This piece was reprinted with permission from New Wave Feminists’ blog.

Can you imagine a world without abortion?

What would it look like? Pro-choicers want us to believe it would be filled with hemorrhaging women, self-aborting and dying in the streets, but I’m not buying that.

When I imagine what the world would look like if our fertility were treated as the super power it is, and the life of the unborn human given the respect it deserves, I see a place that’s a whole [lot] more pro-woman than what we have now. 

Think about it. Currently when a low-income woman gets pregnant (or a young woman, or a single woman, or really any woman who doesn’t have a life deemed “suitable” by society to bring children into) she is met with all types of hostility. Simply for having the audacity to, ya know, actually have the kid that clearly already exists inside her womb.

She basically has to make her case for why she should be able to stay pregnant and how she plans on supporting said child with the least amount of inconvenience to society as possible.

Her partner resents her, her boss resents her, her community resents her. She and her child—whose life is considered “a choice” (and because she chose to keep the baby this is all her responsibility, of course)—are now a burden to others. An inconvenience. This makes the fertile female person a liability to employers and partners.

But what if we lived in a world that realized that once a new life had come into existence, the time for “choosing” whether or not it existed, was over? What if we lived in a world where that woman, no matter her age, income, or status, was accommodated rather than resented? 

Because more than fifty million unborn children have been aborted over the last forty-three-years, we can’t know how society would have accommodated women if such a high number had continued with their pregnancies.

Had the unborn person not been viewed as disposable, the world would’ve had to adjust.

Our culture and our corporations would have had to accept that—guess what!—women sometimes grow new people in their bodies and it’s freakin’ amazing. And not only should we respect [that], but we as a society might want to help a sister out a little bit more because without happy, healthy women, society screeches to a halt.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world though. We live in a world where if you experience an unplanned pregnancy you are expected to work twice as hard to make up for you fertility. That child is not a blessing, it’s a burden. It’s not a person, it’s a problem. 

Because abortion is an option, when a woman doesn’t “choose” to terminate her pregnancy, by default she’s choosing to burden her employer, her partner, her community. 

And we hate her for it.

Abortion creates a world that is undeniably anti-woman. 

  • Whitney

    So this world existed and it sucked, this world you are describing is the world pre-Roe v. Wade. Employers didn’t accomodate pregnant women, those women lost their jobs. Poor women were hated and judged for having too many children, these women had to jusitfy their choices and still dealt with disaproving family or husbands. Women have always been pregnant and they have had babies in and out of wedlock, you honestly think society is now treating women like dirt because we can have abortions? Spare me this fanciful world you dream of, the conditions to create the world you speak of already existed and society did not value women or their children unless it fit their purposes. Can you truly expect to see something different when history has shown you this attitude is not a symptom of liberalizing abortion. Society always had the chance to treat women better or make better accomodations for women, it has not done so because women are not to put themselves first once they have children. You are expected to care for your child so why should they accomodate you when your place as a mother has already been created, you stay in the home and care for all dependant persons. I’m not against your idea, society should offer greater accomodation to women and men who wish to parent, but I don’t see this as an issue of abortion preventing society from doing this. Society dosen’t want to do this because that would mean soceity as a whole would have to take responsibilty for each other, we’d have to be ok with people getting welfare and for the government to take our taxes to pay for it. Government, corporations and pregnancy are not new and it is not abortion that makes the world anti-women. Society is anti-woman because all life is seen as a burden and women have been choosen to carry or care for that burden, abortion only allows a woman to not carry that life long burden. I’m not against children, pregnant women, or SAHM, merely pointing out the children, pregnant women, or dependant persons in general are only seen as a blessing when it suites the society and society has never seen fit to view all lives as blessings.

