Women’s Rights

7:30 AM

WARNING: The following is an exercise in playing the devil's advocate. The real Bailey is 100% pro-life.

Hi, my name is Bailey, and I support abortion rights for victims of rape and incest. Okay, stop with the tomato throwing. I know it’s a hot topic, but hear me out. Victims of rape had absolutely NO CHOICE when they conceived their child; they are innocent victims. “But the kid is innocent too!” So? So what? He’s an intruder. He’s part of the rapist, part of the horror that the woman had to go through. Were I raped, that child would have 0.00% chance of living. In any case, chew on this: no one is innocent. We are all sinners.

Because look at it this way: the child is like an unwanted intruder, right? What does the Bible say about intruders? You can kill them if you want. You don’t have to, but you can. If a woman decides to kill this unwanted intruder, that’s her decision—we can’t judge.

Basically, children of rape are part of the rapist and unwanted intruders. In this case, the choice of abortion is out of our hands. She’s the best one to decide.

And by the way…I love Jesus, too.

[pulls off devil’s advocate costume]

Please tell me I’m not the only one peeling my chin off the floor and hurtling toward the nearest restroom. I felt sick writing this convoluted logic…logic I picked up from a friendly, Christian pro-rape-victim-abortion-rightist.

But my post isn’t about the swirling debate surrounding abortion. It’s pointing out a chilling, disturbing trend in modern civilization (forgive the oxymoron): when it comes down to it, a woman’s right trumps all. Every single time, people. Every single time.

Baby’s life or women’s feelings? That’s an easy one—women’s feelings. We’re such an endangered, fragile, empowered species that we can’t handle doing the right thing and manning—er—womanning up to the task.

Last summer I announced my study (complete with pages of notes and analysis) on feminism and the women’s lib movement. I ordered two books, read one, peeked at the other and spent my summer reading fluff. Incomplete though my study was, Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women by Christina Hoff Sommers rocked my world. For one thing, I’d never considered the more classic side of feminism—one of equal rights, not men-bashing. For another, we shared much in common: mainly, our disgust of gender feminism and its harm to both men and women. (Read it if you have downtime and count it as 1/8 credit in gender studies—just because you can. And should.)

It started out innocently enough when radical gender feminists broke off from the equal rights track and wrecked the train on men-bashing and women empowerment. There was a time when Frederick Douglass protested that the local women’s rights club didn’t allow men to be elected: “Where’s the equal rights in that?” he challenged, and they backed down. (Learned that from my SAT practice test.) But come, I don’t know, sixties, seventies, equal rights wasn’t enough. Woman supremacy became the name of the game. Men were prehistoric scum—women divine creatures ascending to omnipotence out of the pit of oppression.

And it spiralled everything out of control.

The irony of the movement became glaringly obvious: in its attempt to codify the “oppressed” female gender, it alienated women from any notion of equal rights and equal opportunity. They rewrote history. They pushed for specialized, vapid gender studies as a point of imperative interest. They mandated that females who wrote mediocre books and did mediocre artwork file into the halls of fame. They cheapened women’s ability and intellect by painting them as helpless victims incapable of creating, studying or being anything noteworthy without special help in brainwashing the public.

In short, it turned woman into a demigod(dess) and her thoughts, expressions and especially choices into holy ground. Beware the being—man, woman or God—who dare tread upon the hallowedness of women!

We might claw your eyes out if you don’t agree with us.

As a woman, I find these sentiments revolting. If women really are capable of thoughtfully contributing to culture and history (and I believe they are), why the need for a police escort on everything they do? Why can’t a woman face criticism or be challenged if she’s truly able to think for herself? Why aren’t the standards for how a woman acts and believes the same as men, if indeed she isn’t subhuman? Just because I’m female doesn’t make everything I say right. It doesn’t make everything I believe right. And it certainly doesn’t make everything I choose right.

It’s horrible to us amateur cultured types that bad literature and dumb reasoning and twisted history has bunkered down in the public square to stay, all in the name of “women’s rights.” What’s worse? The out-of-control gender feminism has turned the will of a woman into something illogical, insatiable and totalitarian, to the point where we are willing to kowtow to her divine right to choose at the expense of any and all who get in her way. In the case of her baby’s life, mother knows best. After all, she’s a woman!

