Open Letter / Pro-Choice Politics

An Open Letter To Mehdi Hasan of HuffPo

I read your article on how you believe that being pro-life doesn’t make you any less of a lefty, and as I was reading through it, I decided to compile a list of problems with your supporting claims and evidence, under a link to your post on one of my Facebook contact’s walls. But because this list of what you might call grievances with your article (with your writing alone, never mind what pro-lifers have actually been saying to my face and to multiple women I know in the streets of Vancouver, or on a series of clone websites, when I picket them) is approximately twice as long as the maximum allotted comment length on the Huffington Post website, I have to post it here. The TLDR version is located at the bottom of the following list.

Problems with the stance cited by the author, claiming to be that of the late “Hitch”:

1) abortives such as plan B act on a zygote, in which there are no bones, organs, or brain matter, let alone a beating heart.
2) being pro-choice isn’t about possessive individualism, but recognizing that this issue is about women’s rights — ALL women, not just individual women.

Of course, what can I really expect from a man in favour of racial profiling?

Problems with the claims and evidence offered by the author himself:

1) again, being pro-choice is taking the stance that all women deserve the right to bodily autonomy — this is not selfish or a “choice-fetish”. This is entirely self-less and can in fact have little or nothing to do with the choice(s) one might make as an individual, which can and often does include never accessing an abortion or abortive.
2) the author assumes that women have a voice in an issue of assigning real rights to hypothetical people, at the expense of pretending that this does not take away their very real rights as actual people — the author assumes from the very first sentence that this is even a “debate”. It is for him. It’s not for many women.
3) when a woman is pregnant, her body and the body of the individual inside her, with half her DNA, are one — they share the same blood, same resources, and same tissues, and this is the case until that individual is delivered. This isn’t simply theory. This is a fact.
4) he is writing an open letter to three people he’s having this pseudo-debate with, as if everyone who allies themselves with the political beliefs of those three people share a hive mind.
5) yes, pro-choicers can and will continue to assert that pro-life rhetoric on the issue of abortion is sexist and misogynist. Thanks, freedom of speech (the same right that gives that 49% of women he arbitrarily cites — 49% of which women? — the right to assert that they think these laws need to change)!
6) he pretends all feminists throughout history and the world share a hive mind.
7) he assumes that all pro-choicers — who he assumes share a mystical hive mind — would throw religion in his face, or even assume his stance has anything to do with it, when for a lot of people, it doesn’t; and for a lot of pro-choicers, religion and faith have nothing to do with their politics either.
8) boo-hoo, he cries, because some feminists pick on him for being born with a penis conspicuously attached to his body. Too fucking bad. Deal with it like an adult and grow a spinal column.
9) he assumes pro-choicers don’t “understand” or “respect” the pro-life stance — in fact, many of us understand the pro-life stance, and all of its repercussions, better than pro-life activists themselves; and a pro-choicer can respect a pro-lifer’s right to make up their own mind without also respecting the conclusions they independently reach, or why would we pro-choicers be able to make up our own minds about the issue?
10) he assumes all pro-choicers only ever speak of a woman’s right to choose, when in fact, many also speak of the right to bodily autonomy as opposed to the right to police other people’s bodies, and many speak of legal versus illegal abortion. The pro-choice stance is not nearly as simplistic or universal as he seems to believe, nor is it just cross-talking the pro-life stance, which he seems to believe is immune from criticism for being inappropriately simplistic.
11) he assumes this is a polemic debate, when in fact it is in the perception itself that this issue is even up for debate, that causes people to choose sides (speaking of cross-talking).
12) he assumes that being a “lefty” and being “pro-life” aren’t mutually exclusive, and he reaches this conclusion by offering an enormous series of faulty supporting arguments and evidence, as detailed in the above 13 points. He may believe in his own mind that he’s no less of a lefty, but he probably also believes in his own mind that he has the philosophical mastery wielded by Macintyre. Not to mention that he assumes that because he believes abortion is wrong, that means he’s “pro-life”, which is itself a gross over-simplification of what it means to say “I’m pro-life”.

TLDR: Dude, you’ve got some work to do. Pro-life rhetoric isn’t just about the issue of abortion, first of all (and for that matter, if you’re pro-life, you’re pro-total-abortion-ban; therefore, because in your own words you’re not in favour of a total ban, you’re not even pro-life!) You’d think as a journalist you’d have been able to figure out at some point in the preparation of this article that it’s also a firm stance against all forms of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (which you conveniently don’t mention, so I must assume you must not know this or just think it’s irrelevant, even though it’s absolutely critical to even coming up with a term like “pro-life”).

One thought on “An Open Letter To Mehdi Hasan of HuffPo

  1. Pingback: Repost: Being against Votes for Women does not make me any less Liberal – The Konnolsky Files | HaifischGeweint

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