According to Kathleen Parker (column, 6-23), Sarah Palin would reframe feminism to include women who oppose abortion. Traditionally the basis of feminism has been equality between the sexes. Palin’s choice to combine career and motherhood is a feminist characteristic, yet how can any woman who opposes reproductive choice call herself a feminist?
Faux feminists and Parker support the pro-life notion of an “abortion as nothing more than a ‘choice’ to eliminate an inconvenience.” Inconvenience is a huge understatement about motherhood, allowing pro-life advocates to ignore the immediate implications of a newborn as well as the lifelong commitment to a child.
Forcing women to have more children than they can responsibly raise is hypocritical and unfair to the infant, mother and family. Also, unplanned pregnancies are not minor “inconveniences” to equal career advancement.
Contraception isn’t foolproof. Unplanned pregnancies happen, and only women get pregnant. That physiological fact alone puts women on an uneven playing field in the workplace. Thus, the right to control one’s reproductive life will always be essential to equality with men.
Parker is against abortion for herself but believes women should have the right to decide for themselves based on their situation. The latter is a key pro-choice component. A pro-life feminist is an oxymoron if she doesn’t support the full range of reproductive choice, including required coverage of contraception, emergency contraception and abortion.