The International Day of Action for Women’s Health: sounds positive, right? What true human rights advocate doesn’t want to promote and protect women’s health in every nation? We’ll tell you: the kind that does not believe that “women’s health” encompasses anti-woman acts such as elective abortion. Not only is abortion the absence of a solution to the women’s issue of unplanned pregnancy; abortion is also the ultimate act of violence against preborn women.
But how was a day to promote abortion established under the pretense of being an International Day of Action for Women’s Health (IDAWH) in the first place? The day is predicated on a wildly misconstrued interpretation of the U.N.’s definition of institutional violence against women. This definition says that, “violence against women shall be understood to include physical, sexual, and psychological violence.” The subheading of this introduction explains explicitly that this violence encompasses rape, incest, pornography, sexual abuse, torture, trafficking, battery, forced prostitution, kidnapping, sexual harassment, etc. In a report following the situation of violence against women fifteen years after that 1993 definition, the U.N. added another form of violence to the list: “sex-selective abortion and infanticide.” Let that sink in.
So how in the name of logic did the IDAWH arrive at their paramount goal for the prevention of violence against women: retaliation against “the denial of the right to access safe and legal abortion services”? We have no idea. And yes, you read that correctly: Elective abortion access is the number one priority for IDAWH activists who claim to be committed to reducing violence against women per their interpretation of the UN’s guidelines, even though those explicitly mention abortion in a negative context. While women in Afghanistan are beaten and set on fire by men who allege their nonexistent crimes, and women in China have 8-month-old children forcibly cut out of their wombs and thrown in the garbage, and women in Africa suffer genital mutilation as a symbol of their forced submission to men, activists of the IDAWH contend that lack of access to elective abortion is the main source of violence against women.
Tucking abortion into the oh-so-unsubtle banner of “sexual and reproductive rights,” abortion activists of the IDAWH do an inexcusable disservice to women who are actually suffering from institutional violence across the globe. These activists would do well to take a step back and review their priorities. Maybe then they would realize that they have fabricated a violence-against-women issue that does not exist (lack of abortion) while simultaneously failing to make significant progress for the women suffering from real forms of violence and enslavement all over the world.
If we failed to convey the point before now: Violence against women will never be a solution to violence against women.