Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is abortion necessary for women's equality?

"[Some] popular abortion-choice rhetoric ... asserts that women cannot achieve social and political equality without [abortion access]. ... But the assumption behind this rhetoric -- that equality can only be achieved through special surgery (abortion) -- implies that women are naturally inferior to men, that they need abortion (a form of corrective surgery) to become equal with men. This is hardly consistent with any feminism that claims that men are not naturally superior to women. ... It seems to me that this argument is rhetorically powerful in some circles because it taps into an unconscious sexism that assumes that male sexuality is the paradigm of human sexuality. Consequently, the inequality does not lie in the nature of women but in the disordered way in which our society places value on that nature. The key to ending this inequality is not to socialize women into the male paradigm, but to celebrate and honor the indispensable role that mothers play in caring for the most vulnerable and defenseless members of our population, the unborn."

-- Francis J. Beckwith (Defending Life, p. 111-112)