The intersection of pro-life and pro-choice

I could certainly see myself identifying as pro-life, but never in the way that the current movement defines itself.  The problem is that life and choice are not at opposing ends of the spectrum, and considering that the debate is about choice, and not about life, I will happily take the moniker of pro-choice.

The weird thing to me is that the “pro-life” movement actually has very little to do with the protection of life, but rather is centered around being invasive and robbing contemporary womyn of their agency, rights and choice.  The way I see it is that this debate has little, if anything, to do with abortion or access to it.  A responsible pro-life advocate would take a harms reduction strategy, because the cold truth is: no matter the legal status of abortion, abortions will happen.  This means that the most responsible strategy would be to make the abortions that will happen safe and affordable, and to create an atmosphere that gives womyn options to decrease the need for abortion.  But that’s not what happens, rather there is a movement that shuns birth control, sex education and open sexual discourse.

I don’t know that I will ever have an easy time reconciling my feelings about abortion, but they are completely irrelevant to the discussion of choice.  The most important reason for this is that abortion is a personal choice, the only people who should have any input on whether or not an abortion happens are the people directly involved in that choice.  If I feel some personal reason to decrease the number of abortions that happen then the only responsible course of action for me is to make sure that womyn have access to sex education and birth control in an attempt to eradicate the need for abortions.  For the record, I am not anti-abortion; I’ve just never had the experience of being affected by abortion, and as such have a hard time identifying with its need.  I do, however, think that womyn should be given access to all their options, at all stages of the reproductive cycle.  These options include, but are not limited to: comprehensive sex education, contraception, non-coercive adoption services, child-rearing assistance including social welfare programs, and also abortion clinics.

The big problem is that the anti-choice movement is all about creating misconceptions about the pro-choice movement, these misconceptions are then used to demonize the movement and paint it as irrational.  This seems so incredibly unproductive, if the anti-choice movement were to “win” and get the legislation to outlaw abortion and birth control and only teach abstinence in high schools, the situation would just get exponentially worse.  We would return to a culture of unsupervised abortions (which would probably increase to a quantity that surpasses the status quo’s quantity of legal abortions) that occur without prior medical training and endanger the lives of countless young womyn across the country.  It would make more sense to have a strong push for contraception and sex education, which is the only true way to decrease the actual quantity of abortions happening.

As I’ve watched political movements progress I have seen that it is so much easier for people to take the side of oppression just because they can’t compromise and come to a simple consensus on how to deal with what they’re fighting.  I see this analogy play out every day in the issue of same-sex marriage, a bunch of people claim they don’t hate homosexuals yet can’t agree on a way to at least give them access to basic federal rights, and, as a result, all rights are denied.  The same holds true in this case, it seems easier for people to hop on the anti-choice bandwagon instead of finding common ground with the pro-choice movement.  So, even if I were a hundred times more pro-life than I am now, I would always side with the pro-choice movement.

I am a dude for choice. I believe that people should not be treated as pawns in political games.  I think that individuals’ beliefs are not grounds for infringing on the rights of others.  And I believe that the government has no business controlling the privacy or autonomy of its citizens.

Comments

  1. Jeff, I’m so glad that you spell womyn with a y. You’re a dude for choice after my own heart!

  2. PS – good args, good args.

  3. Hey Jeff – check out the website http://www.menandabortion.com. It might help you get through some of the tough stuff you mention above.

    At the abortion clinic where I work, we try to incorporate our patient’s partners into the conversation as much as possible. It’s important for the pro-choice movement to help demystify and destigmatize abortion for both women and men. There’s nothing more powerful than a man who is able to support his female partner 100% and is armed with accurate medical/emotional information about abortion.

  4. “The weird thing to me is that the “pro-life” movement actually has very little to do with the protection of life, but rather is centered around being invasive and robbing contemporary womyn of their agency, rights and choice.”

    Sounds like you have little to no understanding of the pro-life movement. Opposing abortion does not “rob” a woman of anything. But, it does a rob a child of agency, rights, and choice.
    By the way, you spelled “women” wrong.

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