Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Right to Choose

I guess on this topic I should start off by stating that for myself, I am pro-life. I don't want a child, but I feel like should I ever find myself pregnant, that it's meant to be and I should keep that child. Clearly, I am aware that not everyone feels this way. I definitely believe that we live in a culture where abortion is only acceptable as an absolute last means. If the female is raped or the birth could end her life, then people seem more understanding, but if it's for any other reason, that female tends to be deemed an irresponsible monster. This is both wrong and offensive.

Now, I'm certainly not a fan of women that use abortion as a means of birth control, like Pennsatucky from Orange is the New Black. However, the women that choose this are probably not an ideal candidate for motherhood. I also understand that a pregnancy can mean a new life and that in the best case scenario, the child is born to a person or people that will love them unconditionally. But this is not realistic. This is not what will always occur. Until that child leaves the mother's body it is still a part of her body. The child cannot survive without that body and therefore any decisions are left up to the person in control of that body - the woman. It is her life that is to be affected. It is her decision. I am pro-choice for everyone else because I don't ever want someone to feel that they have any kind of control whatsoever over my body or anyone else's.

I read an article by Martha Plimpton and this portion of it was astonishingly honest and glorious and I have to share it.

No woman needs to justify her abortion under any circumstances to anyone. It’s her life, her business, her health, and her prerogative. I am capable of being my own moral agent, and I know myself better than anybody else. For context alone I will say that in my case, as is true for many women, there was nothing tragic or depressing about the circumstances surrounding my decision, and there was no guilt or remorse afterward. (There is no “post-abortion syndrome.” That is a fake, made up thing that does not exist, like the caveman riding the dinosaur at the Creation Museum, or autism being caused by vaccinations.) My situation was pretty run of the mill. I didn’t want to have kids at the time or with the people I got pregnant with. Pretty simple. Pretty straightforward. Totally okay.

I wasn’t raped, but I didn’t have to be to know I had the right to terminate an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. My health wasn’t compromised by pregnancy, but it didn’t have to be for me to know I have the right to decide when or if to have children. My pregnancies weren’t the result of incest or abuse of any kind, but they didn’t have to be for me to know I have the right to determine my own physical life and future. I wasn’t underage, but I didn’t have to be to know that having a kid at that time wasn’t right for me. And I wasn’t free of all emotion about it, but I didn’t have to be to know that my life has value, that I am a whole person, and that I come first when making decisions about what is best for me and what I am capable of. 

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