Yes, Abortion is a Women’s Health Issue

It is easy to criticize referring to abortion as a “women’s health issue,” as progressives like to call it. And conservatives are exactly right in their usual criticisms: First, calling abortion a “women’s heath” issue is a perfect example of trademark linguistic mendacity of the Left. Progressives know, if only by some slimy instinct in their corrupt souls, that language colors one’s perception of reality. Calling abortion a “women’s heath” issue shifts the focus away from the child and on to the woman, which more readily conjures empathy for the woman, not the child. After all, if critics of abortion are correct that the fetus is a person, then we could just as well call abortion a “children’s health” issue–and it would be a much more serious health issue at that: women survive abortions, children do not. To be accurate, therefore, the phrase must beg the question against pro-lifers by assuming the fetus isn’t a person. But the phrase isn’t just misleading and question-begging, it is malicious: people who refer to abortion as a women’s health issue know damn well that doing so implies that those who are against abortion are thereby against women’s health.

But it is not misleading or fallacious or malicious to refer to abortion as a women’s health issue in that there is evidence that abortion puts women at risk of worse mental health (trauma and regret, suicidality and depression, certain mental disorders, increase in social pathologies such as substance abuse, etc.). These are the consistent findings of the best research on abortion and mental health. Here is the conclusion of a somewhat recent paper on the topic, which is a helpful overview of the literature (the lead author, David Fergusson, is the foremost authority on the topic, and is himself pro-choice):

Read the whole paper here.


Former feminist turned conservative. PhD. Proud helpmeet. Teaches at a liberal arts school somewhere in the Midwest. Enjoys hunting and eating animals. Favorite musician: Hank Williams Jr.

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  1. Careful there, Touchstone. Prof Mark Murphy might have to pop back in here to call you a coward and a bully. I’m sure he’s going to find it difficult to sit back and do nothing when you condemn child murder like this. Mark Lance and Rebecca Kukla and all the other noble professors over at Georgetown are going to whip him up into a righteous fury–someone has to speak out in defense of silenced women everywhere, who deserve to live in a society where they can murder their own kids without having to be told its wrong!

  2. In this brave new world, underwritten by hypocrisy, the specious argument that abortion is a woman’s health issue seems to exemplify the pure definition of hypocrisy. To champion a woman’s rights when the child is not wanted, to go so far as to pass laws that allow for snuffing a viable life at late stage pregnancy, even as laws prohibiting murder are enforced when a woman’s unborn child is killed during the commission of a crime, boils down to one conclusion – our culture and how it operates depends solely on how we define our words. Apparently words are now allowed to be shape-shifters and therefore can morph to suit the user.

  3. meemanator, you raise a good point. The intelligence agencies, think tanks, and secret societies that control academy and politics and corporations know this, too. The use advertising and linguistic programming to create and control public perception of what comes to be called reality. If you control someone’s perception of reality, it’s a short step to getting them to do what you want. It’s been a rapid decline since the end of World War II, when Tavistock techniques were transferred from the world of espionage onto mass psychology through media and other institutions, but now here we are: a man with a beard in a dress is now a “woman.” And meanwhile, our country has the blood of millions of innocent dead children on its hands, but many people are more concerned about some celebrity who claims she had her butt pinched twenty years ago by some Hollywood producer at a sex party…

    • Agreed. My perspective on how we’ve come to this place comes from my experience as a commercial photo stylist in the 90’s. I was part of the process, though I didn’t realize it, of course. The art of illusion, the fine-tuning of our culture to blindly embrace what isn’t true to be acceptably true was implemented by visual advertising. TV, print and now our deeply hardwired exposure to digital media. We are so conditioned now, we not only know that most advertising is a lie, we don’t care. We expect to be lied to but we buy it anyway. That’s the bitter end and final triumph for those determined to reorder our thought processing.

  4. For ‘progressives’ to frame abortion as a women’s health issue when it is primarily about the legal right to terminate a pregnancy, is a sign of mendacity or intellectual bankruptcy or both. HRC has been front and center in doing that, and in her case it’s both of those things. (See ) This is quite obviously a way for ‘progressives’ and Democrats to posture as the pro-women party when that’s never been the issue here. They also pull this stuff when it comes to the so-called pay gap, by fudging the numbers every which way to get the political talking-points (identity-politics pandering) results they want.

    At the same time, it doesn’t reflect well on the GOP to frame the abortion issue the way they typically do – “it’s mass murder of unborn rights-bearers” – when the issue is certainly complicated by the fact that paradigmatic rights-holders are adult human beings, and rights are grounded in the preconditions for adult-level, intellect-using decision-making. The strength of the anti-abortion-rights position rests entirely upon potentiality considerations, and those considerations are very much not-settled in the arguments (as it relates to rights-claims). Just as the left/progs/Dems don’t get to posture as having superior moral compasses (which supposedly get more reliable the closer the proximity to a big coastal city), the right/cons/GOP don’t get much of a claim to that higher ground, either – not until they confront fully the arguments and grounds for there being rights in the first place.

    The eudaimonist-libertarian literature awaits them both.

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