Feminist Mother Blames Abortion Debate For Polarizing Mothers And The Childless

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Motherhood no doubt changes many women. Political ideologies and beliefs can shift for those who see the world differently after having a family. This transition or change in attitudes has a tendency to put a big divide the middle between childless women and mothers, as feminist principals as well as many others, come into question post-birth. But one new mother who insists that she is no less feminist since giving birth to her son, insists that this divide gets exacerbated by the American abortion debate.

Natalie Antonova writes at Feministe:

I blame the stupid abortion debate in the U.S. in particular for this – forced to defend the choice to terminate a pregnancy so strenuously, living in a culture of actual violence against abortion doctors, it’s like we run out of breath when it comes to everything else. The Right acts as though it has exclusive “dibs” on motherhood. The positive aspects of becoming a parent get hijacked by religious fundamentalists and other unpleasant people.

Antonova’s point is solid as abortion is nearly always spun as an anti-family choice. Fiercely defending the right to choose often gets framed as initiative that is incompatible with motherhood and childrearing, meanwhile, six out ten women who receive abortions in the United States are mothers already.

As reproductive rights come under scrutiny, mothers and childless women alike are targeted — as women. Mommies and the childless have much more in common than political and media narratives would like us to believe, as women who receive abortions are painted as never wanting a family, and women who are partnered are generally considered incapable of not wanting children. Both of these depictions fail to acknowledge women as full, complex people who face a variety of circumstances in their lives that are not anchored in preconceived notions of gender. Childless women are not two-dimensional portraits, and neither are mothers.