Dear Sarah Palin: I confess that in the past, I have made fun of you. But you keep claiming that curtailing women's reproductive rights empowers women, and I'm not laughing anymore.
The supposed benefit for women of an anti-choice ideology has been one of your talking points for a while now, but today's Facebook post on the upcoming March for Life represents a new low of anti-feminist doublethink. Allow me to respond point-by-point.
In the years following Roe, we were told that the issue was no longer open for debate and that we should get over it and move on.
This is an interesting complaint given the frequency with which feminists, especially those who try to make reproductive rights a campaign issue, are told to "get over it and move on."
[T]his peaceful, hopeful grassroots crowd of individuals, families and students comes to our capital every year [for the March for Life] to remind us that every innocent life is beautiful, precious and full of potential. These warrior souls come to show their dedication to the weakest among us: those with special needs, women without anyone to turn to, and children without a voice.
The claim that anti-choicers speak for a marginalized group — here, "children without a voice" — is a common cover-up for their effective marginalization of women. What's more unusual about your argument is your assertion that anti-abortion somehow help "women without anyone to turn to," when in fact, if you succeed, you will put millions of women in a situation in which they have no one to turn to. Except, that is, for service providers you approve of:
They run the helpful pregnancy resource centers, the counseling hotlines, the foster care facilities, the adoption services, and countless other outreach programs that offer compassionate assistance and friendship to women who are struggling.
If you truly want to increase funding for foster care and liberalize adoption to make it cheaper and easier for children to find homes, I agree with you wholeheartedly. But when you mention "helpful pregnancy resource centers," I believe you're speaking of the kind of crisis pregnancy centers that, at their worst, give misinformation, withhold birth control advice, and even coerce women into giving up their children for adoption rather than raising them themselves. At their very best, these centers still fail to offer women the abortion option they have the right to exercise, and your claim that removing this option helps "struggling" women is infantilizing rather than empowering.