A Twitter follower recently sent me a photo of a poster in Seattle alluding to abortion restrictions and bans as “forced motherhood,” which is, to the leftists who drew up this tripe, “female enslavement.”
There’s no mention here about the rights of preborn females to life and freedom, mind you, but we are told with the passionate conviction of a Baptist preacher describing the end times that women everywhere are being forced into motherhood, since their “choice has been taken away from them,” and that this is a violation of their “fundamental human rights.” Women are being coerced, you see, and that just doesn’t jibe with the concept of human rights, does it?
Like so many of the left’s talking points about everything from sexuality to school choice, the “forced birth” meme examined critically is not just untrue, it’s a projection onto their opposition of their own brutality and reliance on force and limiting choice.
First, the part that should be obvious: Babies are the natural consequence of sex, and if you have sexual intercourse, you invite the possibility of pregnancy. Getting pregnant and carrying that baby to term and having that baby is not some new dystopian reality for women that Ron “DeathSantis” (or insert the latest rage-inducing Republican politician here) “forced” on “birthing people.” Procreation is as old as humanity and is indeed the only way humans have survived as a species.
Since the advent of hormonal birth control and “safe and legal” abortion, many humans have been deceived into thinking that the primary reason sex exists is not to make new humans, but rather for enjoyment. This is as false now as it has always been; the fact that new ways to avoid being pregnant have arisen in the last 60 years does not change this basic biological reality that sex makes babies. Participants in consensual sex aren’t being forced into birth, they are inviting the possibility of new humans coming into existence. When that possibility manifests, women engage in a completely natural and healthy process of nurturing developing babies in their wombs.
When a woman is impregnated by rape, this is obviously a violation of her autonomy. Still, the child is innocent, and as an innocent human being, he or she has the most fundamental right: the right to life. That right cannot be violated to avoid a loss of autonomy for nine months. The baby’s right to life doesn’t supersede a mother’s right to life, either, which may be a reason to deliver a baby early, even too early to survive, but never a reason to deliberately destroy him. The leftists currently throwing tantrums over Dobbs and sketching cliché shackled wrists aren’t asking for abortion to be legal only in cases of rape or threats to mothers’ lives anyway; they’re objecting to most restrictions on the so-called “fundamental right to choose.”
Abortion Isn’t a Right
Yet the idea of abortion as a legally protected right is extremely new in the context of thousands of years of human existence, though it wasn’t uncommon among the Romans, the Aztecs, and other ancient civilizations to treat infants and the unborn as disposable. Human rights don’t spring up or die when “safe and effective” technology arises; human rights are as old as humans, since they come from their Creator, and are not dependent on technology.
It’s the same with abortion as it is with “sex change” surgeries. Your ability to alter your appearance to resemble that of the other sex or brutally remove another human life from existence with minimal physical damage to yourself does not create new “fundamental rights.” These are entitlements dreamed up by people desperate to free themselves from core realities of being physical humans, eager to drag other naïve humans along with them in a quest to “liberate” themselves of these pesky biological “constraints.”
We must suppose abortion advocates haven’t stopped to think that maybe deliberately destroying their own flesh and blood offspring is what’s messed up and unnatural and “forced,” even as they’re buying their organic food and their organic fertilizer and their organic cotton sheets. Going to a medical facility or taking medication at home to dismember or chemically dissolve their own babies is what is truly disturbing and disordered — not laws against doing so.
Abortion advocates, a group almost exclusively belonging to the left, will not allow the possibility that the desire for abortion might be an indication that either the circumstances or the woman’s mindset about motherhood or both are warped and unhealthy. Instead of helping women create external circumstances like mate choice, career choice, and social support that are more favorable to raising children, they double down on the disordered, the unnatural, the lethal “force” of abortion as a “human right.”
Consequence not Coercion
If “forced birth” is how a pro-abortion woman thinks of carrying a baby she accidentally made while having sex, then any other unintended consequence in life must also be “forced” upon her. She ate too much cake and sat on her couch too much: obesity was “forced” on her. She drank too much chardonnay: a hangover was “forced” on her. She took a turn too fast in the rain and slid off the road into a ditch: the ditch was “forced” on her.
When you put it in these terms “forced birth” seems like nonsense — because it is. Consequence and coercion are too completely different concepts. Not having an “easy out” of an accident doesn’t mean the consequences of your actions are “forced” on you, it just means you have to live with your consequences. Legal abortion was an “easy out” the Supreme Court had guaranteed, and so many women who grew up under this regime over the past five decades came to understand abortion as their “right” to escape a life-changing consequence. But this right was never a real right in the God-given sense, only an entitlement granted by the government that in fact relies on force itself. Lethal force. Abortion ends a human life, every time. How’s that for a “forced” consequence?
Abortion advocates now pivot to very exceptional circumstances like 10-year-olds getting pregnant by incestuous rape to turn the public against those cruel Republican-crafted abortion bans. But these abortion advocates were, and still are, pushing abortion as a right in any circumstance whatsoever and declaring any unplanned pregnancy in a world without legal abortion to be a “forced birth.”
Abortion ends a human life and stops a heartbeat. Whether leftist abortion advocates freely admit it or not, this is lethal force applied to another innocent human in order to exercise this so-called “right.” The “forced birth” meme is thus another projection of the left’s own brutality and reliance on force onto their opposition, just like they project Ron Desantis as “authoritarian” for not allowing Covid vaccine mandates while they push government vaccine mandates as “freedom,” or claim that “free speech” is “oppressive” while censorship is “freedom from hate.”
The left can post all the sloppy sketches of breaking chains and sobbing women they want, but we should take the power out of the “forced birth” meme by calling it what it is: a projection.