Without apology: the abortion struggle now


Is a short book by Jenny Brown, that is free to download ( for now) on verso that speaks to the question of abortion in quite a very powerful way. In it she links the abortion rights issue to the reproductive rights debate, in a way that is both convincing and powerful.

Some light bulb moment for me was to learn that some phrases that i use often have their beginnings in feminist organising. ‘The personal is political’, ‘consciousness raising’ among others.

It also does seem that capitalism is antithetical to women reproductive rights. That whenever countries become more capitalist, the more restrictive their reproductive laws.

Ain’t it absurd that a country as the Uneducated States of A would ban distribution of sex ed, birth control and other material on reproductive health to women while expecting cases of unwanted pregnancies to go down.

One other thing to note is what Brown calls the feminism of 1%. The pro-choice feminism. If you get pregnant its your choice and you should deal with it as being inimical to the overall struggle of the women. Something which i have read somewhere else.

If you have two hours on the train, or at home after mowing the lawn or doing dishes, pick this book. You will be the better for it.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

49 thoughts on “Without apology: the abortion struggle now

  1. john zande says:

    the Uneducated States of A

    LOL! Brilliant!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. landzek says:

    I think the arguments about making the question of abortion be based around women’s Health is a political zero sum. What I mean by this is that there is no ethical standard to understand what healthy means as a way to discern or distinguish what a human being is. The only way to come up regulatory power concerning those types of ideas is to get more people to vote to affirm them or deny them. It says nothing about what is actually the case, no matter what I believe, Are you forthat matter.

    Now, I am pro-choice. And I do believe in the women’s health issue that is so prevalent in the discussion about abortion.

    However, it doesn’t matter what I believe. What I believe ultimately comes down to a sort of religious conviction, even though I wouldn’t say that I’m religious. And this is to say the argument about when life begins, compared to what women’s health is, is utterly a religious question, a question about beliefs and culture.

    I think this is where we getting the stalemate even throughout all the other issues, so far as Trump and the conservatives and make America great again, and then the opposite whatever that is.

    The basic I think more fundamental issue going on with the issue of abortion is the separation between church and state.

    I’m fairly certain that the pro lifers, if you were to have a discussion with them about why they think abortion is so terrible, it would come down to some issue about faith in God or something about that, or how it’s immoral to kill another human being. All these are religious type questions, and they should be kept out of governmental regulation.

    The question of abortion has to do with the behavior of people. Not their beliefs. The role of government here is to control behavior as it might involve or otherwise interfere in the rights of another person. This question is not about when life begins, but what a person is under the law. A person under the law is someone who behaves in such a way to infect someone else, or to infringe upon their rights.

    To say that an unborn fetus has rights is a religious argument.

    I think that’s where the whole thing is really failing.

    Liked by 5 people

    • makagutu says:

      Why is it a zero sum if you think the way to address it is to get people to vote? Isn’t voting political?
      The issue of church and state is just one aspect of the problem. The are other interests that hinder abortion rights.

      The question of abortion has to do with the behavior of people. Not their beliefs.

      It has to do with their beliefs. Do they believe that a woman has a right to determine what she does with her body?

      Like

      • landzek says:

        I’m saying that the role of government has to do with the way people behave. But particularly whether people’s behavior infringes upon another person’s right to pursue their happiness.

        To talk about whether or not a fetus is a person pursuing happiness has nothing to do with behavior. It Hass to do with religious questions, it Hass to do with what I believe about people.

        Yes, I am saying that because people think beliefs are something that government is supposed to regulate, that’s why we have our current political situation around these highly contested issues. Because then what we have to do is we have to motivate people who believe similarly that I do to go out and vote on this religious issue.

        Hopefully this country won’t actually enter into a Civil War. But if it does it’s going to because of religious type beliefs. It’s because people believe that this country is based around, Christianity, maybe for example. Or even though they don’t subscribe to Christianity, they believe the liberal kind of values that come out of Protestantism, which has developed the United States as a political system into what we understand as liberal capitalistic democracy.

        But what I’m really saying is that the pro lifers are not talking about the health of mother. They’re making the argument about when life begins. And that is a religious argument. That doesn’t have to do with whether or not someone’s rights are being impinged upon.

        If we could let government be about how people behave instead of what they believe, and let the lower courts litigate or mitigate or whatever, the various court cases about belief, then I think things would be much smoother and we’d have a more unified countryZ

        What if this problem is that people don’t believe in this country as foundational to their rights. They actually believe that human beings have access to something that is absolute and universal as an individual. And that’s not true. What is true is that this government is in place and it allows us to think that way that we are without having to get out guns and kill each other. It is the system that allows us to have to negotiate civilly. That is what is the miracle of the US government. It is a system that can contain difference effectively.

        Yes there’s all the problems with race and culture and all that stuff. But the system itself is a system by which difference can be negotiated civilly, indeed it demands it. But first people have to believe that the system is the thing that is allowing me to not have to own a gun and when someone disagrees with me have to go out and get in a battle of swords and weapons.

        Liked by 2 people

        • makagutu says:

          It’s far from a religious argument when life begins. The church held the soul got into the body after 8 weeks n had no issue with abortion at that stage until only recently.

