TW for abortion
In her new book, Pro, Katha Pollitt explains why abortion matters so much to society.
“Why support abortion rights? That’s the question at the heart of Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. Pollitt, a feminist writer, essayist, and poet, has been covering reproductive rights, gender equality, and poverty for decades, and in this book she takes on the complicated and thorny questions of whether women could ever be equal without abortion rights, if the abortion debates are really just about sex, and whether anyone truly believe life begins at conception. She talked to Cosmopolitan.com about why she casts a critical eye on rape and incest exceptions for abortion, the men who should be yelling in the streets for birth control of their own, and how she’s trying to talk to people in the “mushy middle” about one of the most contentious topics in American society.
You’ve been a pro-choice writer for decades. Why this book now?
It was surprising to me that this book wasn’t already out there. There are some books of reporting about abortion, where people go and interview a lot of people or they write about the political struggle, but there isn’t a book that actually lays out the more philosophical arguments around abortion rights. I have a friend who is a brilliant, very important social theorist who said to me at a dinner party, “I’m only telling you this because we’re friends, but I oppose abortion except for rape. The only reason I think it’s OK is because women would die if it were illegal. But for myself, the only reason I think women should have them is because of rape.” I said, “So someone should have a baby because they have sex?” And he said, “They made their bed, they should lie in it.” This man proved to me that you can be really smart, you can think you’re thinking, but you’re not — you’re repeating a lot of reactionary platitudes that have been handed down to you. I thought, what about a book where I try to talk about that, to the people in the mushy middle?“
Read the full interview here