On Jan. 23, the Daily published “40 years later, still fighting” about the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. While I disagree with Manes’s view, I had a bigger problem with her rhetoric. She uses terms like “reproductive justice,” “needless waiting” and “the right to decide when and if to have children” to avoid discussing the most important moral questions surrounding abortion: Is the fetus human and does it have the right to life? Manes sets up a straw man by switching the topic to rights versus restrictions and choice versus coercion. The opposing forces that she presents don’t want abortion to be restricted in order to subjugate women as she claims. Rather, those of us in the “opposition” want to affirm the fetus’s right to live.
What I found most insulting, however, was Manes’s description of all restrictions on abortion as “dehumanizing.” Manes assumes that all restrictions are “dehumanizing,” but clarification here is necessary. She surely can’t hold the view that restricting sex-selective, third-trimester or partial-birth abortions are more dehumanizing than abortion itself. To not object to these practices is fine, but it’s shallow to say that people who don’t object are actually dehumanizing those who choose to have an abortion.