I understand that those who support abortion are not all of one mind. (That is true for those who oppose abortion, also.) There are abortion supporters who say they want abortion safe, legal and rare which implies that there is something wrong, or at least problematic, about the procedure. But there are other abortion advocates who think that abortion isn’t very different than a tonsillectomy. Someone who bills herself as “Not Guilty” at Finding My Feminism says abortion is no big deal because the fetus is nothing whatsoever with which one should concern herself:
While I want to abolish the patriarchy, gender norms and stereotypes and all the negative consequences that stem from them, I don’t really care if abortion is ever “gone.” I think of abortion like appendectomies. I feel bad for the patient because any invasive medical procedure sucks (trust me, I know), but I don’t differentiate between abortion and any other medical procedure. Removing fetal tissue is the same, to me, as removing inflamed tonsils or an infected appendix.
If we get to a point in society that we no longer have a need for abortions, great. We’ve reached a point where we no longer have a need for blood-letting. But I don’t care if we ever reach that point. Abortions are a medical procedure and they have a use in our society and they should not be treated any differently from any other medical procedure. This latter point is an important one.
Belittling the unborn child by comparing it to a tonsil or appendix to be removed is a stretch, and a conscious one as part of an attempt to persuade her fellow feminists to downplay the moral significance of the fetus. In 1995 Naomi Wolf wrote in The New Republic that pro-abortion feminists should not be so callous in their treatment of the unborn, saying the fetus is worth serious moral consideration even if the rights of the mother outweigh the rights of the child. Not Guilty is trying to recapture some moral high ground by insisting that there is no moral issue involved in the decision to kill an unborn child. Certainly, Not Guilty is talking to her fellow feminists, because the general public is unlikely to join her “in not caring whether abortions are performed.” It all seems so desperate and outside of the mainstream, which is why the hand-wringing of mainstream abortion activists (safe, legal and rare) is so effective. The American public, even that which is not pro-life, know that there is a difference between an unborn child and an inflammed tonsil and that decisions to end a pregnancy are not to be taken lightly. In all honesty, I hope Not Guilty wins her argument among the pro-abortion side; it would make pro-life activism that much easier.