My newsfeed on Facebook has been blowing up over the last week, even as Wendy Davis was bravely filibustering a bill that would have practically made it impossible to get an abortion in my state. As the Republicans threw the book at her to stop the filibuster. As the crowd of protesters kept them from voting before the clock ran out. As certain folks tried to falsify records and fool the world into thinking the vote had taken place before the session officially ended at midnight. As our prig of a governor called another special session, belittled State Senator Davis, and made me facepalm myself while wishing I could claim to be from some other state. I have learned in the last week which of my friends are really politically motivated and which way they lean in a way I haven’t seen since I started blocking certain people during the last election.
Believe me, I’ve seen it all as far as “pro-life” anti-abortion (because that’s what they really mean or we wouldn’t still have the death penalty) propaganda goes. Blood-and-gore, calling us baby killers, the works. But I think there’s something “pro-lifers” just don’t understand. And I’m not talking about how these so called “improved standards” have more to do with forcing perfectly safe clinics to shut down than with providing safe women’s health care.
I’m talk about Roe. Versus. Wade.
This discussion should be over. According to the checks and balances of our government, a woman has the right to choose whether or not to go through with a pregnancy, and she shouldn’t have to resort to a coat-hanger or illegal back-alley procedure—or drive more than ten hours to a clinic—to make that choice.
That’s what it boils down to. Most of the people I know who are pro-choice are just that: pro-choice. We’re not pro-abortion. We just don’t think we have the right to butt our noses into someone else’s decisions about their own body. Because we wouldn’t want another person, much less the government, making our medical decisions for us.
There are a lot of things I could say; believe me, I could go on about this for a while. But it would just make me angry, and probably lead to some nasty arguments. Instead, I’ll paraphrase something my old friend the psychic spiritual minister once said to me:
I wish we lived in a world that didn’t need abortion. A world where all people—male and female—had easy access to preventative forms of birth control, family planning resources, and adequate and accurate reproductive education. A world where birth control was always 100% effective. A world where there was no shame or stigma for a woman who got pregnant “out of wedlock”, where if she was unable to care for the child an adoptive family would be ready and waiting. A world where no child went uncared for; where no child would be homeless or hungry or bounced from home to home in the foster care system. A world where medicine was an exact science, and no woman ever need weigh the cost of her own life against that of a fetus. A world where rape didn’t exist—or at least one where all rapes were reported and prosecuted, where the victims were never blamed or shamed merely for being a victim.
But we don’t live in that world. We live in this one. And I will be pro-choice so long as we do.