Abortion. This is a tricky subject. Chances are, if you’re reading this right now, you know someone who has had experience with abortion. You may even have experience with abortion yourself. I myself have never experienced abortion, but it definitely is something I’ve given thought to in the past. That being said, I myself am pro-choice.
I agree with Hawkin’s eco-feminist view on abortion. She states that abortion is crucial for limiting the human population which directly contributes to climate change and the degradation of our natural resources. This is so obviously true. Which is why it’s almost painful for me to remain objective on this matter. Just look at the data:
“Worldwide, figures for 1986 show that, while the total population increased by 82 million, an estimated 54 million abortions were performed, around 26 million in the industrialized nations, and about 28 million in pooer countries. As a backup to contraception, abortion plays an important role in limiting the ecologically damaging effects of the human population in all part of the globe” (Hawkins 692). Can you imagine if those abortions were not performed? I’ll tell you: the population would have spiked to around 136 million. In other words, we’d be even MORE screwed than we already are in dealing with climate change and population control…
Hawkin’s view is undoubtedly eco-feminist, and I totally stand behind every word she wrote in her article. She focuses on the positive effects that abortion would have / does have on our environment and she’s not wrong. You just can’t deny it. If you need a little more convincing, take this data from populationeducation.org into account:
“In just 50 years, the world’s population has more than doubled to over 7.4 billion people. That’s more than 7.4 billion bodies that need to be fed, clothed, and kept warm, all requiring a large amount of energy. Alongside this consumption, these 7.4 billion people are also producing vast quantities of waste. Consequently, the demand for energy and the production of waste are significant producers of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The impacts of climate change are significant across the globe and its effects are already beginning to take place in different communities to different degrees” (Katie Luoma). This is concrete evidence that the population has a direct and harmful impact on the environment, and is a huge perpetuator of climate change. This is also why I agree with Hawkin’s view on abortion.
Of course, this eco-feminist view on abortion is a little different from the traditional feminist view on abortion. But that doesn’t make it any less relevant. The traditional feminist view on abortion is one that we’re all familiar with: a woman needs and deserves the right to a safe, legal, and accessible abortion. Why? Because she just does. She deserves to have the same exact opportunity in life to succeed and carry out her dreams just as a man does. Without the underlying fear that at any time, an unwanted / unexpected pregnancy could come along and “derail them for life.” This view focuses more on the individual woman rather than the environment as a whole. However, there are similarities.
Jessica Valenti’s article offers some insight which in my opinion, perfectly describe the traditional feminist view regarding abortion. She states that the pro life movement is “anti-woman”, and even refers to the side as “anti-choice.” Well said, Jessica. Well said. She then goes onto quote Katha Pollitt from her book “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights” She says, Society benefits when women can commit to education and work and dreams without having at the back of their mind that maybe it’s all provisional, because at any moment an accidental pregnancy could derail them for life” (Pollitt). This relates to society as whole in saying that if women aren’t able to get abortions, it’ll essentially be harder for them to contribute to society or do their part if, God firbid, they get pregnant. This ties into the eco-feminist view because it refers to the greater good of society, and thus, the environment.
Women need safe, legal, and accessible abortion rights in order to contribute to the environment. This is why abortion is such an important, eco-feminist topic. Hawkin’s ends her article by saying, “At the present time, recognition of our connectedness with all other life on the planet reinforces the need for abortion. When the interests of life in this larger sense are taken into consideration, the pro choice position is the one most deserving of the adjective “pro life” (Hawkins 693). This quote really spoke to me because it puts abortion and the idea of “pro life” into a much larger perspective. It puts it into a perspective of saving our planet and having true respect and consideration for all living things that are currently inhabiting the planet. Even though this eco-feminist idea is different from the traditional feminist idea of abortion, both are extremely important.
Valenti, Jessica. “Abortion Isn’t about the Right to Privacy. It’s about Women’s Right to Equality | Jessica Valenti.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Oct. 2014, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/14/abortion-right-to-privacy-women-right-to-equality.
Hawkins, Zoe Ronnie. “Reproductive Choices: The Ecological Dimension” https://umassd.umassonline.net/bbcswebdav/pid-1486130-dt-content-rid-14847523_1/courses/D2930-12852_MASTER/Scanned%20from%20a%20Xerox%20multifunction%20device001%282%29.pdf
Luoma, Katie. “How Does Population Growth Impact Climate Change?” Population Education, 20 Dec. 2019, populationeducation.org/how-does-population-growth-impact-climate-change/.
This source helped me to find details about climate change and how it is linked to the population, which helped me to further prove my point in reasoning why I agree with Hawkin’s eco-feminist view on abortion.