          And for Christians to argue the bible supports an antiabortion position is a failure on their part treat their book seriously. Using the one verse about knowledge before someone was born as the basis ignores all instances where god makes no apology for sanctioning the massacre of unrorn babies.

          Liked by 1 person

          • landzek says:

            Political liberalism behaves like a religious ideology, just as conservative pro-life political stances behave like a religious ideology. That is when it comes down to the rights of US citizens.
            It doesn’t really matter whether we categorize these beliefs into some sort of institutional religion. The nature of the current battle has to do with fundamental beliefs that people are unable to convince the other party of.

            That is the nature of religious type belief, that no matter what the argument, you are not going to be able to convince me. This kind of stalemate is religious. And so the Supreme Court could be realizing this feature or character of the argument, and thus is comprehending that there is no “United States“ the aggregate of citizens that believe that abortion is an alienable rights of women. So they might turn it back to the states to figure out how smaller groups might be able to briidge these religious attitudes.

            If someone is addicted to drugs, there’s nothing that I can say that will get them to stop using drugs. We could say that it is some sort of chemical addiction, that but that doesn’t explain why people who want to get sober actually get sober. The reason why they get sober is because they’re “religious belief, has been breached, the argument has overcome their ideal about what makes sense.

            . I know that’s a little bit of a philosophical stretch, but this is really what we’re dealing with: unmovable attitudes. The reality of our current situation is that there is a huge amount of people who do not Fall into this belief that abortion has to do with a woman’s inalienable right right to her own body. It’s obvious.

            And so the Supreme Court just may be reflective, just as when Trump was elected, of a kind of silent, aggravated, large portion, significantly large portion of the United States of America, who felt differently than us so-called educated, intelligent, awake liberal minded cityfolk.

            I am indeed one of these ladder people. But I’m also realizing what could be called the truth of the situation. Which is to say that you can’t legislate morality. You can’t force people to do something that they don’t believe, because what happens is then they take up guns. Which actually is what it is happening all over the United States

            Liked by 1 person

            • makagutu says:

              I agree with you on the nature of religious belief.
              I disagree that the supreme Court decision represents what the silent majority, so called, wants. To determine this, the only way is to put the matter to a plebiscite.
              It is possible to change minds. It happened in Ireland and they now have abortion rights.
              In the US of A, there is an obsession with guns and bibles that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. Basically, an outlier

              Liked by 2 people

              • landzek says:

                Yeah. I guess I’m just saying that it is a religious battle. Or, we could even say, “the soul of America” by which all politics thereby can be discussed.

                Because we are in a way dealing with the soul of America, it may actually be that we need to go in little groups and figure out what smaller groups have to say (states) and then march back up to the highest court.

                I’m not saying that it’s not ideal, or that it’s not gonna cause all sorts of problems. But the reality is that there’s always some sort of fucked up problem somewhere. This just happens to be the loudest one lately.

                Like

                • makagutu says:

                  The matter will have to be decided by the people. Not the representatives of the people. It is another matter whether yoh have mechanisms for having referenda

                  Like

              • landzek says:

                And, I think you’re right. Probably this issue is being motivated by a small group of people that are working on people who would regularly not have such a strong opinion. Otherwise just allow people to be.

                Like

                • makagutu says:

                  They are most likely small but well funded and can amplify their noise.
                  It is interesting when you read that some of those who picket at abortion clinics go for abortions.

                  Like

  3. Man, I’m glad I live in ‘Murica where a woman’s right to her own body is sacred and respected by all. Wait!!! Oh, that was just a dream I had. Never mind.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. renudepride says:

    Unfortunately, time and time again the rights of all are no longer a primary consideration. A woman is entitled to the right to live her life as she so desires. The politicians should mind their manners and let go of what does not concern them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • makagutu says:

      To say the politicians should mind their manners would not solve the problem. The personal, in this case, right to abortion is political. The political is concerned with among others allocation of resources. If we the politics is kept out of it, then there is no allocation for reproductive health. The politician must be involved.

      Liked by 1 person

      • landzek says:

        Yes. And the allocation of resources Hass to do with whether or not a person’s behavior is infringing upon another person’s right to pursue their happiness. It’s not about women’s health specifically, or whether a woman has a right to their own body specifically. The battle is being waged on whether or not the fetus has rights. And that is a utterly religious question.

        Like

      • landzek says:

        But all this going on. You know, the Supreme Court may have a good point about letting the states regulate or decide upon whether or not abortion is an in alienable right.

        If one thinks about government as a regulator of actual behavior, and not a regulator about What people are allowed to believe. Then it is possible to see that because abortion is such a charged religious issue, it is better for the country, and makes more sense as to the regulation of people’s behavior specifically, to put it back to the states. Because that means that the law is not written well enough. The fact is is that we get rights because everyone in the country believes that we have those kinds of rights. It is not that people actually have an alienable rights, it is that people believe that we should.

        This is proven by the simple example that if we don’t have governance and I don’t like you because you think that my wife shouldn’t have an abortion, I can take my hammer out and beat you in the skull until you’re dead. That shows that there is no inalienable rights in an absolute sense, but only in a governmentally regulated sense.

