To argue the “pro-life,” anti-abortion position is not inherently anti-woman is a fundamentally flawed assertion based on a worldview of obvious privilege.
The pro-life position is anti-woman because it attempts to restrict the bodily freedoms of people capable of becoming pregnant. The anti-abortion movement is an attempt to strip away fundamental rights protecting women’s access to abortion.
Justin Cheng’s statement “23 per cent of Canadians are not in favour of abortions” is wildly misleading. The poll he references by Ipsos clearly states that 77 per cent of Canadians feel it should be permitted, with 11 per cent being unsure.
It’s only a small fraction — 12 per cent of the population — who are opposed, of which only five per cent share Cheng’s authoritarian view that abortions under any circumstance should be strictly prohibited.
Cheng states that Justin Trudeau’s allocation of a portion of $650 million toward sexual and reproductive health and rights could be better spent if it was partially diverted towards improving our adoption systems.
This implies putting children up for adoption is the solution to preventing abortions.
While adoption is the right path for some, it can be incredibly debilitating mentally for others. Research has shown after giving a child up for adoption, mothers can face serious psychological repercussions. Cheng ignores the fact that putting more money into adoption programs will not prevent this damage to women’s mental health.
Cheng also references Feminists for Life, an American organization that holds the demonstrably ignorant view that there is no right way to choose between the woman and the unborn child in a pregnancy. Canadian courts have determined that fetuses are not legal persons with rights, so it makes zero sense to suggest there is even an illusion of equivalence between the rights of a woman and a fetus.
A woman has the unequivocal right to make the decision of what happens to her body.
Cheng attempts to push his clearly misogynistic views by hiding behind an American organization with an oxymoron for a name.
Cheng simply echoes the mission statement of Feminists for Life, which asserts abortion’s necessity can be simply overcome by putting money into social programs. This group has been fronted by Republican politician Sarah Palin for well over a decade, and despite being the face of a group with the mission of creating social supports for women, Palin is responsible for the cutting of funding for transitional homes for teenage mothers.
It should be exceedingly clear these anti-abortion groups have disdain for women with unwanted pregnancies, and their ideas of support systems are purely hypothetical.
The world Cheng describes is an unrealistic delusion, which is irrelevant to the reproductive issues facing women today.
However, even if his perfect world did exist, women should still have every right and means to access abortions.
The only person capable of making the decisions surrounding a woman’s reproductive health is the woman herself.
Ultimately, any suggestion to reverse a woman’s right to body autonomy is a clear attempt to dehumanize her by converting her body into a vessel outside her control.
Reproductive rights are human rights and to regress is indisputably anti-woman.