Abortion, Butt Injections, and Body Distortion

This weeks post is written by our friends at Secular Pro-Life. I had interviewed Secular Pro-Life on a personal blog over a year ago and wanted the opportunity to promote what they're doing here as we have, for the past few weeks, centered on this issue. For many, pro-life is synonymous with conservative, middle-class white Christians. Unfortunately, this is a stereotype that needs to be put to rest as there are a great deal (including myself) who wouldn't fit into such boxes. This is one of the things that Secular Pro-Life is helping to do: broaden out the pro-life message from such tailored portrayals and show the philosophical, scientific, and humanitarian reasons to be pro-life. Check them out and support them in their work!

She was a dancer. She was 20 years old. And the procedure was necessary, for her career.

Truth be told, the men in her life had considerable influence over her decision. And there were societal expectations to be met. But it was her body, her choice.

She couldn’t access a safe, legal procedure in her area. Doctors simply refused to do it, or it was too expensive. So she flew to Philadelphia—where her surgery was horrifically botched, and she died alone.

Her name was Claudia Aderotimi. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that she was a victim of Kermit Gosnell, but she wasn’t. She wasn’t even pregnant. Claudia was a victim of Padge Windslowe, a hip hop artist slash back-alley cosmetic surgeon who called herself the “Michelangelo of buttocks injections.”

Body image is distorted different ways by different subcultures. Claudia danced hip hop, where her flat buttocks were a source of low self-esteem, and also cost her opportunities to be in music videos. Back-alley injections and similar procedures are more widespread than most people realize. Sadly, Claudia is not the only woman to die in this manner.

Padge Windslowe was convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to 10 to 20 years.

If you think Padge Windslowe is a hero, punished by a corrupt system for helping women exercise their fundamental right to bodily autonomy; if you think the real cause of Claudia’s death was safety regulations causing a lack of “access” to silicone butt injections; then you might be pro-choice.

But if you think we should attack the root—low self-esteem, unrealistic portrayals of the female body in media, and obsession with the male gaze—and if you think the last thing we should do is legalize and validate those who prey on vulnerable women and profit off of those social problems, you just might be pro-life. Incidentally, you would also be a feminist.

I am pro-life. I am not ashamed to say that unborn children have the same right to life as born children, and the continued violation of that right caused by the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade is a monstrous travesty. I firmly believe that future generations will look upon Roe v. Wade the way we look upon Dred Scott today. But I am also unashamed to say that abortion does not happen in isolation. I can’t put it any better than Frederica Mathewes-Green, who famously wrote: “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice-cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.” We have to get to the roots of the problem.

Pro-lifers are right to speak up for the rights of unborn children. Pro-lifers are right to attack the dehumanizing policies and language of the abortion industry. But being right is not enough.

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