Why is this still a discussion? I’m talking about women’s rights; more specifically, a woman’s “right to choose.” Right to choose. Let’s think about that for a minute. It seems almost nonsensical. “Choice” about our bodies, our families, our lives… that’s a no-brainer right? We get to decide what we want as long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s rights. There is no debate or discussion.
Except when it comes to a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. Then all of a sudden, money and religion and morals all make an appearance in the discussion. We’re divided into camps, and people who believe inthe right to choose are often labeled as “pro-abortion.” NO ONE is “pro” abortion, okay? Abortion is not “good.” It never will be “good”, but the alternative is worse. Forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, which is very much both a physical and emotional experience, for better or worse… Forcing a woman to lose AUTONOMY over her own body…. that’s a nightmare… and if men had a REAL chance of getting pregnant and being forced carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, this conversation “America” is having about women’s rights would be going a LOT differently.
SO here are a few key points to remember, based on “arguments” that are regurgitated over and over again.
1.) “My tax dollars shouldn’t go to-”
Tax dollars going towards reproductive services and health clinics do not go to abortions except in cases of rape or other sexual abuse. Also, seems to me, people are pretty selective about bitching when it comes to their tax dollars. We as tax paying individuals will never get to decide where each cent of our taxes go, regardless of how we vote, so we might as well get over that now.
2) “Well, a woman does have a choice…to use protection or not have sex.”
Let’s address this at its most base level. It’s sanctimonious, hypocritical bullshit.
ONE EITHER HAS FREEDOM OF CHOICE OR NOT.
Firstly, yes, there is a choice. and if she “chooses” to make it after conception, she is still taking responsibility for the decision. It IS a personal choice, and it may be informed by her family or religion but it is on HER and only her to bear the physical and emotional burden of a pregnancy or an abortion, so it is her decision and hers alone. When we talk about “responsibility” in terms of “keeping one’s pants up” not only is that not realistic, but it’s not anyone else’s place to decide how someone else practices “responsibility.” What if both sexual partners thought they were being responsible but a condom broke or some other unforseen circumstance happened…? Whatever the reason one might choose to terminate a pregnancy, whether because they do not want children or it’s not the right time in their life, or whatever, is irrelevant. The reason there was an unwanted pregnancy in the first place doesn’t really matter. ONE EITHER HAS FREEDOM OF CHOICE OR NOT and this goes with any life choice. We do not get to decide the circumstances in which one has freedom to choose. Then it’s not really freedom is it?
3) To the assertion that women and men ARE equal, and have equal choice to practice safe sex or to abstain completely…
No, the choice beforehand is NOT the same. When the consequences are the same, then the choice is the same. No offense, because I do respect my male friends and fellow bloggers, but unless a male is willing to go get snipped so he can NEVER EVER concievably contribute to a woman wanting or needing an abortion and not being able to have one, I don’t want to hear his opinion on this issue, because it’s not real for him. There is NO possibility he would ever be able to be forced to carry a pregnancy so he has no idea how the idea of losing autonomy over one’s body is terrifying.
If you think the government treats men and women the same, you are basically exhibiting your privilige. When was the last time the government told a man what he could or couldn’t do with his dick (aside from the obvious like laws protecting children and animals from abuse, etc?) If men could get pregnant, you could get an abortion at a McDonald’s drive thru because no man would deign to be told what he could or couldn’t do with his own body. To continue this converation with you playing the “whataboutmen” card will get us nowhere. Men’s choices are not at risk here.
To be clear, and before the argument is broached, we’re not talking about the possibility of monetary consequences (usually for the male), like forced child support, as a consequence for an unwanted pregnancy. We are talking about bodily autonomy. If we don’t own our bodies, what do we own?
4) “You’re killing an innocent (or various variations of this argument.)
Let me reiterate. Abortion will never be “good.” Sometimes there is no “good” choice, just a choice. I do not know if I could ever have an abortion, but I will fight with every breath my right and other women’s right to CHOOSE for themselves should the need ever arise. As to the fetus’s “rights,” even if a fetus had rights, where is the justice in taking the rights of one to give to another? A woman, living, breathing, self-sustaining, outside of the womb, loses her right to make a life-changing decision about her body in deference to a non-viable fetus that is non-cognizant? I just can’t make that decision for anyone else.
Anyway, I am actually exhausted over this topic. Two posts and I have nothing more to give. I just keep saying the same thing. So, readers, you are welcomed to comment, but keep it civil, and just know I have no more desire to “discuss” this, because discussion implies a debate or a consesus needing to be reached… To me, it shouldn’t even be a discussion.