Laws “Protecting Women” Harm Them, Instead
Laws “protecting” women often end up harming them, instead.
That’s because limiting liberty is the real aim.
In 1905 a laundress sued her employer for making her work more than 10 hours — Oregon’s legal limit for women back then. The case eventually wound up at the Supreme Court, where her employer made this feminist argument:
Limits on women’s work hours discriminate against them.
But the Justices upheld the law, saying that women are like children, both needing special care.
In a related 1933 case, feminist lawyer, Blanche Crozier opined:
If night work is ‘‘against nature,’’ then starvation is even more so.
Emily Bazelon tells these stories in a recent New York Times piece. Where she points out that these sorts of laws aren’t really about protecting women. They are about limiting their liberty.
And in fact, the so-called protections actually end up harming them.
Protecting women from having abortions harms them
Nowadays “pro-lifers” are promoting measures that will 1) lessen women’s liberty and 2) bring more deaths — in the name of “protection.”
Like a case recently heard by the Supreme Court in which the state of Texas requires abortion clinics to:
- Upgrade to “ambulatory surgical center’’ standards
- Employ a doctor with admitting privileges to nearby hospitals
Estimated cost: $1.5 to $3 million per clinic.
Yet, Ms. Bazelon points out,
There’s no phrase for men equivalent to ‘‘damsel in distress’’ and no such thing as ‘‘protective’’ legislation for men. ‘‘No one says anything about sending men to surgical centers for colonoscopies,’’ says Kessler-Harris, who submitted a brief in the Texas case, along with 15 other historians. (Colonoscopies have a mortality rate more than 30 times as high as the rate for abortion.)
And, abortion will be no safer.
It will become less safe!
Abortion restrictions don’t stop desperate women
Abortion restrictions do not stop desperate women from getting them.
Instead, women will travel longer distances to find clinics. Some must raise money to do so. Which means they get the procedure at a later stage, when it is more dangerous.
Others will seek out illegal and dangerous back-alley abortionists.
Many will do it themselves.
And too often die.
That’s why doctors, and even some religious leaders, were once at the forefront, working to make abortion safe and legal in the United States.
I hope people eventually “get it.”