I try not to engage too much with specific politics on this site, but occasionally I have a responsibility to say something or be complicit. And given the amount of forced impregnation / breeding kink that I write, I feel I have a responsibility to say something about what’s happening in the United States right regarding the proposed overturning of Roe v Wade, the case which supports a federal protection for abortion rights in that country.
The short version is this: I comprehensively, unequivocally support the right of all people, including women, to control and make decisions about their own body, including contraception, pregnancy, and abortion.
I’m not inviting an argument, I’m making a statement, and if you’re uncomfortable enough that you can’t let that go unchallenged then please just leave this site and don’t buy my books.
There are, among pro-lifers, many people of good faith, and I am friends with some of them. The ideas of “life” and “sentience” are social constructs, and thus the question of “where life begins” is not one capable of being solved by reference to evidence. We can point to various developmental stages, brain activity, and so forth, but nature does not really distinguish between an independent human, a foetus, an embryo, or a spermatozoon. (Or, for that matter, the individual atoms and molecules which make up those constructs).
And if you believe in “life”, and in the sanctity of life, and if you believe that life includes some number of foetuses which might currently be aborted, you have a viewpoint that cannot wholly be contradicted, and the pursuit of which has some nobility. I can respect that.
I can engage in the philosophical argument about “when does life begin”, but women are not much assisted by the philosophical opinions of a cis man on this topic, when there are much more practical considerations at play here.
The first and foremost being this: criminalised abortion kills women.
There is strong evidence, in many countries, over long periods of time, that criminalising abortion does not substantially reduce either access to or incidence of abortion. What it reduces access to is *safe* abortion. Anti-abortion laws do not “save babies”, they just kill women.
And overwhelmingly these are poor and vulnerable women, because the other thing we know is that rich people will still access high-quality abortion care, either by travelling to avoid bans, or having access to high-quality local doctors willing to perform illegal procedures.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life – you cannot, in good faith, fight this battle using crimnal law. The evidence is clear. You are *just killing vulnerable women*.
The second thing is this: for all that there are good-faith pro-lifers, the current political campaign in the United States is not being conducted in good faith. It is not primarily driven by people who care about babies. If that were the case, the (largely conservative) lawmakers pushing for these laws would also be pushing for free healthcare, for raising the minimum wage, for free access to childcare, for more money in our public schools, and generally for all the things that make it more viable to safely carry a child to term and to parent it in a healthy household. But they are not.
The push to overturn Roe v Wade is largely driven by an extremist religious right, and it is about (a) controlling women, (b) religious law, and (c) kicking down anything progressives like purely because progressives like it. They have co-opted the good-faith pro-life movement, such as it is, to prosecute a collateral attack on women.
We have already heard elected Republican lawmakers saying out loud, in public (on Twitter and elsewhere) that overturning Roe v Wade is a step towards overturning the laws that prevent racial segregation and that protect interracial marriage.
Further, some of the same principles that underpin Roe v Wade are the principles that protect the right of Americans to own and view pornography in their own homes, and which underpin a range of other private liberties we take for granted.
Everyone in the United States – but particularly those who enjoy the kinks I feature in my stories – has an obligation to fight to protect the rights and bodily autonomy of women and others who this crusade will affect. Which includes women, trans men, and for that matter fathers, whose choices and rights are also impacted by criminalisation of abortion.
I stand firmly with all these people in supporting the right for all people to make decisions about their own body, and ask all my readers to stand with me.
– All These Roadworks
7 May 2022