    • Sally

      I think I see your point here….society for a long time gave into Pietism/Puritanism, a nasty stripe of false Christianity that hid the Gospel (of forgiveness in Christ), and instead emphasized the hell-fire and brimstone Law, along with shame, guilt, and all attempts – including abortion – to hide them! The US is STILL subconsciously reeling from Puritanism, along with Europe; society will only be more loving with the pure Gospel, not the rule-laden law-driven pietism/legalism – but I digress a bit!! Sadly, abortion only encourages the quick-fix, anti-life sentiment precisely because it offers the “easy out” option. Not all life is seen as a burden, fortunately — but the ones who see it thus must examine their hearts and find out why they think it. I agree that boyish men need to be put in their place (side note: abortion has empowered bad men, who, consumed with anger, abuse the woman’s body as violated property with a pregnancy — he wants her only for himself, not for a child, not for nurturing, not even for life — abortion continues to soothe his instant gratification).

      I’m against welfare abuse, for sure, and some people def need a stronger work ethic and fewer handouts, lower taxes, etc. to make the pieces actually work together. No denying parenting is hard work!! But abortion won’t offer the support system needed to help a mom and her baby. Death really isn’t an answer; to the argument of rape, I see some stories saying women regretted the abortion almost as a second rape, while those who carried to term found it suprisingly healing (this does NOT condone the crime). Some have little/no guilt….a mixed bag I say.

      Personally, I hope that the demand for abortion continues to decrease, because making it legal or illegal still won’t change the immorality of it … true, society won’t be a paradise even if no one gets an abortion, but I think the impetus to value all life – however imperfect – is a crucial one as the 21st century marches on. Peace out 🙂

      • Whitney

        I don’t know if abortion encourages a “quick fix”, anti-life sentiment. I don’t blame someone for not choosing to be a single parent given that we are dismantling our social safety net, they we vilify people who are single parents. Abortion doesn’t offer a support system, it’s not necessarily meant too. It’s meant to end a pregnancy so you can go one with your life without having to raise a child or suffer through a pregnancy. I’m not trying to be mean but it’s not a supportive, TBH no medical procedure is supportive. I think it’s a little unfair to suggest that people who view life as a burden need to examine their hearts. I don’t care how much you love your children there are times when they are a burden. When it’s 9 p.m. on a Sunday and your kid says he has a major project due Monday which he hasn’t started and you have to figure out how to cobble something together that’s a burden. I don’t say this with malice towards kids, I say this as someone who was a kid who did this to my parents once or twice. When you have to take care of a special needs child it’s a lot of work and there are real burdens; emotional, financial, and physical. It is not crazy to think about how that will affect your life, people have divorced over these kinds of things. I think we really need to acknowledge these burdens and not just say people need to look at their hearts. I don’t care how much heart searching you do, that won’t guarantee you can put food on the table or pay for you kids medical needs.

        You bring up an interesting point about boyish men but I would counter with this; if we had a better social safety net, better domestic abuse laws, and better child support enforcement. I think you would see women leave these kinds of men and perhaps women will feel more secure about their future if they have the child. Maybe they won’t feel they have to choose between an abortion or their future and better social safety net could help fathers step up to the plate. We can craft programs to get people into apprenticeships or get them to work on state projects, like fixing roads. These arguments about welfare abuse are really a nonstarter, most people on welfare are not abusing the system. Have you tried to live off welfare? I’ve seen the amount of money you get and I have to tell you, it’s not enough to just lay about on. Most people don’t want to live dirt poor, most people want to work. However, I don’t blame someone for not wanting to work for $7.25/hr, it’s not about being too good to work a low wage job. There are real costs to working and work need to improve your economic position, most of us do not go to work because we absolutely love what we do. We go to work to get money to do other things or support our families and you can’t support a family on $7.25/hr. We can talk about fixing the system but one thing people need to fix is their attitude about the people on welfare.

        The rape issue is sensitive but I remain pro-choice on this issue, because as you stated the issue seems to be a mixed bag. I would not have a child conceived in rape but I would never force another woman to make my decision; the decision is between that woman, her conscience and her god. I hope as you do that abortion continues to decrease, IMO the best way to value life is to actually make policies that make it easier to choose life.