Instead of appealing to any sort of moral compass, higher standard, nobler initiative or just plain old common sense, we appeal only to the unfettered Choice of Woman. We content ourselves with her answer, whatever it is. We never question whether compassion or (heaven forbid) God might one-up the sanctity of female choice. No, we cut woman away from her humanity and build her up in her femaleness apart from any logical or moral argument. We hand her the gun and tell her to have at it...right when she's most vulnerable. (You know how pregnant women are, bless their pickle-loving souls.)

It’s despicable, despicable on all sorts of levels—to hand a girl thrown into such an emotional predicament as rape, incest or bad choices the power to order another’s death. It’s despicable to isolate a woman in a bubble of divinity and tell her she has the right—when she doesn’t. It’s despicable that we can’t be honest with women, tell them where they’ve messed up or tell them the cross they’ll have to bear, as if they have nothing moral or noble about them.

Considering what women have fought for all along…that’s a pretty big setback.

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24 impressions

  1. I agree completely.

    Though when I first started reading this post, I was in complete shock. You got me there. :)


  2. I'm so putting up a link to this.

  3. I couldn't believe what you were saying when you started this. It made me wonder who was writing this because it couldn't have been you. Then, when I read on, I felt a lot better. The rest of the blog... I thought it best not to comment on.

  4. Bailey, I read over my comment and it comes across as rather harsh. Please understand that I still know you are a very thoughtful and *good* person. I also think it is important for pro-choice and pro-life people to really communicate with each other and not demonize the other side despite the incredible temptation (I know I am tempted!) to do that. If you choose not to post this comment I completely understand, but I truly would love to hear your thoughts in response.
    *** comment as I first wrote it is below ***
    I totally agree with your assessment of male-bashing feminism and how it has gone astray. However, I think your connection of that to a woman's right to choose is invalid. I certainly don't believe a woman's feelings are more important than a baby's life. I also believe in a woman's right to choose an abortion - and not just in cases of rape and incest. My basis for that belief can be summed up in two very important principles:

    1. It is not a baby we are talking about, it is a ball of cells. I know that some Christians believe human life begins at conception, but that is not the automatic conclusion of a moral, rational person or even a moral,rational Christian. An argument can be made *from scripture* that an unborn child should be considered a part of the woman's body and not a separate individual. I can get the verse references if you want, but I am well-aware that it is an Old Testament verse and that people who want to restrict a woman's right to choose have argued that I and others who think as I do are misinterpreting it. My point is that pro-choice people are not weighing the rights of one individual against another - we are respecting a woman's right to make choices about what happens to her own body and do not believe there is another individual with rights involved in this particular decision.

    2. Your argument denies a woman's ability to make moral choices. This is particularly apparent in your line "right when she's most vulnerable". Yes, I know from personal experience that being pregnant can make a woman appear a little "crazy" because the hormones wreak havoc with your brain. However, I did not suddenly become unable to think or make moral choices. In fact, what I noticed most was an almost obsessive focus of my attention on the life growing inside me and an extreme, perhaps some might say irrational, desire to protect it. When a woman is pregnant, conveniently enough, is when she is *least* likely to make a bad choice on the issue of abortion. And I do think an abortion is almost always the wrong choice. And even in extreme cases where possibly choosing to have an abortion can be justified, it is still a wrong - just maybe the lesser of two evils. But, wrong or right, it is not my choice to make for another. Just as you must believe we were given free will and the ability to sin - we each must make our own moral choices. You clearly believe an abortion is an act of murder, so of course you should not have one in any circumstances. However, this is not true for every woman. I firmly believe to make laws that force your (religiously based) morals on another, to act in ways that prevent a woman's access to medical care such that she effectively has no choice regardless of the legality, and yes, even to use psychological pressure to try to coerce a woman into making the choice you would prefer are all immoral and all show a complete lack of respect for women and their ability to make moral choices.


  5. Adele, I could never think of you as anything but thoughtful and sensitive.

    First off, I don't think the fetus is a baby just because I'm pro-life or Christian. I think it's a baby because of an objective moral law. In my life, truth is the important thing...not political or religious agendas.

