Margaret Atwood — who penned ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ inspiring the TV show — just let everyone know how she feels about banning abortion … calling it literal enslavement.
The renowned author and poet wrote a brief but powerful op-ed in The Guardian this weekend — and it’s all about the prospect of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, which was made public last week after a draft opinion leaked to the press.
Her title says it all … “Enforced childbirth is slavery” — and she lays out her argument pretty well in the following graphs, likening the would-be decision to what she outlines in her cautionary tale of a novel … where women who are fertile become prisoners of the state.
Here’s just a snippet of Atwood’s words … “Women who cannot make their own decisions about whether or not to have babies are enslaved because the state claims ownership of their bodies and the right to dictate the use to which their bodies must be put.”
She goes on to compare the slavery she speaks of to conscription for men — but notes that even there, guys have a better deal … as they’re afforded free resources for the “service.”
MA then asks this … “If the state is mandating enforced childbirth, why should it not pay for prenatal care, for the birth itself, for postnatal care, and — for babies who are not sold off to richer families – for the cost of bringing up the child?” Essentially, pay women for having babies, especially if you’re going to give them no other option but to do exactly that.
Margaret answers her own question, writing … “Instead, it just wants to reinforce the usual cheap trick: force women to have babies, and then make them pay. And pay. And pay. As I said, slavery.” She goes on to say that having a baby is a gift — but ceases to be a gift if it’s not freely given or received … which is what would happen by default if abortion is banned.
She finishes, “No one is forcing women to have abortions. No one either should force them to undergo childbirth. Enforce childbirth if you wish but at least call that enforcing by what it is. It is slavery: the claim to own and control another’s body, and to profit by that claim.”