Skip to comments.I am pro-abortion, not just pro-choice: 10 reasons why we must support the procedure and the choice
Posted on 04/27/2015 8:02:51 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
I believe that abortion care is a positive social good -- and I think its time people said so.
Recently, the Daily Kos published an article titled I Am Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion. Has anyone ever truly been pro-abortion? one commenter asked.
Uh. Yes. Me. That would be me.
I am pro-abortion like Im pro-knee-replacement and pro-chemotherapy and pro-cataract surgery. As the last protection against ill-conceived childbearing when all else fails, abortion is part of a set of tools that help women and men to form the families of their choosing. I believe that abortion care is a positive social good. I suspect that a lot of other people secretly believe the same thing. And I think its time we said so.
As an aside, Im also pro-choice. Choice is about who gets to make the decision. The question of whether and when we bring a new life into the world is, to my mind, one of the most important decisions a person can make. It is too big a decision for us to make for each other, and especially for perfect strangers.
But independent of who owns the decision, Im pro on the procedure, and Ive decided that its time, for once and for all, to count it out on my 10 fingers.
1. Im pro-abortion because being able to delay and limit childbearing is fundamental to female empowerment and equality. A woman who lacks the means to manage her fertility lacks the means to manage her life. Any plans, dreams, aspirations, responsibilities or commitmentsno matter how importanthave a great big contingency clause built: until or unless I get pregnant, in which case all bets are off.
Think of any professional woman you know. She wouldnt be in that role if she hadnt been able to time and limit her childbearing. Think of any girl you know who imagines becoming a professional woman. She wont get there unless she has effective, reliable means to manage her fertility. In generations past, nursing care was provided by nuns and teachers were spinsters, because avoiding sexual intimacy was the only way women could avoid unpredictable childbearing and so be freed up to serve their communities in other capacities. But if you think that abstinence should be our model for modern fertility management, consider the mass graves that get found every so often under old nunneries.
2. Im pro-abortion because well-timed pregnancies give children a healthier start in life. We now have ample evidence that babies do best when women are able to space their pregnancies and get both pre-natal and pre-conception care. The specific nutrients we ingest in the weeks before we get pregnant can have a lifelong effect on the wellbeing of our offspring. Rapid repeat pregnancies increase the risk of low birthweight babies and other complications. Wanted babies are more likely to get their toes kissed, to be welcomed into families that are financially and emotionally ready to receive them, to get preventive medical care during childhood and the kinds of loving engagement that helps young brains to develop.
3. Im pro-abortion because I take motherhood seriously. Most female bodies can incubate a baby, and thanks to antibiotics, cesareans and anti-hemorrhage drugs, most of us are able to survive pushing a baby out into the world. But parenting is a lot of work, and doing it well takes twenty dedicated years of focus, attention, patience, persistence, social support, mental health, money, and a whole lot more. This is the biggest, most life-transforming thing most of us will ever do. The idea that women should simply go with it when they find themselves pregnant after a one-night-stand, or a rape, or a broken condom completely trivialized motherhood.
4. Im pro-abortion because intentional childbearing helps couples, families and communities to get out of poverty. Decades of research in countries ranging from the U.S. to Bangladesh show that reproductive policy is economic policy. It is no coincidence that the American middle class rose along with the ability of couples to plan their families, starting at the beginning of the last century. Having two or three kids instead of eight or ten was critical to prospering in the modern industrial economy. Early unsought childbearing nukes economic opportunity and contributes to multi-generational poverty. Today in the U.S., unsought pregnancy and childbearing is declining for everyone but the poorest families and communities, contributing to what some call a growing caste system in America. Strong, determined girls and women sometimes beat the odds, but their stories inspire us precisely because they are the exception to the rule. Justice dictates that the full range of fertility management tools including the best state-of-the-art contraceptive technologies and, when that fails, abortion care be equally available to all, not just a privileged few.
5. Im pro-abortion because reproduction is a highly imperfect process. Genetic recombination is a complicated progression with flaws and false starts at every step along the way. To compensate, in every known species including humans, reproduction operates as a big funnel. Many more eggs and sperm are produced than will ever meet; more combine into embryos than will ever implant; more implant than will grow into babies; and more babies are born than will grow up to have babies of their own. This systematic culling makes God or nature the worlds biggest abortion provider: Natures way of producing healthy kids essentially requires every woman to have an abortion mill built into her own body.
