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Unformatted text preview: Northwestern Debate Institute 1 2009 Capitalism Bad Index (1/4) LINKS Link Abortion The abortion debate ignores its complicity in capitalism abortion is a class issue, the notion of legal rights only hides the gap Zavardzadeh, professor of English at Syracuse University, 2002 (Masud, The Labor Theory of (Anti)Abortion, Red Critique, September/October, http://www.redcritique.org/SeptOct02/labortheoryofantiabortion.htm) (Anti)abortion is a labor matter. It is neither exclusively a gender question , as in liberal feminists' insistence on "reproductive rights", nor is it simply what pro-life advocates, in their moralizing stance, call the universal sanctity of life in all its forms . I put aside here the ideological contradictions that mark these positions. "Rights" feminists have shown little serious interest in the "rights" of women of color, who do most of their domestic work, and the pro-life women support militarism and the defense industries, whose main task are to make more efficient machines for slaughtering humans. Both positions are, in the end, based on a rather discredited bourgeois notion of (human) "rights"one that is an ideological device giving the illusion of equality for all and using a legalistic discourse to obscure the material gap between classes. Pro-choice feminists have formulated the question of abortion as primarily a matter of individual freedom: a woman's reproductive rights. In the name of a (seemingly) progressive feminism, they have actually reaffirmed the existing social relations which privilege the individual; substitute a legalism of "rights" for economic equality, and produce a populist imaginary that fantasizes reproductive rights are autonomous from production. In other words, they do not regard the emancipation of labor and freedom from necessity to be conditions for the emancipation of women. They simply want to reform capitalism to accommodate the reproductive "rights" of women. For them, abortion is a local (personal) issue and that seems to be enough to give an air of radicality because they also believe that the personal is always local, and the local is the concrete site of the political. The pro-life movement also supports wage-labor and entrepreneurship and appeals to the same principle of the "rights" of the individual, but it defines the individual as a legal being before birth. By retreating into the false abstraction of the "sanctity of life" in general, it too covers up the gap between classes and represents all life as equalan equality that is as empty as the equality in liberal "rights". In spite of their cultural differences, the pro-choice and the pro-life arguments are two related ideological modes addressing different class fractions. Using different means, they both affirm the ways in which capitalism secures the dominant productive processes because (anti)abortion, in the last analysis, is a matter of controlling the labor force. It is primarily an economic and, therefore, a class issue not a cultural or legal matter ....
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This note was uploaded on 09/19/2010 for the course COMM 180 taught by Professor Kemp during the Fall '08 term at Wake Forest.
- Fall '08