I must admit, when I first heard of Sophie A. Lewis, I thought she was a clever hoax invented by a conservative blogger designed to show us just how vacuous a feminist philosopher can be. Ms. Lewis has been described as a feminist uterine geography theorist and cyborg ecologist. Please!
A newly minted Ph.D., educated in England, now living in Philadelphia, her academic interests include cyborg theory, Marxist feminism, queer environmental humanities and social reproduction, i.e., abortion and paid surrogacy. She refers to a woman with child as a "gestator." Though one is hard-pressed to make sense of her literary ramblings in a variety of publications, the New York Times took her seriously enough to allow a recent op-ed on British feminists who are hostile to transgenders taking over their space. Therefore, one must assume this person, who at first seemed a poor caricature, in print and on YouTube, must be for real.
It's her latest tirade against efforts to limit abortions in this country that takes this debate where few politicians are willing to go – admitting that abortion is "a form of killing" and it is "acceptable violence" they ought to be able to defend.
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Lewis has little patience, as do I, for those who try to pretend it is anything more or paint it in terms of "health care." Killing is not health care, nor has not been defined as health care until recently in regard to euthanasia in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Colombia and parts of Australia and the U.S. However, it is in the Netherlands, where euthanasia began and is often administered without the patient's knowledge or consent, that this type of "health care" is most troubling. It is now estimated that approximately 25 percent of Dutch deaths are induced/caused by doctors.
Lewis is unconcerned about these issues. In her world, it's survival of the fittest: "I am not interested in where a human life starts to exist. I see the forms of making and unmaking each other as continuous processes. The other end of the spectrum is learning how to die well and hold each other and let each other go at the end of our lives, as well as at the beginning."
However, most Americans recognize the sanctity of human life at both ends of the spectrum. They are uncomfortable with the involuntary taking of the life of any human being, even those convicted of the most heinous crimes, and certainly of the most innocent among us.
There was a time when one might plead ignorance on the humanity of the unborn, but that time has passed. Real-time ultrasound imaging and fiber optics gave us a window to the womb. We now know that, by the time a woman knows she is pregnant, her baby has a heartbeat and brainwaves. The absence of those two thing signal the end of life. It's time to consider using that same legal standard for determining when life begins. That is why many states have passed laws designed to get Roe v. Wade, which was based on world-is-flat technology, reexamined.
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By two months, just after a woman has missed her second period, the embryonic stage is over; the baby is moving about and the brain is complete. The lungs and heart are almost fully developed. Taste buds and olfactory apparatus are present. The stomach secretes gastric juices. Ovaries or testes are descending, and fingers and toes are distinct. The baby is able to respond to touch and tickling and has a recognizable baby-like face. Two months – a woman can barely confirm a pregnancy and decide to terminate before that. However, radical feminists want pregnant women to make that decision in a vacuum, without seeing an ultrasound, which is noninvasive, inexpensive and readily available.
Lewis' video was posted by her publisher to promote her new book " "Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family," in which she argues for the old communist notion that the family, as we know it, should be abolished. It's a tool of an unjust capitalist society in which women cannot be truly free.
In her video, Lewis accuses the fetus of unwillingly subjecting the gestator (mother) to violence and says, "That violence that the gestator metes out to essentially go on strike or exit that workplace is an acceptable violence."
However inartful, Lewis,has pulled back the veil. Abortion is a "form of killing." She wants those who support it to simply own that fact and be proud.