        And so it’s obvious that a huge number of people in the United States do not believe that abortion is a right of a woman. And that has to do with their religious beliefs. And because this country is based on the separation of church and state, instead of trying to make a common law for the 4 billion people or whatever it is we have in America, they’re gonna shoot it back down to make smaller portions of the country decide as a group what they feel that religious belief should be codified. And that will inherently cause a change or a reaction in how people live their lives.

        And that will allow for the laws that govern the whole country to have to be written in a that resonates with a greater amount of people if it’s going to be something that’s called an inalienable right.

        Like

        • Nan says:

          I THINK I’m getting the gist of what you’re saying … although you tend to wander a bit in your written thoughts.

          In any case, IMO, there should be NO regulations or laws put into place that have to do with abortion — within individual states OR the government as a whole. It should be available to those who want it … and to those who are against the procedure … don’t get one. Simple as that.

          But, as you say, religion is the undercurrent and unfortunately, has far more power that it should.

          Liked by 2 people

          • makagutu says:

            I agree with you on the point that there should be no laws wrt abortion.
            Religion may appear the stumbling block but its not the main issue. The Catholic Church for example has had varying positions on abortion of the years. And we know catholics have abortion. There are issues to do with capitalism and desire for markets that promote the antiabortion groups.

            Liked by 1 person

            • maryplumbago says:

              It might have some to do with this white supremacy theory of replacement theology..you know “too many of those others and not enough of us” radicalism. I don’t really get the connection though, as all this will simply produce more babies of poor or minorities while the whites can afford to go get abortions somewhere else. So how, in their small minds, does that help having more whites?
              But I think the play to the base is religion for the votes, of course, but who knows what the deeper reason is by those in power. Probably control over women and some innate animosity towards women.but we are definitely going backwards with religion and poor education here in the US. It’ll hurt us in the long run.

              Liked by 2 people

              • makagutu says:

                Religion provides a good pretext to deny women abortion rights.
                The state doesn’t want to meet the costs of health care.
                Capitalists want markets. And reduced population growth threatens that.

                Liked by 1 person

                • maryplumbago says:

                  Yes…never thought of that..reduced population hurts capitalists. But increased safety nets and medical aid for more children increases the cost to the government.

                  Like

                  • makagutu says:

                    And it seems some states will consider banning plan b and iuds

                    At the heart of the emerging debate about contraception in a post-Roe America is whether the beginning of life at the moment of fertilisation is enshrined in the new legislation. If so, then the morning-after pill and IUDs would be criminalised for preventing the fertilised egg from implanting in the womb. In Louisiana, that could lead to a murder charge for the woman and medical staff under a draft law drawn up by Republicans to make abortion a homicide offence.

                    Like

        • makagutu says:

          The issue should be put to the public to decide.
          Let the state have it on the ballot.

          Like

  5. […] Without apology: the abortion struggle now […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. basenjibrian2 says:

    The main reason abortion became an issue in the United States is because the rabid racist right realized that with the Voting Rights Act there was a good chance they would lose power. The Protestant right didn’t care about the issue really. They did care about losing power to the N-word. There was literally a strategy meetings it, part of Nixons Southern Strategy, that cooked things up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. basenjibrian2 says:

    It doesn’t help thing s when pwogwessivs in the west have become so deluded themselves that in a hearing a Democrat was unable to make a statement that it is women who get pregnant. Yes, the sacred gender fluid women whose souls are male can also get pregnant. And the NHS is erasing the term women from all health info pertaining to things like uterine and cervical cancer. Because men can get these now!!!!!

    Like

  8. maryplumbago says:

    Exactly

    Liked by 1 person

  9. J. Andrew Smith says:

    Abortion is NOT the taking of a life. It is instead a couple creating a life then changing their mind. It is instead a rape victim deciding against bearing the child of a soulless maniac and/or family member. It is instead saving the life of a woman which her pregnancy endangers. It is instead a safe alternative to the coat hangers of the 60s and 70s. And most definitely it is none of anyone else’s business!!

    To all Republicans, repeat after me: None. Of. Your. Business! It’s a couple’s decision to create a life, so it’s also their decision to NOT create a life, which is NOT the same as murder! If you’re all so damn pro-life, why do you support guns, whose only purpose is death? Why do you oppose everything that helps kids once they’re born, such as gov’t programs like WIC and EBT? And how can you support Trump caging kids and tearing families apart?

    And finally, how do you not get it that unplanned babies usually end up welfare recipients, homeless, drug users, criminals or some other burden on YOUR tax dollars? Aren’t you the ones who bytch and moan about half of use supporring the other half? The why don’t you APPLAUD people who decide they’re too poor or unstable to have a kid?

    BECAUSE YOU’RE ALL MORONS!! You should not only have your kids taken, you shouldn’t raise or breed kids, or even vote. Ever. You should do only menial jobs 14x7x365, your wills should be nullified, you should donate blood and tissue regularly, plus all organs upon death, and until then you should also be guinea pigs for drug and medical experiments, bypassing 10 years of animal testing!

    Liked by 1 person

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