We’ve all heard the pro-choice argument that if abortion is made illegal again, women will be forced to go to dangerous back-alley abortionists, and women will die as a result.
There are many pro-life responses to this. You can explain that maternal deaths from abortion actually decreased before Roe v. Wade, due to advances in emergency medicine and antibiotics. You can point out that legal providers are frequently unsafe anyway. You can bring up all the international research showing that it is possible for a country to have pro-life policies and good maternal health outcomes.
But perhaps the best argument of all is one that is rarely brought to the forefront: the pro-choice argument about “back-alley” abortions assumes that women are stupid and/or without meaningful agency.
Women will be forced to avail themselves of illegal abortion procedures, abortion advocates say. They’ll have to. It’s inevitable. The idea that they might choose life instead? Preposterous.
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