“I love abortion!”

Jessica DelBalzo at RH Reality Check

I Love Abortion: Implying Otherwise Accomplishes Nothing for Women’s Rights

I love abortion. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it. I donate to abortion funds. I write about how important it is to make sure that every woman has access to safe, legal abortion services. I have bumper stickers and buttons and t-shirts proclaiming my support for reproductive freedom. I love abortion.

And I bristle every time a fellow activist uses a trendy catch-phrase or rallying cry meant to placate pro-lifers. The first of these, “Make abortion safe, legal, and rare!” has been used for decades as a call for abortion rights.

Safe and legal are concepts I fully support, but rare is something I cannot abide. I understand the theoretical mindset: it is better for a woman to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to bear the physical and financial burden of an abortion. While my own abortion involved very little pain and a minimal financial expense, one which my ex-boyfriend was willing to share with me, even I can admit that using condoms or the pill is preferable to eight weeks of nausea and weight gain. Contraception is a valuable tool.


Suggesting that abortion be “safe, legal, and rare,” and crowing that “no one likes abortion,” accomplishes nothing for women’s rights. Pandering to the anti-choice movement by implying that we all find termination distasteful only fuels the fire against it. What good is common ground if it must be achieved at the expense of women who have had or will have abortions? Those women need advocates like us more than we need support from anti-abortionists. Rather than trying to cozy up to the forced-birth camp, women who value their freedom should be proud to say that they like abortion. In fact, they should venerate it whole-heartedly. Abortion is our last refuge, the one final, definitive instrument that secures our bodily autonomy. What’s not to love?

Digby should be happy. I don’t think this is a winning argument, however.

Like it or not, many people are morally and emotionally conflicted over the issue.


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8 Responses to “I love abortion!”

  1. cjwk says:

    “the one final, definitive instrument that secures our bodily autonomy” isn’t abortion, and no amount of ‘love’ for it will make it so. How about securing full autonomy by insisting on self-determination in all aspects of one’s life? How about securing full autonomy by not acquiescing to pols of any stripe who insist on relegating/reducing women and their rights/issues to nothing more than the female anatomy/biology (a bunch of vaginas and uteri) for male-dominated government to control? How about securing full autonomy by accepting full responsibility for one’s actions and life choices? How about securing full autonomy by not acquiescing to partners who refuse to take equal responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancy by, oh gee, I don’t know, using condoms? The right to copulate as often and with as many partners as one may choose may represent equality with men to the writer of the quoted piece, but the inescapable truth is that the consequences of exercising that right are far greater and more long-term for each woman’s life than for those of her partner(s), and therefore those consequences should be weighed more carefully before rather than after exercising that right. IMO, abortion for it’s own sake or as birth control will never be a winning argument, even among women who’ve staunchly marched through various waves of feminism to make abortion as a last resort safe and legal and rare. BTW, the name ‘DelBalzo’ leads one to suspect that the writer of the quoted piece may actually be male.

    • Erin says:

      Not clear why a surname is an indication of gender? Wouldn’t Jessica be more of an indication of a female author?

  2. Oswald says:

    From Uppity’s:

    Hey Governor Brownback, I was just wondering if you could help me decide what brand of tampons to buy. I have a heavy flow and I would like to avoid embarrassing leaks. I’m sure you’re very busy and I’m sorry to bother you. It’s just that, as a woman, I don’t feel comfortable making these important health decisions without input from a male politician. I’m sure you understand.

  3. votermom says:

    I’m pro-choice, but I think loving abortion is like loving the nuclear bomb. Keeping it in your arsenal ensures your sovereignty, but using it is a last resort.

  4. yttik says:

    I don’t “love” abortion because I think it’s evidence that a woman’s body was not respected for what ever reasons. An unwanted pregnancy itself is a violation of a woman’s body, an injury. If a side effect for men having sex was a root canal, I guarantee it would practically be illegal to cause one. For those who have wanted pregnancies but require an abortion for medical reasons, well that’s sad too.

  5. ghjk says:

    If there was support in this country for single mothers instead of blame and attaching the word “bastard” to the children, there would likely be fewer abortions, IMO. Even previously married single mothers and their children experience a decline in their standard of living upon divorce while the dad is better off, financially. If the dads had to take equal responsibility for the results of sex, they would be more concerned with the availability of contraception and backup abortions.

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