One of the most eye-roller parts about college was when a boy would raise his hand in class and be like “Well, I think this can apply to Kantian theory” and then like, talk for 30 minutes. And even though it had nothing to do with the lecture the teacher would try to give him credit for, idk, having read Kant, and then would steer the discussion back to what matters. That boy def grew up to write for the Federalist.
And oh look, this guy we’re about to write about … actually still goes to college. Look when we saw his essay was titled “If You Buy Abortion Supporters’ Logic, You Also Have To Support Slavery” we knew we had to address it! And, you know, it def delivered. Except it was really long and boring too and it completely dehumanized uterus-havers as baby vessels. UGH!
So, let’s just talk a little about FALSE EQUIVALENCIES. See, the funny thing about the Federalist is its a bunch of men writing thought experiments while, you know, having no concept of what the real world is like. So this dude spends like, 1k words of his 2k word essay saying, “OK, so… a fetus is a life, because I said so. And why are you DISCRIMINATING against the fetus because it’s less developed than a full fledged adult?” I mean, nevermind that he instantly concedes that there’s no consensus of when life ACTUALLY begins, a fetus is just a life because… he said so.
Why not then recede to the millennia of racial dehumanization? If a fetus is less human than others because it is not developed enough, am I so too because I am not white enough? Or, keeping the parameter of development intact, how human is someone who is born with no legs?
THESE ARE SUCH COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS! FALSE EQUIVALENCIES! ALL AROUND! Like, there’s no way to even ARGUE with this! Because it’s such a leap. “If you have sex on a Friday… is that less valuable than BUYING A NEW HOUSE?” That’s what this sounds like.
This brings me to my central question: if a movement can devalue humans on the basis of biological development, why can others not do so on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, race, ethnicity, or national origin?
WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT, BRO!?!?! WHY MAKE THIS HUGE LEAP? And by the way let’s just stop this whole “devaluing life” nonsense. Because, it’s the side that wants every baby to come into the world and then defunds Medicaid programs and cuts disability funds, and wants to take away everyone’s healthcare, and thinks immigrant children should be separated from their families THAT ACTUALLY DEVALUES LIFE!!! DAMMIT HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT? Oh, cuz you’re too busy arguing that a fetus inside of a person’s body is a second-class citizen.
So now, friends, we get to the slavery part. In 2013, Slate writer Mary Elizabeth Williams said , “All life is not equal…A fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss.” And, I kid you not, this dude writes:
Cross-apply her reasoning to a situation from the 1830s, and you get this: “A black person can be a human life without having the same rights as the man on whose plantation he resides. He’s the boss….”
Yeah bro, that DOES sound bad, because it’s A DIFFERENT THING ENTIRELY! THESE THINGS ARE IN FACT, NOT AT ALL RELATED. THEY CAN’T EVEN BE COMPARED. IN ONE SITUATION THE FETUS IS GROWING INSIDE OF A WOMAN’S BODY AND CAN MAKE HER SICK OR HURT HER. IN THE OTHER A FUCKING SLAVE OWNER IS HOLDING A KIDNAPPED SLAVE HOSTAGE!
You can’t just like, replace words and from one argument and be like “See, now this argument is ridiculous!” That’s not how… comparing two things work.
So anyway, wanna guess how this man who loves fetuses so much feels about… adult women?? (And we say women here because he definitely doesn’t even ACKNOWLEDGE that trans men can have babies/abortions). Oh yeah, he hates their guts for SURE! The only VALUE of their life is def taking care of babies or being baby vessels.
I mean, of course he saves the whole, “Oh yeah, I know a person is carrying that fetus” part of his argument to the end, cuz here’s where it all goes to shit (he’s talking about a fetus here):
The baby is merely dependent on the mother for nourishment and growth in very much the same manner as a year-old child would be.
OK so, in this case we actually CAN do a one for one comparison, because that’s what he’s doing. If you gave that one year old up for adoption (a thing this guy LOVES obvs, it’s the only way a noble slut can be saved, you know) it would live. If she removed the fetus from her body at 10 weeks and gave it up for adoption… it would not. BUT YEAH BRO, DEF ARGUE THAT A FETUS AND A ONE YEAR OLD DEPEND ON THE MOTHER THE SAME WAY, THAT FETUS IS JUST GETTING NOURISHMENT… IT CAN LEAVE WHENEVER IT WANTS.
And here’s the… big whammy:
Indeed, a woman’s critical role in any society is to safeguard her child from harm — a mandate that transcends any written law and is embedded in our very existence as an ordered, socially responsible civilization.
DING DING DING, THERE WE HAVE IT! I mean, we knew this whole time — like when he argued that “someone’s busy schedule or future plans” were “patently undeserving of governmental sympathy” — that this dude hated women (and didn’t acknowledge trans people). BUT I mean, nail over the head here — wait just a quick aside, I mean, the government cares about bolstering the economy, should allegedly care about family planning, partially funds states schools, builds roads, are you… are you really gonna argue they shouldn’t take into account PEOPLE’S LIVES when forming policy?? LIKE FOR REAL? Like, “busy schedules” seems to be why… a lot of policies are in place… like personal days or overtime or federal holidays… any way… any way… this is for another day. BACK TO THIS ARTICLE, so in this argument about how abortion is basically slavery we get back to THE OLDEST ARGUMENT IN THE BOOK. That women should just exist to take care of children and that’s it.
Look, bad arguments like this are a dime a dozen (as prevalent as jerk men in college literature class), but we like to point them out so that we remain steadfast. Because people can use a lot of fancy words and quote some political theorist you don’t know and then say “I WON THE ARGUMENT.” But, they can’t win! They are wrong and cruel and living in a purely theoretical world where fetuses somehow exist as singular entities outside of a uterus.
We live in the real world.