Ben Carson Compares Abortion To Slavery, Says It’s Not A Woman’s Right
In a speech to an anti-choice group on Monday, Ben Carson (a man) stated that he did not believe that abortion was an issue of women’s rights, but is instead, like slavery, a “moral issue” — insinuating that supporting a woman’s right to not die from an illegal abortion is akin to supporting slavery.
“…And what has happened in our society is that, even though we may believe that, the peer pressure to accept the culture of death surrounding the abortion mills has gotten to be so great, that even when people disagree with it, they keep silent. They just sit down and shut their mouths. Because someone has tried to make this into an issue of women’s rights? You know, it’s one of the most sacred relationships in the universe, a mother and that child inside of her. How have we become so distorted that we have managed to convince women that that baby inside of her is her enemy and that she has a right to kill it.”
Is he seriously going to pretend here that anti-choicers have been known to shut up and keep their opinions to themselves? When they have literally killed people and bombed clinics and committed various other acts of terrorism in order to promote their beliefs? Not to mention the ones that don’t bomb clinics or kill abortion doctors, but harass people walking into clinics so severely that they require protective escorts to enter the building? If this is them shutting up and being silent, I shudder to think what they think “speaking up” would entail.
Also, you know who that “someone” is who made this into an issue of women’s rights? Women. Women who were sick and tired of seeing desperate women do desperate things. Who wanted to be able to have control over their lives and their futures and their bodies in the same manner as men. Who wanted to wait to have a child until they could take care of and provide for that child. Who didn’t believe abortion should only be a luxury for women rich enough to travel to get one.
I will say, however, that Carson does hit on one thing that I think has a grain of truth in it. I think a lot of opposition to abortion occurs because people need to hold tightly onto the idea of a “sacred relationship” between mother and child. Abortion makes them question their relationship with their own mother. It’s why people like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio and others romanticize the idea of women dying in childbirth — mothers are supposed to sacrifice, and dying while bringing a child into the world is the ultimate sacrifice. Forcing women to give birth against their will is a simply a way of enforcing their own romanticized idea of maternal sacrifice.
“I was thinking about slavery and I was thinking about the abolitionists, and I said, what if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery but anybody else can do whatever they want’? Where would we be today? Slavery is a moral issue and so is abortion. It’s a moral issue that we’re dealing with.”
Abortion is indeed a moral issue. Making abortions illegal or impossible to get? That is immoral. Asserting your right to control someone else’s body and future? Demanding they sacrifice their lives, offer up their bodies as incubators, treating them like brood mares, in order to keep your idea of romanticized maternal sacrifice intact? Also a moral issue. Having one set of rules for rich women, and another for poor women? A moral issue. Prioritizing the lives of fetuses over the lives of living women? A moral issue.
Additionally, comparing something you think is bad to another thing that is well-known to be bad is a poor argument. I do not happen to care for same-side-of-the-booth-sitters, but I do not suggest that same-side-of-the-booth-sitters are comparable to serial killers and Hitler. Abortion isn’t like slavery, abortion is like abortion. If you are opposed to abortion, or anything, really, make your argument based on the reasons you oppose it, rather than comparing it to something we all agree was a terrible thing.