What’s most fascinating about the reactions to Emily Letts’ video of her abortion is the role fantasy plays in
criticisms from the right, and what that generally says about the state of debate over abortion in this country—specifically, the fantasy that there’s a “baby” or even a “fetus” involved in an abortion like Letts’.
The development of a potential human life requires conception as a first step. But that is not the same as either pregnancy or personhood. You can’t reduce complex reality to a slogan, and when you try to do so, you actually minimize the personhood of women.
In April 2010, the Nebraska legislature banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy for all reasons except for the life and physical health of the mother. The reality is that women need later abortions for many of the same reasons women need any other abortion.
The anti-choice focus on late abortions demonstrates two major contradictions between their stated point of view and their actual point of view and reveals how intellectually bankrupt their position is.