The most restrictive bill was signed by Republican Governor Kay Ivey in Alabama. The new law bans abortion “under almost all circumstances,” according to the Washington Post. The legislation makes exceptions only for maternal health reasons and for fetuses with “fatal anomalies” that are unlikely to survive outside the uterus. Pregnancy from rape and incest was no exception – abortion in such cases is also prohibited.
Millions of people took to social media to express their concern about the decision, including a number of vegans and animal rights activists.
Vegans against abortion ban
Vegans have become some of the most vocal opponents of abortion laws in the last week.
Illustrator and animal rights activist Samantha Fung shared an image of a female body with lines similar to those used to identify cuts of meat. Kasia Ring, creator of vegan brand Care Wears, wrote: “When the punishment for abortion after rape is more severe than the punishment for rape, then you understand that women are at war.”
A number of vegan men also spoke out against the bills. Musician Moby, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and 5-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton believe that “men should not make laws about women’s bodies.”
The link between veganism and feminism
In a recent speech to students at the California College, actress, feminist and vegan Natalie Portman spoke about the connection between meat and dairy products and the oppression of women. Portman believes that eating eggs or dairy products is not possible for those who call themselves feminists. “It was only after I became involved in women’s issues that I realized that veganism and feminism are connected. Dairy products and eggs come not just from cows and chickens, but from female cows and chickens. We exploit women’s bodies to create eggs and milk,” she said.
There is a clear link between animal cruelty and violence against women, says journalist Elisabeth Enox. “A survey of women in domestic violence shelters found that 71% of women had partners who abused or threatened to abuse animals, and recent research suggests that working in a slaughterhouse can lead to domestic violence, social withdrawal, anxiety, drug abuse and alcohol and PTSD,” wrote Inoks.
She also points to a 2009 study by criminologist Amy Fitzgerald, which found that compared to other industries, working in a slaughterhouse increases the likelihood of arrest, including for rape and other violent crimes.