Living in the United States these days, it’s almost impossible to ignore the topic of abortion.
But what do people really think? According to a September poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS, the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal.
In regards to the question, "What is your personal feeling about abortion?" respondents answered in the following way:
- Permitted in all cases 31%
- Permitted with greater restrictions 19%
- Permitted for rape/incest/save life 28%
- Only permitted to save the woman’s life 15%
- Not permitted at all 4%
- Don’t Know /No Answer 3%
Sometimes, those who are opposed to abortion try to convince people that the majority of the population is also opposed to this medical practice. But as the above poll demonstrates, only 4% actually oppose abortion is all situations.
One of the more manipulative anti-abortion groups is called Feminists for Life. Despite its name, they are anything but.
This is an organization that boasts Sarah Palin as a member and uses the language of female empowerment to justify denying women control of their bodies and reproductive choices. For example, they claim that abortion is a form of violence against women. They also state that, when abortion is an option, a pregnant woman is forced to "choose between pursuing her education and career plans, and sacrificing her child."
Violence against women, education and career opportunities are obvious feminist concerns. But when they are framed in this manner–as if abortion is to blame for injustices faced by women–the actual reasons behind these issues (like wage inequality, intimate partner violence and the sexual double standard) are diminished.
Groups like Feminists for Life say they speak for women and only want to protect women’s interests. But how can a group truly be feminist and speak for women when it doesn’t allow women to speak for themselves and claims it knows what is best for their reproductive health in all circumstances?