Published September 9, 2021
Since its inception, the legal-abortion movement has centered its argument on a key political narrative: The right to abortion is essential for women’s freedom and flourishing. Legal abortion is a woman’s right, and its restriction is an assault on women.
For decades, this assertion has bolstered their rhetoric. In recent years, though, the argument been considerably muddied by the rising influence of left-wing gender ideologues. According to gender ideology, after all, there’s not really any such thing as a woman — so how could abortion be a matter of women’s rights?
In the world of transgender activism, sex isn’t binary, and one’s gender need not align with his or her biological sex. Instead, there is a spectrum of gender expression, and it is highly fluid. A person could fall on any part of that spectrum at any given moment in time and find himself elsewhere on the spectrum at another.
On this view, the facts of human biology, as they relate to sexuality in particular, are essentially meaningless. A person’s having been born “in a male body” or having been “assigned male” at birth means nothing if he later decides that he was meant to have been born as a female — such a person is considered to be a woman who somehow became trapped in a man’s body. The mind is triumphant; the body is dismissed as either disordered or immaterial.
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Alexandra DeSanctis is a staff writer for National Review and a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.