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Abortion: Not Just for Women Anymore

Like childbearing, abortion isn’t just for women anymore. That is the message coming from the LGBT community and what were once thought of as women’s rights groups in response to Texas Senate Bill 8, the new Texas anti-abortion law.

These culturally powerful groups are using the new law to promote current gender ideology, which views reproduction as distinct from sex. The most sensational evidence of this agenda was Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush’s reference to mothers as “birthing people” to advance the proposition that men, albeit transgender, can give birth too. Because anyone can be a man or a woman in their view, it follows that anyone can have an abortion, including men, and of course the nonbinary. Having always sold abortion with euphemisms and lies, abortion’s proponents are now doubling down on promoting additional destructive falsehoods about biological realities.

Senate Bill 8 is the unique approach taken by the Texas legislature to stop abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy. The statute prohibits its own enforcement by any public official, instead authorizing and rewarding private citizens for filing civil suits against abortion facilitators, with the exception of pregnant women, who have no liability under the law. Significantly, the abortion-facilitating defendants may assert the affirmative defense that applying S.B. 8 in a given case is unconstitutional, so the law does not attempt to overrule Roe v. Wade.

The United States Supreme Court was unable to block the statute from taking effect because no state action was implicated. Further, because no private party had yet suffered any injury from its passage, there was no identifiable person to enjoin. (Laws cannot be enjoined, only people’s actions.) So, consistent with the democratic process that our political opponents have lectured us about so incessantly, the Texas anti-abortion statute took effect. This outcome was unique and unexpected, and the statute’s opponents have been melting down (and fundraising) ever since. 

Eventually the statute’s opponents will file a case involving real people, and a court will rule on the constitutionality of S.B. 8. Meanwhile, woke groups like the American Constitution Society, the liberal answer to the Federalist Society, are ginning up support for Texas organizations to fight the law. The day after Texas’s anti-abortion law took effect, the American Constitution Society issued an email of alarm declaiming against the court and its two allegedly stolen seats bought by billionaires. The email denounced the court for failing to uphold the constitutional right of reproductive freedom and demanded court reform. In addition to requesting donations, the email listed nine Texas organizations that need help in reestablishing abortions.

What’s curious about these entreaties and the organizations, though, is their angle. Rather than frankly promoting abortion as a guarantee of women’s true equality, they largely avoid mentioning women at all, preferring to address those seeking abortions as people, or Texans, or some other genderless term.

One promoted organization is the Buckles Bunny Fund, an abortion funder founded by “young queer folks” who “harness [their] beautiful rage” to make sure that no potential abortion goes unexecuted. It seems to have no other mission, and it does not mention women or why abortion might be important to them. As participants in sterile sexual relationships only, the members’ interest in promoting abortion is hard to understand unless homosexuals are satisfied that all battles for their own rights have been won. 

Another, The Lilith Fund, “supports the right of all Texans to make their own reproductive choices, regardless of income,” but this statement seems problematic. Does the fund really support reproductive freedom for men?—and I don’t mean the pregnant transgender ones, although the fund surely must. If so, a male would have a right to sire a child or have the pregnancy of a woman carrying his child terminated. Something tells me that The Lilith Fund’s philosophy needs clarification.

Not to be outdone is the Clinic Access Support Network, which provides transportation in the Houston area to abortion appointments, promising to serve people regardless of their “race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” Cisgender males could have a lot of fun with this organization by making its volunteers drive them around to abortion clinics.

Such are the problems with intersectional allies trying to push conflicting agendas all at once. One can only conclude that transgender orthodoxy is overwhelming abortion politics by disassociating pregnancy and women in favor of universal gender fluidity.

This thesis is consistent with the observations of author Abigail Shrier that transgender ideology intends to depreciate the value of females and deprive them of needed protections. Ironically, this agenda reveals the validity of the position of pro-life groups that abortion promoters never cared about women’s health and preferences but were instead pushing an ideology that belittled motherhood and homemaking and championed fulfillment in careers. It seems that as women continue to disappoint feminists with their natural choices, the woke advocates now try to make them unimportant.

In 1973abortion was heralded as a right bestowed upon pregnant women that would allow them to control their fertility so as to participate in civic life. This concern is no longer articulated in the literature advanced by the featured Texas abortion advocates.

Given the peculiar way that abortion proponents are fighting S.B. 8, one wonders how much women really matter to them anymore. Advocates even appear slightly embarrassed at the thought that pregnancy and female biology are inseparable. Is society willing to accept the assertion that “woman” is no more than a self-selected gender with no special properties and therefore no distinct value? If so, the consequences of avoiding reality and acting on these lies will be tragic for everyone, but especially for women.

Betsy Clarke

Betsy Clarke is a retired law clerk who lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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