I’ve read a lot of stories over the past few weeks, as states continue to pass draconian laws regulating women’s bodies and pregnancies.
A lot of these stories are about 11-year old girls who’ve been raped. Or women in abusive marriages. Or women who find out that their fetus is non-viable during a dearly-wanted pregnancy.
Those are important stories.
I’ve read a lot of people say things like, “No one is pro-abortion, I’m just pro-choice.”
And you know what?
I believe abortion should be cheap (or free), easily available, and de-stigmatized. I believe the only reason needed for an abortion is: Hey, I don’t want to be pregnant. No one needs any reason more than that. None.
And I believe that when we (the folks fighting to keep abortion legal) focus our time and attention on these fringe exceptions, when we say, “No one is pro-abortion,” we actually reinforce the rhetoric on the other side, the side that wishes to end women’s control over their own reproduction. If you say, “I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice,” it’s as if you’re agreeing there might be something wrong with abortion, with being pro-abortion. If you say, “I would never have an abortion myself, but I’m pro-choice,” you’re still trying to manage other people’s opinions of you. You’re trying to walk that line: I believe in freeeeedom and women’s riiiiights, but I would never think it’s morally okay to have an abortion myselllllllf. You’re afraid to say: ABORTIONS ARE OKAY, because you’re afraid people will wonder if you’ve had an abortion. You’re afraid they’ll change their opinion of you.
Take from that what you will. Perhaps you’ll decide I’ve had a spate of abortions in my life. Perhaps you’ll just secretly wonder. You know what? It’s none of your business. I don’t care if you think that I have or I haven’t.
Here’s something that IS true. If I got pregnant tomorrow, I’d have an abortion. If one of my children (or their girlfriend or their friend) got pregnant in their teens, I would urge them to consider abortion as a serious option. I would abide by their decision on the matter, after discussing all options. If they decided on an abortion, I would take them or their girlfriend or their best friend to the clinic two hours away and hold their hand and tell them to ignore the hateful protesters outside.
I believe we cannot consider ourselves free human beings if we can’t make decisions about our own bodies. I believe every pregnancy should be wanted and every child should be loved. I believe no one has the right to tell a woman to put her body through significant changes and health risks because of a zygote or a fetus inside of her. I do not believe in pregnancy as a “punishment” for a woman choosing to have sex. I do not believe the government has a right to tell me I must bear a child. I do not believe someone else’s religion should dictate my own actions. I do not believe in the personhood of the fetus. Like. That’s a ridiculous phrase. I believe in the personhood of women.
I’m pro-abortion. We shouldn’t have to placate people on the other side and rely on extraordinary cases to make our point.
Any woman who gets pregnant and doesn’t want to be pregnant should be able to get an abortion. It’s as simple as that.