I’m Pro-Choice – Not Pro-Abortion

by Meghan on February 3, 2012

Yes, there is a difference in those two things. A BIG difference.

Believing whole-heartedly in a woman’s right to choose doesn’t mean that I “like” abortions and celebrate the fact that they exist. It doesn’t mean that I hate babies or children and think abortions are the greatest thing ever invented.

Quite the opposite, actually.

I have three children. I love and adore them and wouldn’t give them up for anything in the world. I love babies and will take any opportunity available to snuggle a newborn. I assure you that I am not an evil, awful person who wants to kill babies.

I hate the idea of abortions. The thought of them makes me feel a bit ill and it saddens me that they occur. It would be wonderful if there was no need for them, but the sad fact is that there IS a need for them. They are a necessary evil, if you will, and until we wake up and realize where the real issues are, and then fix them, there will always be a need for women to receive safe, legal (non-medically necessary) abortions.

It’s easy to yell and scream that abortion is bad and should be illegal. But if abortion was made illegal tomorrow, where would we find ourselves? Making abortions illegal is easy enough, but it opens up a whole new host of issues that we have to be willing and able to address and deal with.

Here are my thoughts:

- Until we recognize the need for, and agree to fully fund social welfare programs, we can’t force a woman to have a baby she can’t afford.

- Until we recognize the need for, and agree to fully fund government programs to protect children’s rights and safety, we can’t force a woman to have a baby she doesn’t want.

- Until we can make contraception affordable and readily available to anyone who needs it, we can’t force a woman to have a baby she doesn’t want.

- Until we recognize the need for, and figure out a way to provide, low cost, comprehensive health care for women and children, we can’t force a woman to continue with a  pregnancy that will likely bankrupt her.

- Until we recognize the fact that abstinence only sex education doesn’t work, and start teaching America’s youth about various forms of contraception, we can’t force a teenager to have a baby she’s not prepared for.

- Until we can reliably collect unpaid child support from dead beat dads, we can’t force a single mother to have a child she can’t afford.

- Until we figure out a way to bring people back from the dead, we can’t force a woman to continue with a pregnancy that will kill her.

Yes, adoption is an amazing option. But it’s not the only fix to this situation. There are already hundreds of thousands of children in the US who need homes and not enough people who want to adopt them. Unfortunately, we don’t have a reliable enough system in place to add hundreds of thousands of newborns to those numbers. Yes, it’s an awful way to look at it, but in reality, who is going to care for those children, both emotionally and financially?

I would love to live in a world where (non-medically necessary) abortions are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, we need to make some pretty major changes to our beliefs and policies before that’s going to be possible.

I am a woman. I am a mother. I am pro-choice.

Photo Credit: AlexandraLee via Flickr

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen February 3, 2012 at 10:16 am

Amazing post! Very well said and so true!

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Jana A (@jana0926) February 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

Yes! YES YES YES!
Jana A (@jana0926)´s last [type] ..Lessons on Groundhog’s Day

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avasmommy February 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

I would also add, until we find a way to make vile men stop raping and molesting women, we can’t ask those women to raise a child that is a product of that disgusting act.
avasmommy´s last [type] ..Random Tuesday Stuff

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Kim February 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

I think this is a perfect addition to the list and was my first thought as well.

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Rachel February 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

This is so perfect.

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Lindsay February 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

I could have written this, but I couldn’t find the words. Thank you. Thank you.

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Dara February 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

Very well said. Thanks for writing this!

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Manic Mommy February 3, 2012 at 10:50 am

Well said, Meghan! As Hillary Clinton said, we want them to be safe, legal, and rare. I put this link to An Army of Women on my FB page: http://www.armyofwomen.org/. If you’re looking to donate your money and maybe your own body to help research a cure. This is the place.

I was influenced to do so by Susan Nieber/http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/ for whom we all pray.
Manic Mommy´s last [type] ..God Bless Us, Every One

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Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] February 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

I’m 1001% with you on this.

I am pro-choice, not anti-choice.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last [type] ..The One About My Panties

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Jane February 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

Words cannot express how much I love and agree with this post. Thank you!

