“Abortion is a slippery slope to genocide!”

Often, anti-abortion advocates claim pro-choice advocates are creating a “hierarchy of human life”. They claim that a thoughtful examination of when personhood begins in the context of abortion will lead to a hellscape in which groups such as minorities and women will be dehumanized. 

Of course, any consideration of what it means for personhood to begin is emphatically not the same as the claim that some people’s lives are more important and valuable than others. Basing the value of people’s lives in their ability to have experiences doesn’t risk elevating one group of people over another. In fact, it guarantees equality, because every person has the same capacity to feel joy or to suffer. On the other hand, linking the value of a life to any genetic or biological feature, as the pro-lifers do, is easily hijacked by racists and sexists.

Furthermore, the idea that restricting women’s rights to get abortions will prevent or stave off human rights atrocities is as ridiculous and misogynistic as it sounds. The countries with the strictest anti-abortion laws (Nicaragua, for instance) have extremely poor human rights records, far worse than many countries with liberal abortion laws.

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