“Public discussion of abortion has come to inexorably privilege fetal life over female life. The imaginary futures—the “personhoods”—of the unborn have taken moral precedence over the adult women in whose bodies they grow.

     This is why public accounts of abortions are almost always accompanied with ample helpings of guilt and self-flagellation (“the hardest decision of my life,” “something I still think about”), lest the woman sound icy and immoral. In her excellent new book, Pro, a galvanizing call to reclaim abortion as a moral good, the feminist writer Katha Pollitt refers to this as the “awfulization” of abortion. Most people, no matter their politics, have absorbed some aspect of the right-wing narrative that abortions are uniformly harrowing and traumatic, when for many women they are brief events that leave no lasting mark.
      And so we need to make it clear that abortions are not about fetuses or embryos. Nor are they about babies, except insofar as they enable women to make sound decisions about if or when to have them. They’re about women: their choices, health, and their own moral value.”

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