Identity politics excommunicates its heretics

For the past four years, I have been articulating my pro-life beliefs here at National Review. The objections I receive from those who disagree with me take a few recurring forms, and the most common response from pro-abortion feminists is a rather striking claim: that my refusal to support unlimited legal abortion makes me less of a woman.

Male and female abortion supporters alike insist that I’m what they call a “gender traitor,” someone who, in opposing abortion, has betrayed her fellow women. They argue that I am either an enabler of the patriarchy, which systemically oppresses women, or a member of the patriarchy myself. In perhaps my favorite line, I once was accused of viewing myself as nothing more than “a walking breeder.” No matter how ridiculous these claims, they are made quite fervently and routinely in response to my arguments.

I’m sure most women publicly involved in the pro-life movement could cite similar examples. The abortion-rights movement insists that abortion must be legal because women need it to flourish, so its supporters must find a way to deal with the reality that plenty of women reject this philosophy as a form of violent oppression that harms everyone involved, including the woman. To do this, they either erase pro-life women — insisting that it’s only men who want to control women’s bodies who oppose abortion — or they attack pro-life women as not being women at all.