Shiny, empty uteruses

One of Pollitt’s strong points is that she demands consistency from people who are queasy about abortion. If we really believe preborn children should not be killed, she says, then neither should we play around with assisted reproductive technologies that warehouse and discard untold numbers of embryos. It’s a great point and one that many pro-lifers would agree with.

However, Pollitt’s own argument, such as it is, is riddled with inconsistencies. She says that pro-lifers secretly just “support a return to conservative sexual and family mores,” but later says that if pro-lifers really cared about women, they would “require a man who impregnates a woman to support her financially through pregnancy and delivery.” Of course, support for traditional morals and institutions such as marriage accomplishes just that.

She elides the fact that the definition of when pregnancy begins was changed in recent decades, from the moment of fertilization to the moment of implantation in the uterine wall. The definition was changed precisely so that people would be more accepting of intrauterine devices and other birth-control methods that work after a new human life begins. Even Pollitt concedes that the time lapsed between fertilization and “pregnancy” can be nearly two weeks. Still, she says opposition to birth control that ends human life prior to implantation must be motivated by the desire to control female sexuality.