Debunking 8 Conservative Talking Points About Abortion

abortSince we have a new Republican/Tea Party majority in Congress and new conservative dominance in state governments, we can expect to see more and more anti-abortion legislation bubbling up like stinking gas bubbles from the dank mire we call the American right.

Indeed, we have already had some, in the form of Tennessee’s new amendment, approved in this election because people don’t understand the supremacy clause.

For your edification, here are some of my favorite responses to pro-life ignorance; it seems we’re going to need them.

“Banning abortions would decrease abortions.”

Nope – abortion rates are the same in places where they’re illegal. But women and other pregnant people have to get dangerous illegal abortions, which are often unsanitary and not performed by medical professionals. Or worse, they do it themselves.

“Funding Planned Parenthood funds abortions, even though the Hyde Amendment prohibits it.”

Actually, federal funds for family planning prevent 800,000 abortions per year.

“Abortions cause breast cancer.”

No, they don’t. Really and truly, they don’t.

“Most women regret their abortions.”

Nope, and an exceedingly unsubstantiated claim at that. Here are some stories of women who don’t regret their abortions. Yes, some people do regret their abortions. Some people regret not having one too. Some people regret having kids, and some people regret not having kids. Some people regret their hair cuts. “You might regret doing it” is not a valid reason to make something illegal. If we went that route, every bar and liquor supplier in the nation would be out of business. Many people regret having Mexican for lunch, but Taco Bell remains off the contraband list.

“Abortion causes mental illness.”

The American Psychological Association put together a special task force to investigate if there is a link between getting an abortion and mental illness, and found no evidence to suggest that there is.

“Before Roe v. Wade, there weren’t abortions.”

Heh, ha ha ha, HA HA HA HA, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, no. If you actually care about how things actually were, I suggest that you read this incredible Mother Jones story about “The Way It Was” in America before legal abortion. Abortion has always existed and will always exist. The key is keeping it safe and legal and trying to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies through competent sex education (as in, more comprehensive than just abstinence) and accessible family planning.

“Just tough it out with the pregnancy for 9 months and give your child up for adoption.”

First of all, pregnancy is not some “inconvenience” you “tough out.” Pregnancy is expensive, painful, and all-consuming. Every single aspect of your life is affected by it. It’s not like getting a root canal.
Second, giving your child up for adoption is actually a mental health risk, unlike abortion.
Third, there are hundreds of thousands of children in the foster care system right now who are waiting to be adopted. Unless you’re planning on giving up your white, perfectly healthy baby right after you give birth, your child will probably languish in the system for the majority of their lives.

“But I saw this Silent Scream video…”
No. Just… no. Do not even go there. Propaganda does not equal proof.

If you’ve never read “The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion“, please do. It’s very eye-opening about how pro-lifers justify their own abortions (yes, they get them). If you’re someone who is still conflicted about being pro-life or pro-choice, I highly recommend “How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement” for some eye-opening insight on the reality of the pro-life faction.

So at the end of the day, choice is important because 1) banning abortions doesn’t prevent them from happening, 2) women (and people with uteruses who don’t identify as women) have the right to have sex without giving up their body for nine months thereafter, and 3) the only things that prevent abortion are thorough sex education and access to birth control. These are simple facts, but ones that are easily ignored by those who pretend to be concerned for women and mothers, but who are actually only interested in control over a whole gender. The war on women is real, and it is being fought in our legislatures and legal system. It is our job to step up and fight for women’s rights. Diminishing the rights of a few diminishes the rights of us all, and it is our duty as citizens to defend rights for all.

Jason Francis

Jason Francis is a red-state liberal, residing in the heart of Dixie where he gets to watch the train wreck of conservative politics up close and personal on a regular basis. He's lived in affluence and poverty, in both urban and rural settings, attended both public and private schools, and has visited most of the US at one point or another.


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