Feminists Have No Womb for Anyone Else

Norah Vincent is a freelance journalist who lives in New York City

Ours is a country in which you are ill-advised to be a fetus.

The highest court in the land has ruled that you’re a parasite, disposable at will, even when you’re almost out of the chute. You’re just an extension of your mother’s whim. She can do whatever she likes with you. Her court-instituted right to “choose” trumps your right to live.

Now, taking a new leap, the courts have decided that her right to privacy trumps your right to a clean bill of health. If you’re inconvenient, unaffordable or just plain unwanted, then you’ll soon be a biohazard on your way to the town dump. If you’re allowed to exercise your life, you may have to live it as a vegetable or a grotesque. In a stunning 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that hospitals may not test a pregnant woman for drugs for police purposes without either a search warrant or the woman’s consent. Such tests were found to be a violation of the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. “The fact that positive test results were turned over to the police . . . provides an affirmative reason for enforcing the strictures of the 4th Amendment,” the court said.

Never mind that other rulings on the reasonableness of drug testing have allowed for the testing of a wide range of people, including government employees and high-school athletes. In these cases, the courts ruled, there was a “special need.” The health of a fetus, however, apparently is not considered to be a special enough need to override the privacy rights of rogue mothers.


Naturally, this is considered another victory for feminism. And so it is. For it means that once again, the law has mandated that women need not be responsible for what happens in their wombs. The womb, after all, is the enemy. It must be kept in its place. It cannot be allowed to control us. We must control it in every respect. The fact that we were born with wombs will never again be allowed to shackle us to them or to the progeny they grow. We, and we alone, are what matter now.

We can do anything. We can have as much sex as we want--as much wanton sex as some men do--and we need not be concerned with the consequences. If the unthinkable happens, if--surprise, surprise--nature actually takes its course and we become pregnant, well, we’ll just do what we do after we binge on too many French fries. We’ll purge. After all, if you want to stay thin after eating everything in sight, then it’s the finger down the throat. If you want to stay barren but have as much protected or unprotected sex as you want, then it’s the doctor in your business--but not too much in your business. Only as much as you want him.

What’s more, when we’re good and ready to have a child, we’ll still be totally in control of our bodies. We’ll smoke, we’ll booze, we’ll crack it up all night long if we take a mind to, and it’ll be nobody’s business. Because the Constitution protects us. We have a right to our privacy and our bodies, even though, when it comes to that seventh, eighth, ninth month of pregnancy, we’re pretty sure we’re not alone in them anymore.

But who cares, those babies are ours, and we can do with them what we like. We can smoke three packs a day. We can drink motor oil. And if that baby comes out with a brain that doesn’t quite work right or that doesn’t work at all, if it has an imposed mortal dependency on a narcotic, if it comes out with expensive special needs, well, the government will pay for it. That’s what government is for: to safeguard my right to do what I like and pick up the tab when I’ve done it.

I can do anything, consequences be damned. Let freedom ring, because, by God, I am woman, and this is America.