The “Abortion No” group wants “Intellectual Honesty”


Professor Cecili Chadwick, Contributor

When describing the anti-choice group “Abortion No” and their recent visit to campus, it’s important to distinguish social justice from its opposite: vengeful hate.


The impulse to punish and shame is a powerful tool and while it has no positive direction, it needs something to hate in order to have any purpose at all. Far from mitigating the real conditions that lead women to choose abortion, the “No” group desires its continuance because if “evil women” weren’t having abortions, what would this vengeful group rally around?

The “No” group, affiliated with the “Genocide Awareness Project,” indulged in a display of grotesque abortion murals on campus and in addition to being a spectacle and affront to basic public decency, juxtaposed abortion to the Holocaust; the terror, rape, and murder of slavery and Jim Crow; and the systematic genocide of Native Americans.


You may wonder, what does totalitarian scapegoating, ascriptive terror and settler colonialism have to do with abortion? Well, ironically, they are all aspects of a modern political economy that, in addition to demonizing Judaism, “blackness,” and paganism, blame women for the conditions under which they suffer. In other words, the “No” group, in its vengeful denial of real life and history, attempts to confuse the unwary by drawing false parallels between abortion and the very politics that lead to it.

Most telling of all, the “No” group RE-LIES upon the same kind of frenzied politics that produce the scapegoating of paternalist fascism (Holocaust), white racism (Jim Crow), and commercial imperialism (genocide). The “No” group is using the language of social justice in order to gut it of substance, to create an empty pit of vengefulness useful for a politics of hate, clothed in the garb of concern and morality. The lack of probity practiced by the “No” group is striking for its avowed concern with “truth.” It’s doubtful that the “No” group cares at all about real victims of tyranny, past or present.


In fact, “Abortion No” is a great example of the resurgence of old religious political power that type casts women as the root of evil. While they didn’t get a stamp of approval from CSUSM, they were allowed on campus in the name of freedom of speech and it begs the question: what kinds of speech are we protecting?


It’s worth noting that campuses across the nation have silenced victims of sexual assault and harassment, and continue to do so. Access, sexual or ideological, to women by men appears to be a sacred right. Indeed, this type of abortion display has reached millions of college students over the years and while it appears that CSUSMs hands are tied by a larger system of power, the “Abortion No” group violated several rules in the CSUSM handbook and not a single administrator advocated for their removal. Why? Because the “No” group is the same old group it has always been, wielding enormous power under the guise of victimization.


What’s worse is that they subvert and weaponize the very rules meant to protect real targets of historical oppression, only turning these rules on their head.