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Janette February 3, 2012 at 11:32 am

For the most part I agree with you. I think you and I agree on our general feelings about abortion in general, though I don’t agree with your ideas about how to tackle the problem. Different strokes, different folks. What I am really curious about, is what inspired you to talk about it today? I’m just really interested in what inspired you to write about this (rather contentious) topic in particular.
Janette´s last [type] ..Under the kitchen table

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nicole February 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

Excellent post!

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Sharon February 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

So very, very well said! My husband heard an interesting interview on NPR a few weeks back about a Catholic Priest who was saying that he votes with the democratic party for these very reasons. I wish I could find a link to the interview, it was very powerful and made these same arguments.
Thank you for putting it out there!

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Chris February 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Actually you are pro abortion. Your argument is the ultimate cop out. Abortion kills a fetus – either you are OK with it or you are not. The term “pro choice” was created to give people a linguistic curtain to hide behind. It allows you to acknowledge your support of abortions without having to call yourself something that is unpalatable to many : “pro abortion”. Its easier to own your support for abortion when you obfuscate it under the notion of choice. Its cowardly to claim to support this vague notion of “choice” and pretend you don’t support the underlying action. I wish the movement would drop the semantics and be honest about the procedure they so fervently support.

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Meghan February 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Chris – This discussion isn’t black and white. Like most everything in life, I have decided to really examine the issues at hand and come to a (personal) decision. Pro-abortion is a term used by the anti-choice crowd (see what I did there?) to further enflame the issue. It does nothing, NOTHING, to further the discussion between the two sides, and the fact that you focused on and commented on THAT part of my post proves that point.

What are your ideas on reducing the need for abortions? Stop hiding behind name calling (cowardly, really?) and actually contribute to this discussion.

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heather... February 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I wish I could “like” this comment times ONE MILLION.
heather…´s last [type] ..I’m So Pretty

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Allison Zapata February 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] February 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm

If more people would be gay, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about abortion.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last [type] ..The One About My Panties

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kel February 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Cowardly…like not linking your name to anything after leaving a comment?

Chris, have you ever been to one of the thousands of group homes around the country that houses unwanted children? Have you seen what unfit parenting can do to a kid? I say if someone can recognize they are unfit or able to have a kid, let them have that choice. Take it from someone who has spent the past 15 years trying to undo damage to kids.

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Meghan February 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Kel – In his/her defense, Chris DID link to Google.com, but I removed the link, we all know google doesn’t need the traffic. :0)

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Jennifer February 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I just feel that I have zero right to tell someone else what to do with their body. What I would or would not do should not even come into play.
Jennifer´s last [type] ..Share Your Awesome

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MamaGigi @ twobedroomsandababy February 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Wow – well said. Thanks for posting.

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Quart February 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Bravo!! (see what I did there?)

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Amy February 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Excellent post. **standing ovation**
Amy´s last [type] ..Battle of the Double X Chromosome

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Mike February 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm

If Chris is a man I don’t want his comment to be the only male response, so let me add… amazing post, Meghan! You make lots of sense, approaching the subject rationally which is rarely the case unfortunately. Meghan for president!

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Bridget February 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I wish I’d seen this earlier and then I could have saved myself a lot of time writing a comment on another friend’s post. I would’ve just linked here and said: “This.”
Bridget´s last [type] ..Photography Tips I Learned the Hard Way

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Melissa February 6, 2012 at 12:56 am

We can’t stop the uncle raping his 12 year old niece. Or something similar.

We can stop rape
We can say that all women are healthy enough to carry a baby to term with no worry of dying and leaving existing children without a mother.

If abortions were illegal tomorrow abortions will still happen. I want that young scared 17 year old pregnant far to young to have a safe place to go to. Not got to a back alley dr for a life sentence.

I would never choose an abortion for myself. But if my daughter was raped at 12 and pregnant I want me her and our family to make that decision not anyone else.

