again.)
However, there are numerous private charities – and when I say numerous, I mean thousands, in the U.S. alone – who will be more than happy to help you find a job, find appropriate housing, get legal help, get medical care, get rides to work, and pretty much any other thing you might need. There is probably a pregnancy resource center pretty close to you that would be more than willing to help you. You can e-mail me. I will help you. No kidding.
Charity is beautiful. We should all want to help. But when we have our money taken away against our will, to provide for strangers we don’t know, via bloated and wasteful government agencies with agendas in which we don’t believe… Yeah, no. Sorry.
Coercion is not charity. It’s stealing.
This idea that we are entitled to shirk responsibility simply because we don’t want it, that we should be able to require some nameless “other” (usually “the government,” which actually means “the taxpayers,” or “that guy over there”) to provide for us and correct our mistakes… Well, that’s exactly the kind of thinking I would expect from someone who believes it’s not only justifiable, but liberating to kill human beings we find inconvenient.
If you’d like a little chuckle, go check out Sally Kohn’s full article. I bet you can find three more – or maybe 33 more – utterly ridiculous statements.