Those who debate abortion rights imply that there is something to debate. I walk a fine line when I discuss abortion rights and when I attempt to call out why anti-abortion and anti-bodily autonomy arguments are bullshit. But pointing out bullshit and explaining why it’s wrong is not debate. I know there is nothing to debate. Abortion must be legal. We must respect an individual’s right to do with their body as they will.
Faulty anti-abortion reasoning clouds heads. It is deliberate misdirection and outright lies, and it is intended to shift the focus from the fact that limiting abortion is a patriarchal-based effort to control women and what they do with their bodies. I want to help blow away the smoke and smash the mirrors. When I point out that an argument like “fetuses are people and deserve protection” is groundless, I hope that what’s left after all the smashing is, “Oh hey – those people just want to tell women how to behave and what they can do with their bodies.”
Pointing out bullshit is not admitting that there is anything worthwhile being said by those who said it. It’s simply calling out bullshit. We know that ignoring the dissemination of dangerous misinformation is not “taking the high road” – it’s letting dangerous misinformation be spread unchecked.
I understand the fear of not being allowed to control my body. I acutely feel the anger, frustration and resentment that comes from watching others debate a topic that affects me, but not them. I have had the pregnancy scares and the experience of being shamed for simply being female. I have spoken, listened and cried with women who have suffered the agony and desperation of an unwanted pregnancy. I have seen behind the mask of the gentle grandmotherly “sidewalk counselor” and heard the misogynistic bile that is spewed at women who visit abortion clinics. When I discuss the biology of pregnancy, or one meager facet of illogical anti-abortion rhetoric, it is not to enter into debate – it is to wage war.