Dorothy Day Didn’t Do It That Way

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Those dusty old Dominionists on the Supreme Court really kicked the Democrats a mid-game basket when they took down Roe this summer. After flipping the goddamn economy with their nuclear proxy war in Ukraine and electing what could very well be the only quasi-sentient creature on the face of the planet more embarrassing and incompetent than Donald Trump, there simply doesn’t exist no rational reason for any self-respecting white man. Suburban Karen to vote Democratic apart from the threat of the other war party sending the National Guard into their local gynecologist’s office.

Abortion has long since become a political third rail for centrists in this country for the simple fact that it’s just too much of a hassle for anyone to signal virtue without looking like an asshole to at least half the country. That and no one really makes serious money on it. None of this, however, stopped Republicans from taking a victory lap with an unwashed fetus in the face of Samuel Alito’s leaked rejection of bodily autonomy. In fact, many GOP members have even doubled down on the issue by taking it even further with statewide abortion bans for freshly raped ten-year-olds, then calling for making them national.

To the uninitiated Norman, this seemingly politically suicidal devotion to the pro-life cause may in fact seem grudgingly admirable regardless of your personal stance, but what it should really provoke is a question neither side seems. particularly interested in asking. What does it really mean to be pro-life in 2022?

People often seem quite visibly shocked when I tell them that I consider myself pro-life. In fact, they often assume I’m kidding. The notion of a genderqueer pagan anarcho-feminist being morally opposed to many, if not most, forms of abortion simply doesn’t matter to people on either side of the rapidly expanding partisan divide, but it does. not always been the case. Before Roe, many of the original pro-lifers were left-wing Catholic populists like Eileen Egan and the Berrigan brothers who marched with Martin Luther King and were thrown in jail for resisting the draft.

For these OG Pro-Lifers, abortion was a human rights issue. They believed that a fetus was a human being and that the right to life was a civil right granted to all by God. But many of these same pro-lifers were also often much more concerned with lowering the abortion rate than using the strong arm of the law to regulate women’s bodies and saw the abolition of initiation warfare and nuclear weapons was also part of the right to life. .

This movement became known as the Consistent Life Ethic, and it has sadly almost disappeared from the face of the earth since former pro-choice Christian rightists like Ronald Reagan decided to use abortion as a drawbridge to monitor the post-sex revolution vagina. . But the consistent life ethic and radical Catholics like Dorothy Day and Ivan Illich formed the foundation of many of my own stateless values, even as their church scarred me for life for being an irredeemable pervert.

My commitment to the sanctity of human life, coupled with my experience as an emotionally abused queer child whose life seemed to have no value, ultimately led me to anarchism as well as another sadly morally set of values past known as the Non-Aggression Principle, which opposes the use of initiatic force for any reason by an individual, church or state. And it is ultimately these same radical values, the same ones that led me to oppose non-therapeutic abortion, which also led me to oppose its ban.

If the goal of the pro-life movement was to prevent the destruction of unborn life, then Prohibition was a massive failure, which really shouldn’t be incredibly shocking given that it almost always is. Banning people from having legal abortions only makes the risks of illegally seeking them a common occurrence and not just a pro-choice talking point.

Studies conducted in the early 1990s and published on PubMed showed that the estimated number of illegal abortions that occurred each year in the years before Roe V. Wade was comparable to the current number of legal abortions, somewhere over a million. per year. , and for the poor, they often occurred in abhorrent and dangerous conditions that endangered the lives of mothers as well as those of their unborn children. This all adds up to the horribly inconvenient fact that banning abortion ultimately costs more lives than decriminalizing these procedures. It also gives the state a level of power over basic bodily autonomy that is far too drastic to be justified for any reason.

I often tell bewildered supporters that my feelings about abortion are quite similar to my feelings about fentanyl. I think it’s fucking terrible, and I don’t think most people should have anything to do with it, but I’m also not willing to grow the already bustling prison state of America in a foolish attempt to prevent it, it’s pretty much guaranteed to do nothing but pack jail cells with more desperate people.

I much prefer to fight against the degradation of human life by means that are both more moral and more effective, such as risk reduction. It means providing addicts with clean needles, Narcan, and access to safer alternatives to hard narcotics, and it means providing young people with contraception, a plan B, and access to information regarding their own biology, than their parents or the elders of the church agree or not. with that.

All of these services are provided by the type of free health clinics that today’s so-called pro-lifers are working overtime to shut down, and that’s probably why we’ve seen the abortion rate drop drastically since then. that it has been legalized. The bitter fact of the matter is that many abortion providers have done a better job of preventing abortions than the pro-life movement has become.

It’s because the pro-life movement has been poisoned by the toxic sludge of the same partisan bullshit factory that has turned many once well-meaning movements into hives of virtue-signalling counter-revolutionary fools. Today’s average pro-lifer couldn’t care less about making the practice of abortion obsolete. They are much more concerned with scoring points and winning elections.

It’s also probably why most people who oppose abortion are much more likely to embrace the rest of the Western culture of death that the original pro-life movement pledged to smash. . A culture that wipes out entire species just so we can drive bigger cars. A culture that sells entire generations into prostitution to the eternal war machine. A culture that turns incarceration into a thriving industry that profits from the practice of indefinite warehousing of drug addicts and desperate mothers who have fallen through the cracks of a society that places no value on human life humans that cannot be exchanged for a new iPhone.

I still consider myself a pro-life anarchist for the same reason that I remain committed to other equally fanciful causes like environmentalism, denuclearization and military non-interventionism because I believe all life is sacred and worthy to be defended against the scourge of Western civilization and the Westphalian nation-state. It breaks my heart that the movement that first ignited this fire in me has been thoroughly infested with parasites like Lindsey Graham who only seek to use her language to camouflage their malign culture of mass murder.

So what does it really mean to be pro-life in 2022? I honestly gave up trying to figure out what these fucking people believe, all I know is that Dorothy Day didn’t act that way, and neither did I.

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