In humans, an estimated 60-80 percent of fertilized eggs self-destruct before becoming babies, which is why the people who kill the most embryos are those like the Duggars who try to maximize their number of pregnancies. But the weeding-out process is also highly imperfect. Sometimes perfectly viable combinations boot themselves out; sometimes horrible defects slip through. A womans body may be less fertile when she is stressed or ill or malnourished, but as pictures of skeletal moms and babies show, some women conceive even under devastating circumstances. Like any other medical procedure, therapeutic contraception and abortion complement natural processes designed to help us survive and thrive.
6. Im pro-abortion because I think morality is about the well-being of sentient beings. I believe that morality is about the lived experience of sentient beingsbeings who can feel pleasure and pain, preference and intention, who at their most complex can live in relation to other beings, love and be loved and value their own existence.
What are they capable of wanting? What are they capable of feeling? These are the questions my husband and I explored with our kids when they were figuring out their responsibility to their chickens and guinea pigs. It was a lesson that turned expensive, when the girls stopped drinking milk from cows that didnt get to see the light of day or eat grass, but its not one I regret. Do unto others as they want you to do unto them. Its called the Platinum Rule. In this moral universe, real people count more than potential people, hypothetical people or corporate people.
7. Im pro-abortion because contraceptives are imperfect, and people are too. The Pill is 1960s technology, now half a century old. For decades, women were told the Pill was 99 percent effective, and they blamed themselves when they got pregnant anyways. But that 99 percent is a perfect use statistics, and in the real world, where most of us live, people arent perfect. In the real world, 1 in 11 women relying on the Pill gets pregnant each year. For a couple relying on condoms, thats 1 in 6. Young and poor womenthose whose lives are least predictable and most vulnerable to being thrown off courseare also those who have the most difficulty taking pills consistently. Pill technology most fails those who need it most, which makes abortion access a matter not only of compassion but of justice.
State-of-the-art IUDs and Implants radically change this equation, largely because they take human error out of the picture for years on end, or until a woman wants a baby. And despite the deliberate misinformation being spread by opponents, these methods are genuine contraceptives, not abortifacients. Depending on the method chosen, they disable sperm or block their path, or prevent an egg from being released. Once settled into place, an IUD or implant drops the annual pregnancy rate below 1 in 500. And guess what. Teen pregnancies and abortions plummetwhich makes me happy, because even though Im pro-abortion, Id love the need for abortion to go away. Why mitigate harm when you can prevent it?
8. Im pro-abortion because I believe in mercy, grace, compassion, and the power of fresh starts. Many years ago, my friend Chip was driving his family on vacation when his kids started squabbling. His wife Marla undid her seatbelt to help them, and as Chip looked over at her their top-heavy minivan veered onto the shoulder and then rolled, and Marla died. Sometimes people make mistakes or have accidents that they pay for the rest of their lives. But I myself have swerved onto the shoulder and simply swerved back. The price we pay for a lapse in attention or judgment, or an accident of any kind isnt proportional to the error we made.
Who among us hasnt had unprotected sex when the time or situation or partnership wasnt quite right for bringing a new life into the world? Most of the time we get lucky; sometimes we dont. And in those situations we rely on the mercy, compassion, and generosity of others.
In this regard, an unsought pregnancy is like any other accident. I can walk today only because surgeons reassembled my lower leg after it was crushed between the front of a car and a bicycle frame when I was a teen. And I can walk today (and run and jump) because another team of surgeons re-assembled my knee-joint after I fell off a ladder. And I can walk today (and bicycle with my family) because a third team of surgeons repaired my other knee after I pulled a whirring brush mower onto myself, cutting clear through bone. Three accidents, all my own doing, and three knee surgeries. Some women have three abortions.
9. Im pro-abortion because the future is always in motion, and we have the power and responsibility to shape it well. As a college student, I read a Ray Bradbury story about a man who travels back into prehistory on a time safari. The tourists have been coached about the importance of not disturbing anything lest they change the flow of history. When they return to the present, they realize that the outcome of an election has changed, and they discover that the protagonist who had gone off the trail, has a crushed butterfly on the bottom of his shoe.
