Respect for Women's Bodies
Before I became a Christian, I had always been pro-life. I was once a pro-life atheist. Atheists believe that through the mapping of the human genome and through the human DNA, that they have discovered fundamental human rights and equality. Atheists believe that the totality of what makes us human is within our DNA. I held onto the pro-life viewpoint for this very reason: humans obtain their DNA when the sperm and the egg join together, immediately at the moment of conception.
People who hold onto the pro-choice viewpoint do not consider the fetus a human being. But seriously, if our DNA is what makes us human and is what gives us our rights, when do people obtain their DNA to make them human?
I have since supplemented this pro-life stance with many complimentary beliefs - God created human DNA, human souls are created in the image of God, etc. Where a woman's body is considered a thing to be used and discarded, the children resulting from such use will inevitably be considered things for disposal. This is my pro-life and anti-abortion belief as a feminist. I believe that abortion is the result of patriarchy and sexist beliefs. Abortion can never be considered women's empowerment. What I see within modern western culture merely verifies my belief.
Abortion has skyrocketed since Roe v Wade. Hugh Heifner who created Playboy and who liked to think of women as soft and fluffy bunnies had also supported the woman's right to an abortion. Men and women have additionally been having casual sex without commitment at skyrocketing rates since then. The new slogan "friends with benefits" has emerged due to the sex epidemic.
If pop culture can be considered to mirror cultural values and beliefs, then take a look at the series "Sex and the City," which championed female promiscuity. The women there wanted to have sex as often as the men do. But what they did never reduced male promiscuity and never challenged sexist male beliefs about women. By engaging in promiscuous sex with promiscuous men, what they did was validate the Barney Stinson types who counted women as scorepoints for their sex scores. After all, those types would have zero score if the women refused to give their bodies to any man who comes along.
Abortion has done nothing to create or to encourage beliefs in women's equality. Just the opposite. Take a look at the phrases on the recent cover of Cosmopolitan. That magazine fully endorses the notion that women exist for male pleasure. "Give him the sex he craves," "When he gives you the silent treatment," "How to avoid being an almost-girlfriend," etc. In the movie Bridget Jones's Diary, the title character required a boyfriend to feel good about herself. Bridget Jones felt that if she did not have a boyfriend, then she was nothing.
Recently, the United States House of Representatives turned down a bill banning discrimination against a fetus with the XX chromosomes. More correctly stated, the House turned down a bill that would ban aborting girls if the mother preferred boys over daughters. Prenda (Pre-Natal Discrimination Act) sought to protect girls whose mothers held sexist beliefs. Because the House voted against protecting girls, they can become victims of sexism at their mother's discrimination.
Gendercide is common in China, and it also occurs over here in the United States. Asians and Indians who immigrate here are the most likely to abort girls in preference for boys. Education plays little role in changing sexist views. Mara Hvistendahl wrote "Gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations. The world, therefore, is becoming increasingly male, and this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval." In her book Unnatural Selection, she describes how an Indian woman was "livid because she had accidentally aborted a boy because the doctor misdiagnosed the fetus's sex"
Gendercide abortion occurs in the United States as well. One article from the United States stated:
Of the 51 women using ultrasound to identify the baby’s gender, 24 of their fetuses were male and 27 were female. All carried male offspring to term. All but three of the women carrying a female fetus terminated their pregnancies.Planned Parenthood opposed Prenda, the law that would have banned discrimination on basis of gender.
Women identified female in-laws and husbands as sources of significant pressure to have male children. This was especially true when in-laws lived nearby, but also occurred if they remained in [their native country].
“When my second child was also a girl, she [mother-in-law] did not want to hold her after the birth,” one woman commented. Another spoke of going for testing to find out if the baby she was carrying was male. “If not, I will have to get an abortion because he [husband] does not want another daughter,” she said.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America also told The Huffington Post that the organization condemns seeking abortions on the basis of gender, but its policy is to provide “high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into” its health centers. That means that no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois)This issue of being "nonjudgmental" means that Planned Parenthood will endorse and endorse what it claims to condemn - the abortion of girls just for being girls.
Culture often plays a huge part in abortion rates. In Eastern cultures, the abortions are to eliminate girls. In the Western cultures, abortions occur for different reasons. There is a high amount of cultural exchange between the United States and Britain. The Brits listen to American pop music and watch American movies while Americans have begun to import British television shows and to redesign British shows for American audiences. Skins is one such example. While it continued with high views in Britain, it was discontinued in the United States. Because culture influences the abortion rates, I wonder what the exact rates are in our country.
[National Health Service] figures released to the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act show another two teenage girls had their seventh abortion in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, while four more teenagers had a termination for the sixth time.Because of the immigration from the East into the West, we will experience a cultural convergence between a culture that prefers to eliminate girls and a culture that considers girls things for male pleasure. The abortion which followed the women's sexual empowerment of the 1960s claimed to be about giving women control and authority over their bodies. What it led to is the disrespect and disregard for women's bodies. Men take pride their sexual organs and abhor the vasectomy because it involves removing or altering their sexual organs. However, when some women have their uteri removed, they cheer, "Freedom! Independence!" These women have no respect or appreciation for their bodies when they are so eager to remove the intrinsically woman parts of their bodies.
Fourteen teenage girls had their fifth abortion in 2010, 57 teens had a termination for the fourth time and 485 women aged 19 or under went through the procedure for a third time.
Of the abortions carried out on teenage girls in 2010, more than 5,300 were on teenagers who had already had at least one termination
"Yet here we have young women, still not fully mature physiologically and emotionally, undergoing abortions numerous times... It cannot be healthy for them, and the provision of abortion is clearly not resolving the problems in the lives that cause them to have multiple crisis pregnancies."
Out of the 189,574 abortions carried out in 2010 for women of all ages, more than 64,300 terminations were for women who had already had the operation in the past. Some 85 of those women had undergone at least seven previous terminations, including 30 women who were aged under 30.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "Having an abortion can be a very difficult and traumatic experience so we are very concerned about the number of women having multiple abortions.
A genuine appreciation for a woman's body would be to appreciate the capabilities of a woman's body - carrying new souls, giving birth, and nurturing life. Such appreciation does not necessarily mean that all women should become mothers. Actually, such appreciation would lead to less sex and more chastity because it would result in fewer women wanting to discard their bodies.
Ariel Levy. Female Chauvinist Pigs. Simon & Schuster. New York, NY. 2005