By Amanda Fox
I am pro-choice regarding abortion and have been since as long as I understood what abortion was. I’m un-apologetic about that because I see no need to apologize for it. It’s a medical procedure and it is the choice of each woman as to whether or not it is necessary for them. If you have the uterus, you control it. That has always been my philosophy on it. I’m used to being called all the names so many pro-choicers are – in fact I haven’t heard a new and creative name in so long I’m starting to think I’ve heard them all.
Being called names doesn’t bother me. I think it speaks more to the character of the person hurling insults than it does to the insulted.What bothers me is that far too many people on the pro-life, or as I more aptly see it too often, the pro-birth side of the equation don’t really have any clue what being pro-choice is or why it’s important. My feeling is that if you are going to be against something, you damn well better understand what it is you are up against.
I am pro-choice, but that doesn’t actually mean that I like abortion. Let that sink in a second. I am in favor of any woman having the choice and right to make the decision to have an abortion on demand as soon as she reaches the conclusion that it is the best choice for her. That doesn’t mean I like abortion. No woman likes abortion. Having an abortion is not like having a Saturday picnic. It is a gut wrenching choice to make. It does carry some risks. It is not something entered into lightly. To portray it as anything less is arrogant and asinine.
I also take offense to the abortion of a fetus being painted as the murder of a human. I had a recent exchange with a real pile of skull-jelly that contended my stance that a fetus is basically a parasite, was incorrect and that at conception, a human being was formed. I look at this way. If an organism depends on a host for survival, it is a parasite. You can’t pull a fetus out of the womb and it breathe on it’s own. It won’t take nourishment. It isn’t developed enough to survive with even the best technology science has to offer. That, to me, is a parasite. Yes, if carried to term, it is human, but not until it can survive on it’s own.
Once Mr. Skull-jelly, who has never had a baby nor is a parent, gave up arguing the science, he went to arguing emotion.
“When you were born could you survive on your own? You needed people to feed you didn’t you?”
Well of course I needed to be fed. But I could also breathe on my own. I could evacuate my waste on my own. My brain was functioning. Comparing a living outside the womb child to a partially developed blob of tissue is not really the same thing. If that sounds insensitive, so be it, but that is what a fetus is.
When appeals to emotion didn’t work, Mr. Skull-jelly moved on to the ultimate fall back – religion. I take offense to religion being used not only because it is devoid of science, but it has nothing to do with this choice – at least it shouldn’t. Mr. Skull-Jelly stated that the US is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles (which isn’t worth refuting now as many know better and hardly all of the US is Christian) and we don’t have the right to destroy what God created.
My answer to this was a simple series of questions designed to see if this was true:
“Do you drive a car that emits pollution and damages our atmosphere and living organisms including yourself?
“Do you ever use ant traps, roach motels or sprays or kill living organisms that you determine are pests?”
“Do you drink to excess or smoke (both of which I knew he did), ingest chemicals and preservatives that damage your organs or go to the beach and work up a nice tan that cooks your pasty skin golden brown after two of three burn and peel sessions?”
I knew the answer to every question was yes and couldn’t be denied. At that point, the rational person would have to stop being high and mighty and admit hypocrisy. It’s not about destroying something God made, it’s a matter of just not liking abortion, and to be blunt, if you don’t like abortions then don’t have one. I don’t like smoking Pall Malls so I don’t.
As humans, we have a certain arrogance. We forget that at the end of the day we are just highly evolved primates. We think ourselves so much better than the rest of the animal kingdom. Other animals don’t abort their young as we do, they wait for them to be born and abandon them. If you doubt that, ask any zoologist or pick up a National Geographic sometime. Lions will eat their young. Gazelles will abandon runts. It’s no secret. Sometimes, we have no idea why animals abandon their young. They just do. Maybe it is because on some level they know they aren’t prepared to care for it.
Aborting a fetus that is unwanted is a hell of a lot more compassionate than waiting for it to be born and then choking it with a dirt clod – as was done in Africa at one time or abandoning children to drown in rivers as happened in China not that long ago when the one child policy was enacted.
The point being, abortion is not a bad thing. It is not murder. You are in favor of it or you are not and either side is okay – so long as it remains legal.
How can I say that? You can disagree with abortion all you want – so long as it remains legal.
I can say that because unless you are the densest of the dense, you know outlawing abortion won’t stop it. it will just send it back underground where countless women will be permanently damaged, or die, for want of access to a safely performed medical procedure.
And I promise you this – the vast majority of the pro-birth movement is one unplanned pregnancy away from being very pro-choice. Maybe it will be your mother, sister, wife or daughter, but once that “oh shit!” moment hits and a woman realizes there is no way she is prepared for a baby, stances tend to soften quite a bit concerning abortion being bad. When they do, wouldn’t it be nice if they could have it done safely and not in some fly-by hotel room type clinic like it used to be or having to go abroad or carrying it to term and then dumping it on someone else to support it when so many kids are already without homes and zero promise of finding one?
So … when you claim to be pro-life, understand what being that and being pro-choice really means. No woman dreams of having an abortion as a little girl, but dammit, when they need one, they damn well better be able to get a safe and legal one. It isn’t murdering a human. It doesn’t mean someone is a bad person. You don’t have to like it. The thing is, however, you better be glad the choice exists because you never know who in your family may need it.