Reshared post from +Cara Schulz
I'm going to say something that I don't want people to misunderstand or assume they know what I'm talking about before I get the chance to expand a bit, but here goes: Abortion is not a civil right – it's a pacifier given us so we don't demand our actual civil rights
Abortion, when it became legal in the United States, was supposed to begin to address deep societal inequities embedded in our culture. It was part of the push by women for equal rights, for gender equality. We wanted to be able to compete in the workforce with men and if you have children or become pregnant you were, and are, at a disadvantage. We didn't want to be forced to bear children, especially in cases of rape (and rape within a marriage) and incest. We wanted the same opportunities and choices available to men.
Fine. Abortion is legal. And the same inequities exist. What's worse, we've been fooled into complacency. Even worse yet, under the mantle of "It's my body, my choice" we've been duped into accepting full responsibility for creating and maintaining families and all the reproductive health and economic issues surrounding it, which we are then punished for.
Abortion hasn't helped gender equality, it's further cemented inequity in place while simultaneously hiding the core issues. It's a bandaid fix placed on top of gaping wound. The answer to women's issues shouldn't be, "go have an abortion" – it should be "What do we need to do to make gender equality a reality." I can't comprehend that in 2012 people still think an acceptable solution to the systemic gender inequity faced women is to tell them to go have a medical procedure performed. I don't understand how people can support the idea that women can have the same opportunities as men, as long as they don't function like a woman biologically.
Don't think I'm anything other than pro-legalized abortion. Legalized abortion is a needed safety valve for women, but I refuse to call my position "pro-choice." That would imply that women have a real choice. We don't. So don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.
If your 'choice' is economic ruin or abortion, that isn't a choice. It's coercive patriarchal BS. Women still face economic ruin if we have a child. We can lose our jobs (it's illegal, but it is common and hard to prove). We lose scholarships and educational opportunities. We lose out on promotions and the glass ceiling is still very much in place. We can't make the rent when we aren't paid for maternity leave. While men do have monetary (and many times not enforced) obligations towards the children they help create, they largely escape all other consequences.
Those in power consider the matter resolved as you can always have an abortion, right? If you don't want an abortion, well, then it's your 'choice' to face career suicide or economic ruin. Or be seen as a slut because you aren't married. See? You have a choice!
I want all the issues surrounding gender equality, reproductive rights, economic inequity, and cultural attitudes towards pregnancy and child care-taking addressed. Then abortion really will be a choice and women will have our civil rights protected. Abortion isn't a civil right. A civil right is when women are treated equally, and have equal opportunities and choices as men, whether they have an abortion or not.
Don't settle for the bandaid, demand equality.