On Saturday, South Bend, Indiana, mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visited Greenville, South Carolina. During a speech there, the dark horse candidate spoke about “freedom,” specifically as it relates to abortion.
“You’re not free if your reproductive choices are being dictated by male politicians in Washington,” he stated.
Buttigieg’s remark should come as no surprise. As a progressive, his position on abortion is likely in line with the other Democrats running for the 2020 nomination.
Although Buttigieg hasn’t spoken in detail about his beliefs surrounding abortion, during a mid-February appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with host Joe Scarborough, the mayor replied to a question about abortion law with a remark that mirrored his South Carolina speech:
SCARBOROUGH: Do you support the late-term abortion legislation that was passed in the New York state legislature, as well as in Virginia?
BUTTIGIEG: I don’t think we need more restrictions right now. And, you know, what I’ve learned in Indiana, being in a place where a lot of my friends, a lot of my supporters even, come from a different place than I do, being pro-choice, I just believe that when a woman is in that situation, and when we’re talking about some of those situations covered by that law – extremely difficult, painful, often medically serious situations where life or health of the mother is at stake – the involvement of a male government official like me is not helpful.
This is a tired argument frequently made by pro-choice politicians and activists. In short — no uterus, no opinion. Unfortunately for Buttigieg, as well as others who continue to use this argument, “no uterus, no opinion” is logically flawed, and it opens up a massive can of worms as it pertains to other laws.
The suggestion that someone’s gender dictates the policies in which they can and cannot engage requires two leaps. First, one must toss out the notion of empathy and assume that a law can only be written by those who have experienced or can experience the situations that such a law is created to address. Second, one must call into question numerous laws that were crafted by men, but deal primarily with women, such as laws pertaining to the criminal punishment for rape.
Once brought to its logical conclusion, the idea of experiential law undermines all law. If one has not committed murder, been close to a victim of murder, or been involved in a murder case, how can one be suited to draft a law criminalizing murder? No murder experience, no opinion. Such an idea may seem laughable, but it’s analogous to the argument made by abortion advocates. If you do not have the capacity to become pregnant or have an abortion, you should not be allowed to create legislation dealing with abortion (unless, of course, that law or decision expands abortion access like Roe v. Wade, which was decided by nine male Supreme Court justices).
One does not need personal experience with something bad to know that it is bad. Just as one does not need to be involved in, or close to, a violent crime in order to know that laws against such a crime are a good thing, one does not need to have the ability to become pregnant in order to know that the extermination of a preborn human life is a bad thing.
To suggest that men shouldn’t have a say in abortion law is beyond ludicrous, yet it continues to be an argument espoused by progressives because it has the hollow ring of compassion.