August 2017

678910 1112

Custom Text

Today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that protected women's legal right to reproductive choice. I am pro-choice, and this is an important issue to me. I'm one of those voters for whom it is a dealbreaker: I will not vote for a politician who is anti-choice.

The reason is pretty straightforward: I think I am worth the right to choose what to do with my own body. I find the anti-choice mentality quite insulting, honestly, on several levels.

First is that my life is of equal or lesser value than that of a fetus. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. I have spent decades making my life and relationships what they are. I do work that I believe is important, both as a teacher and an artist. I am not the equal of an unborn clump of cells; I find the very idea insulting.

I am more than a vessel for a fetus. I am more than a source of "food and climate control" (the infamous Todd Akin's view of what pregnancy entails) for a potential future life. My impact on the world is and will continue to be greater than my ability to reproduce.

Second is that I am capable of making my own moral and ethical decisions. I do not need someone else's religion, god, morals, or beliefs to make my decisions for me. Anti-choicers like to project the aura that they've a monopoly on thoughtful consideration of the ethics surrounding abortion. They don't. I remember debating abortion with my best friend in middle school. I was "pro-life" then. I soon came to realize that being pro-life--for I am truly pro-life, unlike people who would outlaw abortion while defending the death penalty, unregulated access to firearms, and the next war--meant supporting safe, legal access to abortion for all women. One cannot be pro-life and support policies that promote back-alley abortions, deadly home abortions, higher maternal mortality rates, increased birthrates in countries where food and water shortages are already pressing issues, and decreased access to contraception (which results in a higher abortion rate). One cannot be pro-life and simultaneously against universal health care and food assistance for children and families.

That those who label themselves "pro-life" so rarely consider the disconnect between their relentless defense of the rights of fetuses and their disdain for the lives of people who have actually been born suggests that, far from having the most enlightened perspective, theirs is actually quite shallow. Most of them will cite religion as the reason for their beliefs yet probably cannot cite a single passage from the Bible in support of that belief. (Whereas I--not even a Christian--can point to several reminding them of their obligation to the poor and defenseless born human beings among us.)

I want the best possible world for all the living beings on the planet. I am willing to work and do my part to make that world a possibility. I believe that that is a world where life is truly treasured: It is wanted and it is protected and nurtured and allowed to reach its fullest potential. It is not simply the outcome of a biological trajectory.

That is why I am pro-choice.

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Style Credit