Germaine Greer on Abortion and “Choice”

Germaine Greer on Abortion and “Choice”

On the subject of abortion and “choice” for women, feminist writer Germaine Greer wrote in her 1999 book, The Whole Woman:

“What women ‘won’ was the right to undergo invasive procedures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies, unwanted not just by them but by their parents, their sexual partners, the governments who would not support mothers, the employers who would not employ mothers, the landlords who would not accept tenants with children, the schools who would not accept students with children . . .

“If the child is unwanted, whether by her or her partner or parents, it will be her duty to undergo an invasive procedure and an emotional trauma and so sort the situation out. The crowning insult is that this ordeal is represented to her as some kind of a privilege. Her sad and onerous duty is garbed in the rhetoric of a civil right. Where other people decide that a woman’s baby should not be born she will be pressured to carry out her duty to herself, to the fetus, to other people, to the health establishment, to the state by undergoing abortion. Her autonomy is the least important consideration. In both cases she is confronted by people who know better than she what she ought to do.”

Originally published in The Post-Abortion Review 12(4) Oct.-Dec. 2004.

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