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.
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.
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?
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)