The Audacity of Trope

Yesterday, as people who recognize women's autonomy, equality, and essential right to make decisions about their own bodies reaffirmed their commitment to defending Roe v. Wade on its 36th anniversary, thousands of misogynist tools who don't trust or respect women marched in Washington to oppose the landmark SCOTUS decision.

And because they are tragic assholes with a corrupt grasp of history and an even more dysfunctional sense of irony, they invoked Lincoln's position on slavery in a brutally galling attempt to make the anti-abortion case.
The inauguration of a president who supports abortion rights fired up the annual March for Life yesterday, with activists warning of new, more liberal legislation and urging President Obama to view abortion as a civil-rights issue akin to slavery.
Just to be totally clear: They're urging him to "view abortion as a civil-rights issue akin to slavery," with the fetuses as the slaves, not the women they would see forcibly carrying unwanted pregnancies to term.
Looking east at the thousands of marchers gathered from Fourth to Seventh streets on the Mall, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said Obama needed to be reminded "that the reason we built that monument to president Abraham Lincoln is because he saw the humanity in a slave that the Supreme Court said was not human." Nothing could make Obama less like Lincoln than "forgetting that the unborn are also little children of God," he added.
Hmm. Thing is, subjugating women to sustained psychological and emotional abuse, bodily risk, and physical labor on the basis of the intrinsic characteristic of their being women is pretty much a proximate fucking opposite, in concept if not in scope, of freeing people who had been enslaved on the basis of the intrinsic characteristic of their being black.

So, maybe it's not totally accurate that "nothing" could make Obama less Lincolnish [/Colbert] than "forgetting" a spiritual concept that has no relevance in secular law.

There's almost too much that's crazy-makingly objectionable about this entire line of reasoning (the general stupidity, the breathtaking irony, the appropriation of the civil rights struggle) to pinpoint what's most offensive, but the winning offense has got to be the wholesale and heartless refusal to acknowledge the vast role that unwanted pregnancies played in the perpetuation of American slavery.

Rape, unwanted pregnancies, slow deaths from infections after unsanitary makeshift abortions, dangerous childbirths, babes ripped from their mothers' arms, sold as chattel, generations of splintered families, family trees with branches that dead-end into rape after rape…

Freedom from slavery and freedom from unwanted pregnancy was one and the same thing for generations of black American women. The anti-choicers' attempt to rip the two asunder, and disregard the latter out of hand, effectively disappears women from the history of slavery.

Which is no surprise—since women have never been a material component of anti-choice rhetoric—but still resoundingly appalling nonetheless.

And let us take a moment to appreciate the tremendous audacity of disappearing black women from the history of slavery with the express purpose of being able to use slavery as a cudgel against the first African-American president.

Utterly shameless.

And equally brainless. The foundation of freedom is choice. Emancipation (ostensibly) confers the ability to make choices for oneself—where to live, who to love, for whom to work, what job to do for what price.

Whether to have children and how many.

Removing choice is not liberation. It never has been; it never will be. If the anti-abortion brigade really wanted to "free the fetuses," they would spoil women with choices—educational choices, employment choices, contraceptive choices, emergency contraceptive choices, healthcare choices, childcare choices, social service choices.

But giving anything to women has never been their modus operandi. They'd rather yell bullshit at the president—who is, in the end, still just another dude who will never have to make this particular choice for himself.

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