    Perhaps the thing in the woman's womb is only a ball of cells...but then, when does it become a human? Who decides it? Life, in that sense, is more than science and cells. I'm a bunch of organic material, just like everyone else. But I believe humans are distinct from plant life or animal life, not because they're made of divine material, but because the life within them is God-given. Life comes from God, not the amalgation of cell life. You are no doubt familiar with the verses pro-lifers use to argue their case, so I won't patronize you by listing those.

    If we do reject the notion of life at conception, the status of the fetus becomes totally arbitary. Women who want their babies get everyone all excited because they have a baby, regardless of its viability or its current development. The fetus is a baby to that woman. Women who don't want their fetuses garner sympathy for the unwanted intruder inside them, and nobody, except those pro-lifers, considers the fetus a baby.

    Same stages of development, perhaps, but arbitrarily defined by the women's decisions. That sort of arbitary is what I wrote this post against. With something as precious as life, I would definitely seek for firmer ground than just opinion.

  6. Interestingly, I fully believe women are capable of choosing the right thing (even in the midst of pregnancy!)...and that's why I wrote this post. However, I don't think rightness and morality is defined by a woman's personal choice; it's defined by an outside source, by a higher law. Personal decisions aren't always rational or moral - whether believed by a pregnant woman or a silly seventeen-year-old. Since I believe women are capable of choosing morality and that there is a verifiable morality, I think it's irresponsible to encourage women to do whatever they feel like without bringing in the moral absolutes.

    And I love engaging with women like you because you care deeply about right decisions and defending the right to make right decisions. Because of that, I challenge you to reconsider whether we can uphold individual laws of morality for each person. I don't believe abortion is wrong because I would never do it personally - that is the height of arrogance. If there's no objective right or wrong, I wouldn't bother even expressing my opinion...it would, as you said, be decidedly immoral.

    But I don't think morality is a personal choice. The only way sin can exist is if it breaks an objective goodness - and you're right, we do have a choice. But the choice is not whether something is right or wrong. That's already been decided by God.

    The logic applied to abortion is dangerous. If I decide it's morally justifiable for me to murder everyone in my neighborhood, does it make it right? No. Yet I'm an intelligent woman capable of making moral choices, am I not? And I happened to decide that murdering everyone on my block is a morally justifiable decision.

    The issue of abortion for Christians isn't whether it's okay for "me" to do. It's whether it's okay, period. It's whether it's objectively wrong. It's not like whether it's right for me to vacation in Hawaii. It's like whether it's right for me to murder everyone on my street.

    Dear Adele, you cannot make any statement saying abortion is wrong or even the lesser of two evils - or even that it's wrong for me to restrict another's right - if it's none of your business to decide what's right or wrong for another. There'd be no point. You wouldn't feel the need to defend these women you care about because my right may be entirely different from yours...so what if I believe what I do? But if there is an objective right or wrong - as I think you truly believe, deep down - then we have every right to stop someone from doing wrong. And you are then perfectly justified in calling me out for restricting the rights of others, just as I believe I am right in presenting my side.

    When it comes down to it, it's about the truth...not personal beliefs or feelings.

    Adele, thank you for engaging with me so graciously and honestly. Your thoughts are always welcome here.


  7. I just wanted to add that I don't believe pro-choicers are rabid murder-mongers. You genuinely care about women, and I know many others who believe in abortion rights do so as well, all in the interest of the woman, not because hatred toward unborn babies.

    Be blessed, friend.

  8. So true! I was confused at first too. :) I love the point you made in a previous comment.
    "Perhaps the thing in the woman's womb is only a ball of cells...but then, when does it become a human?" I totally agree with that. Does it become a human when it starts looking like one? What about when it's born? When it's one year old?
    Personally, I agree with you that a fetus is always a human... and I'd say that even if I was the one pregnant.

  9. Wow, you had me there, Bailey! I couldn't believe I was reading those beginning statements on your blog. :)

    This is a wonderful post. The discussion between you and Adele was extremely interesting. I think you summed up your argument well by pointing out that it all boils down to one thing when talking about the pro life vs. pro choice controversy: the question of whether or not we believe in moral absolutes.

