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Is abortion about women?

Is feminism simply about women's physical presence in the workforce? That's the conclusion you would draw from reading Ross Douthat's recent column in the New York Times this weekend, which, as Jessica Valenti pointed out, uses the word "mansplaining" to describe Todd Akin and then goes on to demonstrate how it's done.

Douthat says that "most anti-abortion Americans are also gender egalitarians" because they believe in "women's professional advancement," and thus feminists have to convince everyone that women can keep on chugging in the workplace even without "unrestricted access to abortion." I have never encountered a contemporary feminist who defines feminism's goals as women simply being allowed to work for money outside the home, particularly because some women have always done that, if with limited opportunity for advancement. (And while the women's movement can claim a lot of credit for making that workplace more fair, women's increased presence in the paid workforce has long been about more than liberation.)

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