Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Pro-Choice Truly Means

"PRO" -- For, in favor of. "CHOICE" -- The act of choosing, the right/power/opportunity to choose. In other words, the term Pro-Choice refers to the idea that every individual has the right to make decisions for his/her own body. Pro-choice (using the term here specifically to speak of embryos, fetuses, & babies, and a woman's right to choose abortion, adoption, or to keep) men & women support every pregnant woman's right to make decisions for herself without infringment from others. Pro-choice does NOT mean "pro abortion", it is simply the belief that *I* get to make decisions for myself, you get to make decisions for yourself, and every other pregnant woman gets to make decisions for themselves... whether *you* agree with it or not.

My husband & I have had this conversation a lot lately... and we've included our daughter in it, too. We all have opinions, and we all feel that we know how we'd decide if we're ever faced with that type of decision. But, what Ace said regarding his opinion took me a little by surprise. His original opinion matched many many people out there who say they're pro-choice. Basically, he said, "It's your decision until..." No. Nope. That is not pro-choice. That is infringing your opinions on someone else's choice. You don't get to do that. You see, if it doesn't affect you & yours, you don't get a say. That's the difference between the vaccination debate and the abortion debate. If you don't vaccinate your child, it affects EVERYONE your child comes into contact with, reducing the abilities of the "herd protection". If you have an abortion, it only directly affects you & your family. However, it's still the pregnant woman's decision; no matter at what stage, no matter the reason.

Let's start with a few scenarios:
1. Your 15yo son gets his 14yo girlfriend pregnant, she's 8 weeks.
2. You are a married woman in her 30's with four kids, just got pregnant with your fifth (unplanned). You are now 10 weeks.
3. You are a married woman, age 40, one kid. You discover at 22 weeks the second child you so badly wanted has Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
4. You are a non-married 23yo woman who got raped by that guy at the bar you were talking to, miss your period, and discover you're 7 weeks pregnant.
5. You are a 27yo man whose longtime girlfriend is now 12 weeks pregnant, despite her being on the pill & you using a condom properly. She wants to abort; you do not.

There are, of course, many many many other scenarios, but just dealing with these five, who gets to make the decision as to if the pregnant woman has an abortion? Let me guess; most of you said, "Well, that depends..." Nope. No, it doesn't depend. Rapists get no say, no opinion, no rights, no anything imo. However, if you are in any sort of relationship with the other DNA-contributor (meaning, the male & female who co-created), you have every right to have an opinion & to make that opinion known. As the parent of a minor in this situation (no matter if it's your daughter or your son in this scenario), you also get an opinion. What you do not have, ever, no matter what your relationship status, is the right to make that decision for other people. No matter if that pregnant person is your co-worker, your sister, your spouse, your girlfriend, or your daughter... the FINAL decision is theirs, alone, to make.

Maybe some of you are confused... There is a huge difference between "Opinion" & "Decision". Let's say (for another example) that I get pregnant. I am 40yo, happily married, and have a 15yo still at home. My husband had a vasectomy after his daughter (his second child by birth) was born, and I am on the pill (for medical reasons not related to preventing pregnancy -- another reason we need to make sure all forms of birth control are readily available for everyone). There is always a chance that I could still get pregnant, so let's imagine that happens, and I find out at 5 weeks (that's how far along I was when I found out I was pregnant with Princess). Who gets an opinion as to what I do about it? My husband gets to tell me how he feels about it, our daughter gets to tell me what she thinks, but in the end, the decision is mine & mine alone. Of course, whatever I decide, I also have to live with that decision for the rest of my life... That's why it's MY decision.

How long do I have to make a decision? Again, my husband & daughter get to voice their opinions, but that decision is also mine. If I want to wait to 6 weeks, or 10 weeks, or 22 weeks... That's is MY DECISION!! Ace doesn't want any more kids. To be honest, neither to I. I am too old, imo, to start over. I would have an abortion, probably as soon as I could make an appointment to do so. Most of you would probably never know, but you can bet your ass I would not "feel guilty" (as many Forced Birthers would have you believe). Oh, for the record, the majority of "late term" abortions (in fact, every one that I've ever heard of) are WANTED babies who have severe, even terminal, conditions that would either severely diminish their quality of life, place undue financial/emotion burdens on the families (not to mention government assistance programs most of the Forced Birthers are trying to eliminate), or will kill them as soon as they're born or soon after. So, please stop trying to eliminate these, as well. Just like marriage equality, you can't outlaw something just because you don't agree with it.

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