Then please follow it in your actual lives. Thanks a bunch!
Hey there Pro-Choice Generation!
I felt that I had to post a submission. I live outside of US, therefore we do not have that much of an angry debate here as people do in US, but I felt that I needed to put in my ‘2 cents’.
First, I am pro-choice. For me, personally (and that really means, me personally, I do not make any decisions or thoughts for anyone else nor imply my opinion on anyone else) this means that abortion should be available for those who seek it, need it or want it. That’s it, this is the basis of my pro-choice stance.
Another thing that words pro-choice mean to me is that a woman has the ability to choose whether she terminates the pregnancy, carries it full-term and then gives up the child or has the child and keeps it. This is also a choice, hence pro-choice (not pro-life as many put it). I, personally, do not like the wording pro-life because life means 2 days and 100 years, both are life: if one is pro-life then I expect one to be also pro-education, pro-clothes, pro-home, pro-family, pro-love and pro-care for every child there is. Can we really say all these children in foster homes and put up for adoption (which is one of the main arguments given as a good alternative for abortion) really have these options? Do they really have love, care, warmth, decent education, clothes and food? What about families and the numbers of kids and young adults who leave the system after years of nobody wanting them?
As already said, I am pro-choice in the sense that women have a choice. It is a choice for me or for you or for someone I know to go to a clinic or a hospital and ask for an abortion, and after counseling, check-ups, presented alternative options, that person receives it. It also means a choice for those, who do not want or seek abortion. Me being pro-choice does not harm anyone who is against abortion, abortion being available to women does not harm any woman who does NOT want abortion, seek it or use it; it only helps that woman who really needs it.
In my country, the first time a child receives sex ed is when said child is 10-11 years old. They are taken to a youth clinic and shown simplified, cartoon-like short film about sex, conception and birth and the specialist on site then asks and answers questions. Sex ed is continued ever since after that age: kids are shown how to use condoms (bananas and pillows), how to put them on correctly and told what is the prevention rate of a pregnancy when a condom is used correctly. Girls are told about pills and the need to be accurate while taking them. Abstinence is not the key in the talk about how not to fall pregnant, instead children and adolescents are told to be sure that when they have sex, it is with someone they care deeply about, have serious relationship with, know how to prevent pregnancies and know that even if they do have sex, then there is nothing wrong with it. Sex, as said, is a natural part of life and while nobody can prevent teens from having sex, every measure is used to make sure that at least they are all having protected sex.
I personally hope that I will never have to face that question to abort or not to abort. I hope that when I am glancing at that pregnancy test, I will feel immense joy and happiness and elation of my feelings. Should, I, however not feel like that or should something else prevent my joy, then I want to have options to deal with this in the least painful, horrendous, shameful way. I do not want to take a shamewalk among protestors, who think I am a heartless b***h who goes to kill her child; I want to be considered a person who has thought through all options available. If my child should be gravely ill and not live past 3 months of infancy (my personal friend went through this, I do not wish this pain for my worst enemies), I do not want either of us, my child or me, to suffer from it. If there is a proven chance I might die, I do not want to make my husband make a choice between me and my child or face the uncertainty. If there is a possibility that having a child would reduce me and my husband into poverty and bankruptcy (and thus, limit my child into living a life of no-life as well) then I do not want that for my child. A child needs to be loved and cared, but the woman must be loved, cared, fed and lived as well. A pregnancy does not make a woman only a mother, she is a mother as well a woman, she deserves to live for HERself as well as for her family. She has to be able to put HERself first sometimes, because a child does not mean that said child comes first and foremost, always, period.
I do not condone women who have an abortion. Equally, I do not condone those women who use abortion as a birth control (I do not agree with this attitude, but this is my PERSONAL opinion), what they do to their bodies is THEIR business. I know that for ME, it is important TO KNOW that IF NEEDED I can get help, counseling, medical aid and a LEGAL abortion from an official institution. I need to know and be assured that I can be both a woman and a mother if I CHOOSE to be so, not because I am SUPPOSED to be so. I am pro-choice.
