You can read Sex in the Public Square’s column and get a beautifully written explanation that mirrors my own opinions on the subject. I’ll go over them in brief in a moment, but first I want to make the following perfectly clear:
Just because I’m pro-choice doesn’t mean I’m pro-abortion. I’m anti-abortion: I wish no woman ever needed to have one. Toward that end, I’m in favor of easily, universally accessible birth control, including Plan B; and comprehensive sexual education beginning at an early age. The best way to stop abortions is to educate women and to make sure they have ways of preventing the pregnancy to begin with.
In an ideal world, we could control our own fertility, everyone would be a great parent, and every child would be a wanted child. Guess what? The world is far from ideal. Here’s why I’m pro-choice:
- People have sex. Right or wrong, whether we like it or not, regardless of whether we tell them they shouldn’t, regardless of whether they know they shouldn’t, and sometimes against their will. In some situations, birth control isn’t available; in other cases, it fails. If an accidental pregnancy results, and an unwanted child is born, no one gets a happy ending: especially the child.
- Women have a right to control their bodies. An unhappy, perhaps young, perhaps frightened, woman, or one who has enough children already, or one who just doesn’t feel that she’s capable of being a good mother, shouldn’t be forced to carry an unwanted child. It’s her body, and it’s her right to choose the course her life will take.
- The right to abortion saves the lives of women. Making abortions illegal won’t stop them from happening; it will drive them underground, putting women’s lives in danger. Whether a woman seeks help from an unqualified practitioner or tries to end her own pregnancy, the result is fear, trauma, and the risk of illness and death.
According to NARAL, my state (Indiana) gets a grade of F for the status of women’s reproductive rights. The state leaders are anti-choice, 93% of counties have no abortion provider, and a whole raft of draconian anti-choice laws are on the books to ensure the births of unwanted children. The neighboring state (Kentucky) also gets an F, and its laws are even stricter and more medieval than Indiana’s.
Scary stuff. So many people in America want to stifle education about sex, withhold birth control, promote abstinence policies that have been proven not to work, and then deny women the only option to carrying a child they don’t want… To me these policies seem nonsensical and purposely cruel. I hope that in the future our country will experience a great enlightenment and establish the sorts of proactive policies that will make abortions largely unnecessary.
It will be a wonderful day when abortion is a choice no woman has to make.