    You're right, when everybody can make up their own truth, it basically gives them license do whatever they want, because, hey, it's right to them! Yet, when their truths impose on us in an offensive way, we try to call them out on it (I use "we" hypothetically). We can't call them out on their offenses, though, because when we don't believe in absolute morals, remember?

    And why do we choose not to believe in a higher authority as our basis for right and wrong? Deep down, I believe it's because we don't want anything or anyone restricting our freedom.

    It's just a manifestation of our fallen, sinful nature.

  10. I do believe that abortion is murder. Period.

    But if I try to imagine carrying a sin-conceived child - maybe even against my will - all my arguments seem harsh. Unfeeling. Cruel.

    Abortion. Isn't it such a simple solution? They remove the fetus and I can walk away no longer bearing the terrible disgrace of that unborn child.

    Maybe I would falter, perhaps I would think of my hands slipping off my stern belief.

    I can only pray God would deliver me from such a grave mistake.

  11. Bailey,
    Hey, I was just stopping by your blog and had to say thank you for your thoughtful, clear, and very good defense of truth, both in your post and in the comments. I know your ability to do so must be greatly due to your parents (and of course to God!) but still, thank you for choosing to take all that you have been given and do with it what you should! You're a great encouragement. :)

  12. Hi, Bailey, I know that it has been a long time since I have read or even commented on your blog posts. Life is going on. That is my lame excuse.
    I have to admit that I was shocked when the first blog post that I read today, before reading the rest, stated that you supported women's rights to an abortion in the case of rape or incest. I looked at your picture on the side a couple times to make sure that I'd typed in the correct web address. I was surprised to say the least. I know you like people to comment when they disagree, but I'm afraid I'm going to come across rather strong. I can say that I see why you think abortion would be okay in such cases. I think this is a great subject that you brought up. You have good points, in that a woman was forced to do something she did not want to when she was or is raped. But I cannot agree to anyone having an abotion for any reason. I do not agree that a woman's feelings are more important than the baby's life. I disagree with everything within me. When I speak out against abortion, I like to use the arguement that if the child had been born and was just one week old and the mother killed the child, that's as bad as abortion-the murder of an unborn baby. And I totally agree that the "ball of cells" is a baby. Definitely. Which is why I can't see killing a baby before he/she is born. It's just wrong. Whether or not the child was conceived forcefully or willingly, I don't think that matters. I can see why you think the child's life is in the mother's hands. Because it is unwanted and part of the "intruder". Sure, it is, but it's part of the mother, too. I have heard of women who have had abortion(s) and regretted it with everything they were. They took a precious life away that-as hard as it may be to admit-God created. God is the Creator of life. How can we destroy it, whether it is wanted or not?
    October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Where am I going with this? Well, I heard on the radio recently, that many organizations that do researching for breast cancer also support abortion. I didn't know this, but the man said that abortion is one of the causes of breast cancer. I had no idea. And the Susan G. Komen organization supports abortion.
    Back to the subject at hand: I'm sure you all have seen Horton Hears a Who. What was it that Hortoan said? I life is a life no matter how small. I think we could say that a life is a life no matter what. It makes me sad to hear of rape cases, but it also makes me sad to think of destroying that life. Where does the Bible say you can kill intruders "if you want". That doesn't sound very Biblical to me. I know one of the commandments says that you shall not murder. How much clearer can you get than that? It doesn't sound vague at all to me. Thou shall not murder. "Does that mean I shouldn't murder anybody? Or can I kill people I don't like? Or can I kill the life inside me that I despise?" A person is a person no matter what.
    Yes, the woman is innocent and so is the baby. Isn't the excuse for any abortion about the woman's feelings and what she wants?
    I'm sorry, but I just can't agree with killing a child no matter what. yes, she went through a horror that God forbid should happen to anyone that I love or care about-or even myself. But were it to happen, an abortion would be wrong. So, don't come to me and ask me for suggestions on what good clinics you could go to to have a "procedure" done.

