I have written before about the idiocy of men who don’t understand female reproductive anatomy, pregnancy, and the birthing process. Yet, these men make laws restricting a woman’s right to decide about her own body.
For example, Dr. Emily Porter (@dremilyportermd) posted this on X:
The abortion issue—always a controversial subject—provides such clueless men with plenty of room to demonstrate how little they know and how unaware they are of their own ignorance. At the same time, they offer example after example of why they should stay far away from issues that concern a woman’s body.
The current topic appears to be abortion during birth or abortion after delivery. Yes, you read that right. Numerous Republican politicians anxious to prove their anti-abortion bona fides have accused women of seeking an abortion just prior to or during delivery. This is both ridiculous and impossible. Which does not, of course, keep right-wing male politicians from railing against it.
Just to be clear, here is the definition of abortion:
“The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus by natural causes
before it is able to survive independently.”
That sets two key criteria: the fetus has to be in the uterus and there prior to viability, which begins at about 22 to 23 weeks.
Birth vs. Abortion
Another process of expelling a fetus from the uterus is called birth. You can’t abort a fetus during birth for two reasons:
- The fetus no longer resides just in the uterus. During birth it moves out of the uterus into the birth canal and then contractions push it out of the mother’s body.
Now, pretty much all mothers want that process to move along expeditiously. We want the pain and fear and stress of delivery to be over as soon as possible. Who wouldn’t? But that doesn’t equate to wanting an abortion.
- During normal birth, the fetus is able to survive independently. That’s why it’s being born.
As to an abortion just before birth, no doctor or nurse would participate in such a procedure because the fetus is viable. A doctor or midwife might have to speed the process up somewhat or even intervene by way of a Caesarian section. but that’s an assisted delivery, not an abortion.
But wait, it gets sillier.
Abortion After Birth
The moronic Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) accused women of wanting an “abortion after birth.” This is impossible because (1) following birth there is a living baby, not a fetus and (2) said baby is outside the mother’s body, not in the uterus.
Do we really have to explain a distinction so simple to men? You would think that being married and having children would clue them into the process somehow.
Oh, you thought that was stupid. Keep reading.
During a judicial confirmation hearing, a Republican senator asked a Black female nominee whether, if her 16-year-old son brought the car home with a dent, she would abort him. I have looked for the video of this incident so I could link to it, but it appears to have been taken down. Understandably.
A Few Conclusions
All of this brings me to several conclusions:
- Many men understand little to nothing about female anatomy, particularly the reproductive system. Yet they feel compelled to make laws about that which they don’t comprehend.
- Such ignorance can only come from a lack of education. This is what happens when schools don’t teach sex education to young people who really, really need to know about it.
- Republicans like to demonize women by assuming we are capricious and whimsical about childbirth. As if we start the process and then decide abruptly that we don’t want to go ahead with it. At any point. Even during delivery. Just because we changed our minds. Silly women: you just can’t trust them.
- Republicans have so absorbed the message that abortion = murder that they conflate the two. I suppose that makes it possible to ask about aborting a teenage boy without realizing how ridiculous that is.
- Men don’t understand the hormones that suffuse a woman’s body during pregnancy and convince her that child is the most important thing in the world. The very idea eludes them.
Men as Destroyers
The great irony in this concept of men as stalwart defenders of innocent life is that they are also the greatest and most heedless destroyers of innocent life. Nothing kills babies faster and more efficiently than war. And wars are started and fought primarily by men. Thousands have been killed already in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza during wars started and perpetuated by men.
Babies are also killed by abusive fathers, careless fathers, stepfathers, and fathers who destroy their whole families. These are men for whom that small life is less than nothing. So, they accuse women of seeking to do what they would do.
The Big Investment
Women understand the investment of time, energy, pain, and inconvenience that go into creating babies. After all, we make them out of our own bodies. We feed them out of our own bodies. Having gone though all that, we protect them at any cost, even sometimes at the cost of our own lives.
We are not careless, whimsical or capricious when it comes to the issue of abortion. No one understands the stakes better than a woman who will have to dedicate nine months of her life and her bodily health to pregnancy, followed by 18 years of raising and educating a child.
So, stop lecturing us, hectoring us, demeaning us, criticizing us and delegitimizing us on this subject. We know more than you do. That much is obvious. We also have more at stake than you will ever have. The decision to have an abortion is serious and heart-wrenching. Leave us alone to decide what we will do with our own bodies.