I don’t usually do this sort of thing but your blog really inspired me to share.
I’ve been pro-choice all my life. There’s never been any conflict in my mind- a woman’s body is her own, period. I want the same freedom for others as I want for myself. My mom is pro-choice too, so we’re on the same wavelength. Then, right around election time, my pro-life stepdad was talking about babies and God and how abortion is wrong etc. After the fact, my mom and I were discussing what it meant to be pro-choice. She choked up suddenly and told me when she was 19- my age- she had an abortion. I’d heard of the guy before, actually my mom has always talked about him with a certain fondness I guess comes with time. They had sex once and she was pregnant. Her parents were divorced, so it was just her and my grandmother living alone, and they could hardly feed themselves much less a child. She was also about to head off to college, and seeing as I’m going to school right now myself, I can only imagine how difficult it would’ve been trying to raise a child. Her mom was supportive about her decision to get an abortion, but I could tell it kind of hurt her to talk about. It clearly wasn’t an easy decision. Any pro-lifers who act like a pregnant woman wanting to end her pregnancy is a total monster should 1) shut the fuck up and 2) meet my mother, who is the kindest, strongest person I know- the best mom in the world.
I won’t lie. I was shocked when she told me. I don’t know why, but I was. I guess for a little bit I *did* entertain the fact that maybe, in another universe, I had another sibling. But then I looked at my mother- the source of my strength, a pillar of compassion and the embodiment of womanhood- and remembered something she told me once: “You can’t change the past. You can just move forward.” So I held her hand and we sat in the car feeling crappy for a few minutes, but we went on with our day.
That’s what’s being pro-choice is about, in my mind. Choosing to get an abortion isn’t an easy choice to make and I really admire the women who choose to get one- not because they’re “ending another’s life”, but because they’re moving on with their own. They have the freedom to choose. I’m glad my mom chose to have me, and I’m glad I had a remarkable woman raise me to believe in a woman’s right to choose.
A wonderful woman by the name of Wanda Kolomyjec is conducting a study via interviewing clients of Planned Parenthood. The study will be published into a book and her main goal is to shed light on the fact that Planned Parenthood is a vital source of reproductive healthcare, not an abortion factory. Whether you are a life long client or just went in for an STD test, Wanda wants to hear from you. She is the director of Social Circles of Knowledge, a wonderful org. that promotes healthy conversation about hot button issues. If you are interested in sharing your experience(s) with Planned Parenthood, you can reach Wanda at email@example.com.
• Rape is illegal: To this day, women, men, and children suffer the fate of this crime.
• Murder is illegal: I don’t know about you, but I hear about people being murdered in the news just about every day.
• Drugs are illegal: I think we all know of a few people that ignore this law. (Hey, they’re our bodies! Right?)
• Child abuse is illegal: Yes, this is also something that never ceased to exist after a law was passed that banned it.
I could continue but, instead, I will conclude the point I am trying to make with a hypothetical question:
Why bother making these things illegal if they are going to happen anyway?
It’s not simply “people will do it anyway.” It’s that when someone is pregnant and doesn’t want to be, they will find a way to terminate that pregnancy. Before abortion was legal in the US, thousands of people died from self induced or back alley abortions. Abortion being legal saves the lives of pregnant people who would die in the process of illegal abortion. I suggest you read this great article written by Eleanor Cooney recounting her pre Roe v. Wade search a for an abortion provider. She also talks about ER doctors experience treating and losing patients coming in with infections and perforated uteruses.
In the same book, a man who assisted in autopsies in a big urban hospital, starting in the mid-1950s, describes the many deaths from botched abortions that he saw. “The deaths stopped overnight in 1973.” He never saw another in the 18 years before he retired. “That,” he says, “ought to tell people something about keeping abortion legal.”