It’s simply wrong to say ‘sexual rights’ achieve equality for women
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February 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) -- The term “sexual rights” was coined during the latter half of the 20th century and has been seeping through society ever since. But what exactly are sexual rights? There is no international consensus on what sexual rights are or if they are even valid rights at all. And yet, talking heads at International Planned Parenthood Federation, the United Nations, and elsewhere continue to speak of sexual rights as moral imperatives that honor, exalt, and empower women. Abortion is consistently rolled out as the premier sexual right that acts as a great equalizer for women.
But does abortion achieve “equality” for women?
The claim that abortion achieves equality for women is marred by at least four factors:
First, abortion involves physical risks to women, not men. The risks of abortion are well known and include the following: hemorrhage, uterine rupture, tearing of the cervix, heart attack, damage to internal organs, future miscarriage, placenta previa in future pregnancies, stillbirth in future pregnancies, sterility, anxiety, depression, increased suicidality, infection, blood clots, and, in some cases, death. But those who stand to profit from abortion (including abortion clinics, abortionists, and companies that manufacture abortion devices) downplay these risks, insisting that the phrase “safe abortion” be used in UN documents and other abortion-friendly initiatives. However, the fact remains that abortion requires risks on the part of women but involves no immediate physical risks on the part of men. This is not equality.
Second, easy availability of abortion gives men greater license to sexually dominate women. When abortion is readily available, a man can rest easy knowing that if a woman becomes pregnant because of his actions she can simply have an abortion, and in so doing exercise one of her most celebrated rights — and he will be off the hook. This serves to sexually embolden men and sexually disempower women. This is not equality.
Third, a woman cannot simply walk away from her unborn child like a man can. A woman must act decisively to eliminate her child. Walking away and initiating violent annihilation through abortion are not the same thing. Initiating a fatal act against one’s own child — inside one’s own body — may leave a woman with feelings of desolation and emptiness rather than the promised feelings of empowerment. A man who walks away from his unborn baby and his pregnant sexual partner may have a change of heart later in the pregnancy or later in life and decide to return and embrace his child. But for a woman who chooses to abort her child, the consequence of her choice is permanent. There is no going back. Her child is not just out of sight, her child is dead. This is not equality.
Fourth, abortion promotes a social mindset in which women’s ability to harbor and produce new human life is minimized while sex for the sake of sex is celebrated. Abortion advocates such as International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) assure women it is their empowering right to engage freely in sex with uncommitted men. This is helpful to IPPF’s cause because sex must occur in order for babies to be conceived, so that babies can be aborted, so that abortion providers can enrich themselves off women’s bodies. And the chance of abortion is higher if the father is not committed to the baby’s mother. Women have been convinced to buy into this system that normalizes sex with uncommitted men and at the same time expects non-fertility and non-childbearing on the part of women. Such a system works against the woman’s life-giving anatomy, her tendency to seek stable commitment from a man, and her inclinations to protect her own child. At the same time, it encourages sexual recklessness and irresponsibility on the part of men. This is not equality.
True sexual rights
Since women are inherently situated differently toward childbearing and sex than men are, do women have “sexual rights” of some kind? Yes. You will not likely hear these rights discussed at United Nations events or IPPF conferences, but the women of the world should know what these rights are and should reap the benefits of exercising them. The true sexual rights every woman has are:
- The right to refuse any person sexual access to her body who does not have her immediate and lifelong well-being in mind.
- The right to expect a man who desires sexual access to her body to publicly commit to her for life.
- The right to hold the man who accesses her womb accountable for claiming and supporting any children who emerge from it.
- The right to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, unsupported pregnancies, and damaging emotional entanglements by reserving sexual intimacy for one man who reserves sexual intimacy for her within the parameters of a publicly recognized, lifelong marriage.
- The right to expect her fertility, health, and happiness to be top considerations in her sexual relationship with her spouse.
- The right to conceive, bear, possess, and raise the children she and her husband create together.
These sexual rights best protect women from exploitation, sexual disease, unsupported pregnancy, and a host of other negative outcomes. These true sexual rights foster family formation and bolster honor for life itself — which always debuts in the form of babies. Women, children, and men benefit from the exercise of true sexual rights and are profoundly harmed by the mass acceptance of false sexual rights.
Kimberly Ells is the author of The Invincible Family: Why the Global Campaign to Crush Motherhood and Fatherhood Can’t Win, which exposes the family as the most powerful institution in the world. She is also a policy adviser for Family Watch International and the mother of five children.