a protester holds a sign that read abortion is healthcare photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash
News + Advocacy

Reproductive Freedom: Defending The Right To Choose

Discussing this topic can be difficult because it triggers passionate emotional reactions. To combat the fact that thoughts centred around this can sometimes bubble over into intense and overly complicated debate; I’ve decided to write out my thoughts in a straightforward way — exploring why I’m 100% pro-choice.

I’m not trying to transform anyone’s mind away from a personal pro-life perspective (you’ll see why that is as you read on); but I do hope that those seeking to politically force their beliefs and rules on everyone else take some time to rethink this stance as a matter of urgency. If you disagree with me so strongly that you cannot read any further; allow me to say this before you go — if there was ever a situation where decisions about your body were being made against your wishes; I’d vigorously support and defend your right to determine what you want for yourself. My hope is you’ll come to uphold that right for everyone else as well.

A graphic link to a post on Transatlantic Notes called Reproductive Freedom: Defending The Right To Choose

And that’s absolutely the basis for my unapologetically pro-choice stance — there must be equality for and equality amongst everyone who can fall pregnant. There should be no distinction that separates any of us into those who are free in this way; and those who are not. We make different choices about our bodies all the time; and those choices — related to pregnancy or not — must never deprive us of our rights or hand over any portion of ownership of our physical selves to the government.

The debate around whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice continues to be a very visceral one. I’ve seen deliberations go back and forth many times over, often ending in scare tactics, deliberate misinformation and personal insult. For me, it all comes down to the fact that reproductive health and personal choice go hand in hand and should remain without government or systemic interference. The government has no place in my body or in anyone else’s; the idea that someone would be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term fills me with dread and fear. It’s overreach that smacks of totalitarianism.

Whatever your beliefs, morals or religious arguments are against abortion, you don’t get to force life choices onto anyone else because of them — nor should you support the government in doing your biding.

Artwork by Alyse Ruriani Design that has the phrase 'Not Your Body, Not Your Choice' over a drawing of
via Alyse Ruriani Design

Having a child represents an intimately personal journey; the choice about whether to go ahead with it or not is dependent on numerous factors. It saddens me in a country where healthcare is not equally accessible; some people think they can make potentially life altering decisions for others without fully understanding or being responsible for the impact an unwanted pregnancy would bring.

From a purely financial perspective; which is often why some people choose abortions; the cost of pregnancy-related healthcare alone (with or without decent insurance) could potentially force some people into financial difficulties that negatively impact them for many years. There are a whole host of other reasons why an abortion may be needed; from preserving mental and physical health, to focusing on existing children or even escaping an abusive partner or dealing with sexual assault — if it’s your body, it’s your choice. 

This whole argument comes down to the fact that being able to make health, body and reproductive decisions without discrimination or interference is a basic human right. Access to equitable contraceptive knowledge and care is also part of this right; but even that is under attack from Republican-led states. This follows their amendment of the Affordable Care Act (under the Trump Administration) that allows employers to opt out of mandated birth control coverage on the grounds of religious objection — make no mistake; bodily autonomy is being threatened.

This isn’t just simply about sexual choices and reproduction either; bodily autonomy encompasses the whole self and our ability to explore our own conscience about deeply personal matters. We must remain the stewards of our own present and future lives.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe everyone has a right to choose what they do with their bodies?


Further Reading:

NARAL: Pro-Choice America

Abortion Bans Are a Health Crisis. For Black Women, They Mean Devastation (Black Enterprise)

The Contraceptive Pill Was A Revolution For Women And Men (The Conversation)

6 thoughts on “Reproductive Freedom: Defending The Right To Choose”

  1. As someone who lost my very much wanted babies and is in the middle of very expensive infertility treatments I 100% support freedom of choice for every woman. Just because abortion is not for me doesn’t mean anyone else should be forced to keep a baby they didn’t plan for. What anyone does with their body is their own business and nobody else’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I agree with you and think that each decision is a unique and deeply personal one. I’m unlikely to have children, although I would have desperately loved to have some, as life didn’t quite go my way with that, so I’ll always believe that each woman has to decide for herself based on her own circumstances. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I’ve never lived or even visited America before but it still frustrates me sat here in England that you have to even spend time of the day on this. I agree that it should be pro-choice and do whatever the hell you want cause it is your life. Thank you for sharing and writing this and I am sorry that you have ended up living with situations like these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so deeply worrying for many groups of people here in the U.S. at the moment, I hold onto the fact that so many people here (and around the world) will help fight for safe and accessible reproductive healthcare for all. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I’m totally 100% pro-choice. In Northern Ireland, it’s illegal to have an abortion, even if it could save your life. That’s pretty terrifying and honestly, the lack of choice in what I do with my body makes me feel like less of a human being. It somehow makes me feel ashamed that I might even consider abortion in the right circumstances.

    Personally speaking, I don’t know how I would react in that situation, but I would like to be offered a choice rather than ‘have the child whether it kills you or not.’

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    1. I think your feelings of being less of a human being is exactly right in what these laws elicit – it’s a stark look into how systems of power can inflict this upon groups of people, even outside of the abortion issue. No government should be making this choice for women, and the idea, as you said it, of being forced to die as a result of a refused abortion is such an overstep I can’t even put it into words. Thank you for commenting!

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