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neeroc February 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I too am pro-choice. I am a pro-choice infertile, having spent 8 years in infertility treatments to conceive my daughter (and another 3 unsuccessfully trying to conceive another), a daughter I very much wanted, and I will still defend ANY woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy if she so chooses. Yes, it might make me sad, make me ache, but it is her right, it is her body.
And I think that even if all those other items were solved, you still could not force a woman to carry a child she didn’t want.
neeroc´s last [type] ..Things you should never freecycle #1

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Bonna February 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Meghan,
Well said. I have always felt this way but could not find the right words. Personally, I do not think that I could terminate a pregnancy if it were not medically necessary. I do not think I have the right to tell a woman what to do. However, I am against the process being used repeatedly as a method of birth control. I do not think that any female that has been violated should be forced to continue a pregnancy that has been a traumatic experience from the beginning. True, we do not know the potential of any unborn child, but what about caring for those who are already here? How can we return children to abusive, inept parents / caregivers? How is it that the same focus on the unborn is not granted to those who are already here and in may be suffering? Let’s face it, everyone is not born into ideal situations, and I think the focus should be trying to help those already here…

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Shannon February 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

EXACTLY! Well said, well written. You provided the perfect words to what I feel and believe, but couldn’t quite explain.

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thepsychobabble February 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

Even if everything on this (wonderful) list was accomplished, I still don’t think we’d have a right to force someone to carry a pregnancy to term.
thepsychobabble´s last [type] ..Fluff it

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Jen September 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm

We are too accustomed to living in the grey. There is no grey area. Voting pro-choice means you are voting for sex selection, birth control, and ways to make a womans life more convienent. As to some of your points, birth control is affordable. Ten dollars. And that is without going to health department, where it is based on income. In college, I recieved mine for free. Yes, there are many children in foster. Ever try to adopt? Nothing but red tape and a run around. My foster child was denied a good home because they were the wrong race. In my local paper, their are couples begging to adopt an infant. They even advertise to pay all expenses. As for rape, most women choose to keep this child as they feel it is another attack against their body. 5% of women pregnant this way choose to abort. I just do not understand. If you believe it is wrong, how can you justify ever making it law that it is acceptable? It is so brutal and dangerous. I really don’t get your stand… You say it is life, yet it can be ripped apart? There are always exceptions for the mothers health, so that is not a viable complaint. Have you looked at what a woman can currently do to her unborn child? I encourage you to look at what is legal, and up to what stage. Pro-choice IS pro-abortion. The two statements can not be combined, no matter how much you want yourself to feel better about your beliefs.

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notproabortion September 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Meghan, If your daughter asked “what is abortion?” –how are you going to explain it to her, without sugarcoating it.

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Claire Luu May 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

The reason the abortion debate is so polarised is because the pro-life and pro-choice sides essentially focus on the rights of two different people. It is clearly divisive to suggest that those opposed to the pro-life movement are therefore ‘anti-life’ or at worst ‘pro-death’ (in comparison ‘pro-abortion’ doesn’t sound so bad).

I think it would be more accurate if the movements were more fully known as the ‘Pro the right to life of unborn children’ and ‘Pro the choice of women’ movements, since I have yet to meet a ‘pro-lifer’ who advocates that the life of the unborn child takes precedence over the mother’s right to life, and I have not yet heard/read any ‘pro-choicers’ claiming to represent the right to choice of unborn children, since they have no choice and are unable to express their choice. Indeed there are sadly many people in the world who wish they had never been born, but had they even been consulted in the womb it’s unlikely they would have had the knowledge necessary to make an informed choice.

Women have a right to understand what they are choosing though, in terms of what they are doing to their unborn child; the risks to their own bodies; and any risks this may pose on their future choices whether to have or not have children. Without supporting the making available of this complete set of information to women needing to make decisions about abortion, I think the ‘pro-choice’ movement fail the women they are seeking to represent and whose rights they claim to be defending.

I am not suggesting that women, often at vulnerable times in their lives, should be subjected to horrifying pictures of dismembered bloody baby bodies which we have all seen, and no side disputes the factual basis of. But I am saying that there should be full and factual information provided, and proper medical pre and after care for women considering and undergoing abortion, which is definitely not standard practice.

In my view it is wrong that any woman should be allowed to go in for a late term abortion and think of it as a minor simple procedure, only to emerge afterwards and realise that they have been subjected to a highly traumatic invasive medical procedure and to suffer from lacerations to their cervix or a perforated uterus which is always a complication. Or years later to discover, as I know women personally, who having had a number of abortions in their early twenties and now desparately want children but suffer from complications from their earlier terminations. I’m not saying they would have all made different choices, but I’m saying they had a right to know of the risks involved. This for me is what real choice is about.

http://www.moondragon.org/obgyn/abortion/dilation&extraction.htmlhttp://www.frc.org/content/how-abortion-harms-womens-health

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