Month: October 2015

Why I’m Pro-Abortion

I have long considered myself pro-choice. I bought into the argument that abortions should be legal, safe, and rare, and proudly trumpeted as much.

I leaned heavily on exception narratives in attempts to make the choice to have an abortion seem reasonable. What if she was raped? What if the pregnancy is the product of incest? What if carrying the pregnancy to term could put her life at risk? The questions seemed even more pertinent as discussions about 20 week bans came to a boil on Capitol Hill.

But as time goes on, I find I’m far better described by a different term: Pro-Abortion.

Why?

I’m pro-abortion because abortion is reproductive healthcare. A woman in the United States is twice as likely to die in childbirth than a woman living in Saudi Arabia. If she should choose to seek a medical procedure that eliminates that risk to her life, regardless of the odds associated with that risk, she should be applauded — not demonized.

I’m pro-abortion because I recognize that one third of the women who become pregnant as a result of abuse may not be aware of their pregnancy or may be unable to make a decision about their pregnancy as a result of trauma until arbitrary bans prevent callously them from making the decision that’s healthiest for them.

I’m pro-abortion because no survivor of sexual violence should be forced to live with a reminder of their trauma for ten months in order to satisfy the twisted beliefs of a society that normalizes that violence and tells women to take responsibility for the actions of those who assaulted them.

I’m pro-abortion because no survivor of incest or rape at the hands of a loved one should be forced to provide “proof” of their abuse at the cost of their emotional well-being and stability.

I’m pro-abortion because I support survivors reclaiming their power by making their own decisions about whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy or terminate it.

I’m pro-abortion because the argument that abortion is often a traumatic experience that leads to intense regret is factually inaccurate.

I’m pro-abortion because I’m pro-life… as in I’m pro the lives of women who would otherwise die in illegal abortions.

I’m pro-abortion because I believe in the separation of Church and State. Saying that healthcare should be subject to religious notions of the potential for life makes about as much sense as accepting a law advanced by Jehovah’s witnesses banning blood transfusions.

I’m pro-abortion because I believe women are autonomous individuals fully capable of making their own medical decisions. They do not need a group of predominantly old white men who have little understanding of how the female reproductive organs work playing highly unqualified doctor… and to be fair, a few women, too.

I’m pro-abortion because, as autonomous human beings, women should have the ability to choose what happens to their body. Even if a living, breathing person with friends, family, and a life is dying in the next room and a transplant would save them, you cannot take an organ from a corpse without their explicit permission, but current laws allow the state to force women to sacrifice her uterus for the sake of a cluster of cells that are statistically unlikely to live outside the womb without extraordinary medical interventions. Yes – a corpse has more say in what happens to their breathless body than a very much alive womanWell, unless you’re talking about a pregnant brain dead woman.

I’m pro-abortion because, contrary to what some politicians may think, the economic and social progress seen for women since the legalization of abortion has been tremendous, and I value the sacrifices of those who came before me and the lives they’ve enabled us to lead.

I am pro-abortion because restricted access to this medical procedure disproportionately impacts women of color, immigrant women, impoverished women, and women living in rural areas, to list a few. Frankly, the people pushing these restrictions will always have the wealth and flexibility necessary to seek out an abortion, making restrictive abortion policy inherently racist and classist.

I’m pro-abortion because motherhood comes with enormous financial burdens — from prenatal care to delivery to child rearing, not to mention the impact it can have on a woman’s career and financial stability down the line. To insist that women make that sacrifice — a sacrifice with impacts that hav always been disproportionately shouldered by women — would be the type of demand balked at in any other context. Hey, because of your biology, we insist you take on significant financial say so because it makes us more comfortable.

I’m pro-abortion because forcing women who are not financially ready to support a child is a great way to throw unwanted families into poverty in a nation where anti-choice advocates are the same people advocating to slash the services that would help those families survive.

I’m pro-abortion because women uninterested in being mothers tend to make pretty terrible parents, and I think children deserve a better life than that.

I’m pro-abortion because the cries for adoption as an alternative to abortion ignore the thousands of children in this country (not to mention those internationally) still waiting for someone for someone to take them in — children who are passed over because of their age or their race or their special needs or archaic laws about who can adopt. People want to adopt, yes — but for the most part, they’re looking to adopt a child who fits in neatly with their preconceived notions of parenthood.

Seeking an abortion is absolutely a legitimate decision, no matter what your circumstances might be. There are distinctive benefits to its legality and accessibility, and those benefits are not subject to whether or not the world perceives a woman’s abortion as justified. Women don’t just deserve a choice in whether or not they become mothers; they deserve to have that completely valid choice supported.

So yeah. I’m pro-abortion, and proud of it.

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