Pro-choice activist: Don’t abort intersex children like me

by Carder

Claudia-Astorino

As an intersex person, it’s difficult for me to understand why we’re perceived as so scary that we’re unwelcome to exist in the world. I have had, and continue to have, difficulty reconciling my strong belief that all pregnant persons must have the right to choose to obtain an abortion with my anger and sadness that someone who wants to raise a healthy, beautiful child would choose not to raise that healthy, beautiful child if they were intersex.

I want to protect the right to choose. I also want to question why our society is attempting to erase intersex people, either before or after birth. Both aborting intersex fetuses and cosmetically (often surgically) altering intersex children’s bodies are ways to make intersex people disappear, go away.

The implied message is that acceptable people aren’t intersex: Don’t be intersex, or don’t be at all.

~ Claudia Astorino (pictured), RH Reality Check, March 11

21 thoughts on “Pro-choice activist: Don’t abort intersex children like me”

  1. Claudia, if you read this, I want you to know that there are pro-life organizations that differ VASTLY from the stereotype you’ve been sold. Groups like Secular Pro-Life, All Our Lives, the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, and many others will welcome you with open arms. You can leave your cognitive dissonance behind and find a safe haven within the pro-life movement. I am happy to help you with this personally. My name is Kelsey Hazzard and I can be reached at info@secularprolife.org.

       10 likes

  2. We can’t even convince pro-choicers to stop aborting “regular” children. We aren’t the ones holding up signs reading, abortion on demand without apology.

       20 likes

  3. One should always be very careful what one wishes for. “Choice” might mean eliminating the unborn because they are the “wrong sex” …or have the “wrong anatomy”.

       17 likes

  4. What’s an “intersex person”? Not that it matters.

    Once we establish that a certain class of persons has a divine authority to decide whether or not other persons and classes of persons deserve to exist, then no one is safe.

       17 likes

  5. While I am sure there is a good debate to be had about surgery for the intersex, I don’t think it’s fair to equate surgery for it with killing someone with it, as Claudio does. A parent in one case is trying to treat a child’s defect, the parent in the other views the child as the defect.

       16 likes

  6. “The implied message is that acceptable people aren’t intersex: Don’t be intersex, or don’t be at all.”
    Simply replace “intersex” with “Down’s” or “inconvenient” or “disabled” in any fashion … same result: supporting what she refers to as the right to choose supports the belief that some people are not acceptable.

       16 likes

  7. Great points, Chris and Eric. I think doctors who did surgery in the 60’s on the children were actually trying to help them, not harm them. But today, a DNA test would confirm the child’s gender. And today,I would like to see the children unaltered until the completion of puberty, and even then I don’t believe in cutting away healthy tissue. Hermaphroditism is not unhealthy, just different.

       11 likes

  8. I’ve heard intersex children say that parents should forego the surgery and let the child grow into the gender they identify with, and allow them to decide what if any surgery they will have when they reach adulthood. Attempts to operate and then steer the child to a certain gender role have been disastrous, resulting in emotional scarring and suicide.

       7 likes

  9. I’m guessing that Claudio does not see herself as a “defective” person and is more than comfortable with the way she is…and I’m sure she is in very many ways a wonderful person. Hence, her resistance (or perhaps revulsion) to any surgical “correctives” for intersexed people. One can easily see how she would take it personally. It naturally would make a person (actually a whole group of people) feel second rate in society. But aborting them…maybe that is somehow okay… except that it makes her feel just as unworthy to exist.

    I wonder if she feels the same stinging way about abortion and pre-natal testing for Down’s syndrome? Or sex selection abortions? Or cleft lip abortions? Or selective reduction abortions?

       14 likes

  10. “I have had, and continue to have, difficulty reconciling my strong belief that all pregnant persons must have the right to choose to obtain an abortion with my anger and sadness that someone who wants to raise a healthy, beautiful child would choose not to raise that healthy, beautiful child if they were intersex.”

    To sum it up: You believe people have the right to kill innocent people for any reason.

       11 likes

  11. Praxedes says:

    “….”

    To sum it up: You believe people have the right to kill innocent people for any reason….

    …even though you know this is wrong.

       8 likes

  12. I think she opened another area for pro-lifers to litigate. Pro-lifers, along with minority groups such as disabled people, intersexed, sexual orientation, race, dwarfs, etc… should ensure that all of these minority groups are not legally permitted to be screened for in pre-natal testing. Actually – it should also be illegal to screen for gender.

       5 likes

  13. “should ensure that all of these minority groups are not legally permitted to be screened for in pre-natal testing. Actually – it should also be illegal to screen for gender.”

    Let’s just make it illegal to kill any innocent human that is a part of any group. It’s not the screening that kills the child.

       10 likes

  14. Be like I want, when I want or don’t be at all is terrible & wrong. I am glad you are here. God bless you in your journey!

       4 likes

  15. I don’t think Claudia can reconcile being pro-choice with her anger over aborted intersex/hermaphrodites. There isn’t any way to do that without compromising one. She has to get off the fence and pick a side. As I always say “If you sit on the fence too long all you’re doing is giving yourself a sore butt.” (Know this from experience LOL–figuratively speaking) In this case, a sore head trying to justify both sides and getting nowhere with either.

       8 likes

  16. What’s with the double-speak, Claudia ? On the one hand you’re saying “Don’t abort inter-sex children, just because they’re inter-sexed” and on the other hand you’re saying

    “You should have the right to kill all OTHER kinds of children in the womb, though…just because”.

    Sounds like more than your GENDER is “confused”.

       5 likes

  17. After aborting for financial reasons I believe the next most frequent reason for aborting is due to some abnormality (such as Downs) found in the preborn child during the screening process. If screening for such abnormalities were made illegal thousands of lives could be saved.

       1 likes

  18. Hi Pamela,

    Her gender isn’t at all “confused”. Its obvious what her gender is and that she identifies with it. Its her anatomy that is ambiguous.

       2 likes

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