In baby making, as in Bradburys story, the future is always in motion, and every little thing we do has consequences we have no way to predict. Any small change means a different child comes into the world. Which nights your mother had headaches, the sexual position of your parents when they conceived you, whether or not your mother rolled over in bed afterwardsif any of these things had been different, someone else would be here instead of you. Every day, men and women make small choices and potential people wink into and out of existence. We move, and our movements ripple through time in ways that are incomprehensible, and we can never know what the alternate futures might have been.
But some things we can know or predict, at least at the level of probability, and I think this knowledge provides a basis for guiding wise reproductive decisions. My friend Judy says that parenting begins before conception. I agree. How and when, we choose to carry forward a new life can stack the odds in favor of our children or against them, and to me that is a sacred trust.
10. Im pro-abortion because I love my daughter. I first wrote the story of my own abortion when Dr. Tiller was murdered and I couldnt bear the thought of abortion providers standing in the crosshairs alone. My Abortion Baby was about my daughter, Brynn, who exists only because a kind doctor like George Tiller gave me and my husband the gift of a fresh start when we learned that our wanted pregnancy was unhealthy. Brynn literally embodies the ever changing flow of the future, because she could not exist in an alternate universe in which I would have carried that first pregnancy to term. She was conceived while I would still have been pregnant with a child we had begun to imagine, but who never came to be.
My husband and I felt very clear that carrying forward that pregnancy would have been a violation of our values, and neither of us ever second guessed our decision. Even so, I grieved. Even when I got pregnant again a few months later, I remember feeling petulant and thinking, I want that baby, not this one. And then Brynn came out into the world and I looked into her eyes, and I fell in love and never looked back.
All around us, living breathing and loving are the chosen children of mothers who waitedwho ended an ill-timed or unhealthy pregnancy and then later chose to carry forward a new life. I was only going to have two children, my friend, Jane said as her daughters raced, screeching joyfully, across my lawn. Jane followed them with her eyes. My abortions let me have these two when the time was right, with someone I loved.
Those who see abortion as an unmitigated evil often talk about the millions of missing people who were not born into this world because a pregnant woman decided, not now. But they never talk about the millions of children and adults who are here today only because their mothers had abortionsreal people who exist in this version of the future, people who are living out their lives all around usloving and laughing and suffering and struggling and dancing and dreaming, and having babies of their own.
When those who oppose abortion lament the missing people, I hear an echo of my own petulant thought: I want that person, not this one. And I wish that they could simply experience what I did, that they could look into the beautiful eyes of the people in front of them, and fall in love.
Justification at any cost. Moral equivalence is a disease.
One of Hitler’s or Himmel’s grand daughters survived
It is this person’s fault that America is dying. This person, and thousands/millions more like her.
Hey look at me - I’m pro-murder!
The face of sheer self-centered arrogance
There are Pro-Choice people and Pro-Abortion people. They are NOT members of the same group.
Could also become genocide.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, during the Dem primaries, a debate moderator asked the candidates whether or not THEY AGREED with this.
No more wishy washy pro-choice non-sense. Are you for it or against it.
I need to take another shower after reading that..
I’m PRO-ABORTION because studies show that there is a 50% chance that abortion will cause Breast Cancer.
WHY didn’t she say that???
Planned Parenthood and everyone else who makes money off of abortion mills are pro-abortion. They just don’t like to admit it.
It’s just a shame her mother wasn’t pro abortion....
I’m not pro-abortion but I still have a hard time with this causing cancer thing. Hmmm
Somebody tell Valerie that she doesn’t have to expain it to us. She needs to save it for the day she stands in front of God.
Follow the money...in every thing.
Sounds like you still qualify to be aborted.
After all, what is being "aborted"? We say a pregnancy but really it's a life-span.
Unless you think your life began some time other than at conception.
In the 1990s MS magazine was already writing about the idea that they needed to become more aggressive in saying out loud that they know that it is killing, and they support it as a right to end pregnancy.
There has been a movement in feminism for some time, to confront the appeals to the sensitivities about pain and death of the unborn, by getting right back into the face of pro-life arguments by saying we know, and it doesn’t change anything.
Rand Paul might not be the person to stand up to them, he isn’t really a detail person when it comes to abortion.
The thing is about abortionand about a lot of thingsis that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, youre this or this or that, or youre hard and fast (on) one thing or the other, Paul told Elliott. Ive supported both bills with and without (exceptions), you know. In general, I am pro-life.
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