Comparing abortion and slavery is nonsensical

To the editor:

Again, another pro-lifer is making false comparisons between slavery and abortion (two completely different subjects by the way). Again another pro-lifer is dictating to others what they should do with their body. In my previous letter, I stated that I had spoken to a local priest who stated that the Bible was full of contradictions, that priest by the way, was the author of the letter published in Saturday’s Sentinel, Rev. William Weary.

Anti-choice comparisons between slavery and abortion are nothing new. It is a canard so common that it literally makes me physically sick whenever I see it because it is nonsense, devoid of fact and logic, stripping women of agency and co-opting this country’s brutal racial history to score a political point against ideological foes.

Abortion is not slavery, nor is it comparable to slavery. An abortion is a medical procedure that results in the termination of a pregnancy. People who seek abortions do so for myriad reasons: because a wanted pregnancy presents a danger to the health of the pregnant person, or simply because a person has decided, as is her right, when and whether to have children. Abortion, quite simply, allows women the freedom to live full and free lives and to retain control over their bodies. Of course, pro-lifers don’t care about the rights of women as seen from the anti-abortion bills that have been recently signed.

Slavery, on the other hand, was the centuries-long system under which black men and women were treated not as human beings, with attendant freedom and liberty, but as animals, human property owned by other humans, normally so-called God fearing men and women, who forced their “property” to work under inhumane conditions. During slavery, black human beings were murdered, raped and treated like animals simply for the economic benefit of white aristocracy and to further white supremacy.

Comparisons between abortion and slavery are popular among the anti-choice crowd because most people agree that slavery is morally wrong. If anti-choice forces can equate slavery and abortion, and draw parallels between an “unborn” person and an enslaved person, then surely no morally righteous person could continue to defend abortion as a medical procedure that enables women to retain some modicum of control over the physical selves and their economic realities.

Such arguments are the bread and butter of the rabid anti-choice crowd — who ignore any discussion of the hostile birthing environment that exists for women of low-income to this day.

Moreover, such arguments ignore the horror that slavery was for the people that suffered under slavery. Abortion does not equal slavery — to even make the claim that it is at best asinine.

Also to compare Dred Scott to Roe v. Wade is completely pathetic. Dred Scott was about slavery while Roe v. Wade was about the rights of women to choose what to do with their own bodies. Even though Rev. Weary makes the claim that they are the same thing, he is wrong. Does he want backstreet abortion clinics to open up and have women die due to being forced to use them in place of safe medical clinics? Does he want more unwanted children being placed into a system that is already overburdened and unfunded? And how many of these unwanted kids, over 620,000 at the last count, are people that pro-lifers are going to adopt?

I would say that by the wording of his letter that he wants all of the things I asked.

George Fisher

Lewistown

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