Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Norah Vincent on abortion:

The blistering irony of this unquestioned association between feminism and legalized abortion is that it flies in the face of history, logic and experience. It may come as a surprise to many people, for example, to learn that the earliest women's rights advocates, also known as "first wave" feminists, adamantly opposed abortion. In the Revolution, her newsletter, Susan B. Anthony called it "child murder" and "infanticide." Mary Wollstonecraft denounced those who would "destroy the embryo in the womb or cast it off when born." Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organizer of the first U.S. women's rights congress, in 1848 in Seneca Falls, N.Y., also condemned abortion as "a disgusting and degrading crime."

When you consider what abortion really is biologically, it's hard to refute our foremothers on the issue. The reasoning is simple and syllogistic. The womb is one of the defining features of the female animal. The defining feature of abortion, meanwhile, is a denial or negation of the womb, because its sole purpose is to stop the womb from fulfilling its normal function.

Thus abortion is the ultimate negation of the female animal and therefore the ultimate misogynistic act. This is a singularly feminist argument because it emphasizes a woman's interest rather than a fetus'. It is on this woman-centered foundation that modern pro-life feminists, some of them refugees of the vehemently pro-abortion "second wave" feminist movement of the 1960s and '70s, build their case against abortion.

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