    I'm sorry if I come across harsh, but I believe strongly in the life of unborn children. It makes me sick to hear of the millions of lives that are taken from these precious little lives.
    I may be sorry for coming across harsh, but I am not sorry for my beliefs.

    God is the Creator of ALL life.

    Bailey, I know you and I have had our disagreements and its bound to happen with any friendship, Christian or not. I love you very much as a friend and sister in Christ.

  13. Oh, my goodness, Bailey. Yeah, I should have read the whole thing before accusing you, then commenting, THEN reading the rest. it's kind of like the Bible, I guess-though really not. :-) People like to take parts out that they don't like and live out the parts that they do like. I would've been rather disappointed in my very opinionated friend who I love dearly.
    So, then, may anyone who agrees with abortion for rape victims read what I have to say. And as Bailey told me, we may fight together as people who are 100% pro-life. God bless you all and, you, Bailey.

    Then can I comment on your other post about a woman going to college who plans to have a family? I think you already know my feelings on woman working and going to college. I fully agree that a woman who IS a mother shouldn't go to work or college because she should stay home to take care of her children. But for a woman to go to college who is not a wife or mother can and should go to college if God so leads. I would not push anyone to make a decision about college, since I have no desire to attend, as of now. I guess in the case of a woman who is married with no children should go if hey feel God's leading. I think that a woman who is married should pray about attending college. I don't think it's wrong, but that's something that should be between that person and God.
    Bailey, I would be proud of you whatever your choice is, but when we have get togethers with your family, you better be there, or else! :-)

    Love you much!

  14. LOL No worries, Katie, no worries. I should put a disclaimer on these things! ;o)

    I agree with your thoughts on women and college. And I will try (*cross fingers*) to be here for all special get togethers...if you buy me a little pink plane and give me flight lessons. Otherwise I'll have to learn to swim Lake Michigan in two hours.

    The only thing I'd add to your comment is that, especially in this day and age, abortion is such a confusing choice. It looks clear cut to us who are firm Christians with a developed moral base and comfy lives, but for women in panic situations, they're just overwhelmed. Sahara's makes a good point. So while passion in hashing out the abortion/life issue is good, we must channel that passion into compassion to women who are hurting, mistaken and confused. We've got to somehow strike a balance of being passionately pro-life and passionately pro-women...just as our holy God is.

    Love you too!!

  15. Exodus 22.2-3

    I was disapointed you did not quote and cite the verse: Exodus 22.2. It would have made your argument that much stronger. And who actually looks up and reads those Bible verses anyways?

    While I agree that abortion is covered in Exodus 20.13, I think Pro-choice people tend to struggle with Exodus 20.2-6. But I have broken them all.

    And you covered all of this, eloquently.

  16. If a girl has been raped, that is horrible, beyond my comprehension. But you can't comfort her by killing the result! If she has her baby killed, she will have the double burden of shame and guilt. For the rest of her life.

  17. Oh, Bailey, I totally agree. We should be compassionate towards women in such situations. I'm sure even Christians have wavered if something like this ever happened to them. I completely understand their feelings and arguements.

    *Groan* Thanks for putting that disclaimer at the top of the post. I guess you expect everyone to read the whole thing...Ah, well, lesson learned. I still can't imagine...you, partial pro-abortionist! :-0

  18. Thank you for a very thought provoking post.

    Playing devil's advocate myself for a minute, where do you stand on the action that should be taken where there is an ectopic pregnancy; where a fetus has embedded in the tubes, the common medical practice is to prescribe medication that will end that pregnancy. The pregnancy wasn't viable and would only have ended in the death of the child and possibly the death of the mother. If you were to accept that a pregnancy could be ended if it would risk or take the life of the mother then where do you draw that line - does it have to be a physical risk, or would the psychological impact of being pregnant by rape, that put a woman into such dark depths of depression that she would consider taking her own life, be sufficient? These aren't mere hurt feelings we're talking about, but a very real response to horrible abuse.

    These aren't easy questions and I know that while I am pro-life I haven't been in this kind of situation. It was impossible to truly understand how it feels to miscarry a baby until it happened to me, and I think this is a similar 'outside-in' situation.

