NAF Member: Anti-Choice Woman-Hating Goes Mainstream
NAF board member Carole Joffe, author of Doctors of Conscience and the recently released Dispatches from the Abortion Wars, has just published an article about recent anti-choice actions, from the ongoing controversy over Sister Mary Margaret McBride to Oklahoma’s just-passed ultrasound law. Published on RH Reality Check, the article reads in part:
Do these examples of misogyny represent anything new? To be sure, in some extremist anti-choice circles, full throated woman-hating never went away. (See, for example, this video from several years ago of Flip Benham screeching at women entering a N. Carolina clinic that “Satan will drink the blood of your child!”) But in other, more mainstream quarters of the movement, the heated, and hateful rhetoric of the period immediately after Roe—where women seeking abortion were routinely called “sluts” and “baby killers” —gradually became replaced by a new frame: abortion hurts women. Given that by the early 1980s, about 40 percent of American women were estimated to have an abortion during their reproductive years (the number now is about 33 percent), arguably such hate speech was counterproductive for the opponents of abortion: too many Americans either themselves had had an abortion or knew someone who did. Thus, antiabortion rhetoric shifted to professed sympathy for women, and abortion providers—those doing the hurting—became the main objects of demonization.