22 Jan Abortion myths and the new feminism
Forty years after Roe, Elise Italiano thinks it’s time for a new feminism:
Whether the media acknowledge them or not, there are feminist voices mobilizing today who do not hold these presuppositions. They might not get the celebrity that Lena Dunham is enjoying or receive federal funding for their case, but they are quietly and steadily speaking up in an effort to protect and defend women’s rights, dignity, and equality—precisely because abortion cannot give women what they need to flourish.
In fact, Time magazine just featured a piece highlighting the fact that forty years after Roe v. Wade, abortion-rights activists find themselves having to vigorously and repeatedly defend abortion. They are discovering that younger women no longer necessarily see abortion as one of their fundamental rights.
I’m not alone in challenging the old feminism, in which women’s equality comes at the cost of their femininity. By continuing to promote abortion, lawmakers, politicians, social workers, lawyers, educators, and all parties with a vested interest in women’s health and wellbeing distract themselves from providing women the resources and tools they really need to be happy and healthy.
Pro-choice arguments in the name of feminism don’t work, and a better feminist case can be made against abortion as the answer to the injustices and inequalities of womanhood. My case aims to show that abortion at best works as a bandage on the wounds that disadvantage women, and at worst facilitates them.
Italiano challenges several myths: that abortion helps women move forward educationally and professionally; that it helps women move out of poverty; and that it helps women who’ve been the victims of violence.
The whole piece is worth a read, as is Italiano’s contribution to Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves. Young women know that they deserve better than abortion, and their voices are starting to be heard.