Lesson 6: A Critique of Pro-Choice Arguments (Part 2) – Women’s Rights.

Last week I suggested Pro-Choice adherents appeal to real-life experiences and women’s rights. Over and over, I read women claiming that Roe gave women rights that the Supreme Court removed.

Sometimes the rights are spelled out with regard to “My Body, My Choice,” meaning the issue concerns the woman’s person so they have the right to decide what goes on with their own bodies.

At other times this claim is based on having to pay the price for the decision. It is almost always made in indignation, even outrage, that a disinterested party, especially a male, would be given authority to make the decision.

Women are demanding the right in the context of history where they were regarded as men’s property. This is especially emphasized in black women’s responses. They speak of their mothers’ bodies treated as public property.

Some read this appeal to special rights as a selfish demand when they say we should be working together on public policy for the common good. These critics run from those who think the the feminist movement opened the assault on traditional Christian values to those who feel the movement has simply gone too far. The former call themselves the real feminists because they retain the supposedly God-given role women have played in our culture. The latter feels the movement has become anti-male.

I have experienced such reactions at every step forward in the civil rights movements. We have to work through them to avoid either defending male privilege or silencing men’s voices. Certainly, the Supreme Court overthrowing Roe versus Wade and many states enacting civil laws against abortion is a return to men speaking for women.

I think we want to celebrate the women’s movement as the latest step in the civil rights movement. Granting women the right to make the decision about abortion simply recognizes they are best qualified to do that in our society. The free enterprise health system. the lack of a disinterested justice agency, and the ideological divisions in our society grants women that right by default.

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