The “hard questions” of the antichoice movement

Another group has entered the abortion coliseum to throw down over their right to impose their personal morality on everyone with a uterus, and their motto is

Just Think – Hard Questions

It sounds fair enough: abortion’s a complex, polarising issue, after all.  So I figured hey, maybe I could help them with the hard questions about abortion.

What about a situation where scans show that the baby will have a serious disability?

This is indeed a hard question, and raises a lot of concerns about how our society treats people with disabilities, and the value or lack of value we place on the lives of people with disabilities.  But at the end of the day, the pregnant person involved should be allowed to make a decision which is best for them and their family, and sometimes that’s going to be abortion, because they don’t feel capable of raising that child nor of giving that child up for adoption.

Without easy access to medical abortion, won’t some women want to seek the same result by other methods?

Yes.  And a lot of them will die.  Far more than will die due to abortion, which has a zero fatality rate in New Zealand and is many, many times less likely to kill you than pregnancy.

How about situations where a [person’s] health might be threatened by pregnancy?

They get to choose whether to continue the pregnancy.

What if a woman has no stable income and can’t drop out of uni or work to raise a child – isn’t pregnancy unfair for child and mother?

That’s a decision the pregnant person has to make.

Should a child be brought into the world if there is an abusive situation in her home?

That’s a decision the pregnant person has to make.

What about a situation where pregnancy results from sexual assault – isn’t abortion the best solution?

That’s a decision the pregnant person has to make.

Gosh.  I guess most of those questions weren’t so hard after all.

The real point is this:  Pro Life New Zealand want to use over-simplified, judgemental arguments to shame pregnant people into not having abortions.  Note the question about sexual assault, and “isn’t abortion the best solution” – as though prochoice activists are out there insisting that every pregnancy resulting from assault be aborted.  Note the first question is about disability – as though these religious extremists give a fuck about challenging society’s ableism once you’re out of the womb.

We’re PRO.  CHOICE.  If a person simply cannot cope with their pregnancy, we support their choice to have an abortion, safely and legally.  If a person feels they can cope with their pregnancy, we support their choice to continue the pregnancy and their right to be supported by society, especially if they or their child have special medical needs or if they’re raising a child alone.

Antichoicers do not support your choice, unless it is the choice they agree with.


  1. Chris Miller

    I “like” the one about abusive households, as though women get to make a free and independent decision in those situations and men never sabotage birth control in order to get their victims pregnant to control them further.

  2. bodycrimes

    Thanks. I read their website, which sounds a lot more rational and considered than most stuff the pro lifers pump out. But they are side-stepping some of the complex issues they raise. Foetal abnormalities, for example, can be something like Down’s Syndrome, where the resultant child is almost guaranteed to give great joy. Everyone has seen smiling, lovely Down’s Syndrome kids. What they don’t mention are foetal abnormalities where the baby is either going to die in utero, causing problems, or is going to die shortly after birth – usually after spending its short life tethered to tubing.

    I love their chemotherapy example. The reason women with cancer abort the babies is because chemotherapy is extremely toxic – it might not kill the baby, however. It might instead leave it with gross deformities. Or the mother might bleed to death. There are examples of women who have foregone chemotherapy for their baby’s sakes on – and guess what? Those women DIED. They DIED. And the pro lifers celebrate this.

    Then there’s the old chestnut about how easy adoption is, as though a lifetime of grief on the part of the mother and longing on behalf of the child is just something to get over.

    As for maternal mortality not being linked to abortion, I’d like to know how they explain the 47,000 deaths per year in Africa from unsafe abortions? Pro lifers love talking about Chile. Yeah, well they should tell the whole story, about how rates of maternal poverty and deprivation in unwed mothers are high by South American standards – and how middle class and rich women who have unwanted pregnancies just jump on a plane to a neighbouring country.

    Of course, none of this matters. At the heart of it all, it’s a woman’s body and it’s her right to choose. But at least she needs all the facts.

  3. adam white

    Just the disabled question.

    I’d like to ask hard questions back – Where the hell were you guys with all the funding cuts to disabled under this government? Where the hell were you guys when disabled children are left to die shortly after birth in this country – in particular failure to preform surgery on new born down-syndrome children to help them live? And finally with the new back door to eugenicist opening up – WHY ARE YOU SO BLOODY QUITE?

    The use of disabled to further you cause is sickening – why? Because I don’t see you doing anything for disabled.

  4. Daniel Copeland

    Can’t help noticing the never-challenged assumption — “a foetus is a person with the rights of a person”. It may or may not be the real reason a given anti-choicer opposes abortion (it was for me when I was an anti-choicer) but it is certainly the position they don’t want attacked.

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