    On a purely practical note, abortions were carried out outside the law for many years before it was legalised in the UK, and many women died at the hands of unregulated and unhygenic self-appointed midwives and I'm not sure that I'd want a return to those days.

    Is the issue of abortion an example of us as Christians living as Israelites in an Egyptian world?

    Sorry, I've rambled and not been terribly cohesive but it's been an interesting conundrum.

  19. Good questions! Gave my mind a serious morning workout. :o)

    I haven't fully decided on ectopic pregnancies, pregnancies that threaten the woman's life and/or pregnancies that aren't viable. If the pregnancy doesn't affect a woman's life, I'd say just let God handle it in the course of time...but if it becomes a health issue, then there's a whole host of different questions and decisions that the general discussion of abortion wouldn't necessarily help.

    I would make a distinction between the life of a mother and her psychological health. Of course there's a big difference between mere gloominess and depression caused by abuse, which is why working with women in such situations instead of offering judgment and Bible-thumping is absolutely imperative! Still, I do not think abortion would ease a heart shattered by rape...I think in many cases it would compound the horror.

    Regarding legalization of abortion...I think Christians, especially in allegedly free republics and democracies, should speak up about abortion specifically because it threatens the life of someone else. It would be like legalizing murder or theft: it's not just a violation of specifically "religious" principals as secularists would see it but a matter of basic human rights.

    I think people who are concerned that legalizing abortion would harm the lives of women who want abortions should be applauded for their compassion. However, that's where a woman has to use her capacity for moral judgment. We cannot create laws trying to accommodate the people who would break them: we must only create laws on what is right. People will do wrong things whether or not it's against the law. They have the free will to decide what they do with their lives and whether they are willing to risk it on a certain decision or practice.

    It certainly is an interesting conundrum. It's so easy to make tidy judgments, as if the question is a simple one...when it really isn't. Thank you, Carie.

    Anyone else who cares to jump in on this discussion, please do! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  20. I think that, whenever a young woman shows up pregnant, for whatever reason, the church should not completely condemn her and ignore her, even if she has sinned, but they should, prayerfully and with wisdom, show her love. Love. A life---two lives---are at stake here.

  21. Oh, and, here's a rule of thumb that this post taught us:

    Do not comment on an article or a post until you have read the entire thing.

  22. Because look at it this way: the child is like an unwanted intruder, right? What does the Bible say about intruders? You can kill them if you want. You don’t have to, but you can. If a woman decides to kill this unwanted intruder, that’s her decision—we can’t judge.

    This should be rephrased.

    Because look at it this way: the invading enemy soldiers are like an unwanted intruder, right? What does the Bible say about intruders? You can kill them if you want. You don’t have to, but you can. If a country's defenders decides to kill this unwanted intruder, that’s their decision—we can’t judge.

  23. Dear Bailey,

    I stumbled across your blog while reading some posts by a friend...

    I must say that I DON'T agree with your opening statements. They sadden, pain & grieve me considerably. If my own dear mother had believed that, I NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN BORN.

    I am EXTREMELY grateful (beyond words!!!) that my mother decided 1) to preserve my life (even in the midst of the bewilderment, confusion, pain, hurt, shame & depression) and 2) chose to raise me HERSELF. I cannot IMAGINE what my life (or the lack thereof) would have looked like otherwise... *shudder*

    Although my family has traveled a VERY hard road, we have not walked it alone. I am SO grateful to God, for His Hand of Provision on my Mom & step-Dad, as they strive to lead our family in a God-glorifying way...

    Because of everything we have been through, God is using our testimony to impact & influence others (going through similar things) for the Advancement of His Kingdom. While the wound is still raw, I can definitely say that it is all WORTH it.

    It will be exciting to see what God has in store for us in the future, after everything we have walked through thus far!

    He is Faithful!

    ~ Kate
    Romans 8:28

  24. Kate, I do not agree with those opening statements either. Like I said in the post, I was playing the devil's advocate. If you read the rest of the post, you'll see I am strongly pro-life. :)

    Thank you for sharing your story! You're a living example of why the arguments for abortion in the case of rape are ridiculous and immoral.


Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)