This is Blog for Choice day 2008: the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America.
Let me be perfectly clear about one thing: I am not “pro-abortion.” Nobody is “pro-abortion”: getting an abortion isn’t on any girl or woman’s list of things that she wants to do during her life. It isn’t something that you can be enthused about and in favor of, like being pro-chocolate or pro-cats.
However, I am absolutely pro-choice: the right to choose an abortion is something I’m enthused about and in favor of. If, by some medical-procedure-defying miracle, I became pregnant today, I wouldn’t have an abortion. Having a baby at age 43, with two teenage kids, would certainly make life more complicated and would stretch our finances, but we’d cope. But this is my life, and my situation: Who am I to make such a world-shaking decision for any other girl or woman, whose life and situation I know nothing about?
In the best of all worlds, birth control would be available everywhere, and children would be offered comprehensive, quality education about reproduction, making good choices, family planning, and more from an early age. (Ideally, kids should be having open and wide-ranging conversations about sex with their parents throughout their lives. But as long as so many people seem to be scared to mention the S word around their children, the schools need to help.) Information and birth control are the two best ways to ensure fewer unwanted pregnancies and, thus, fewer abortions.
But we don’t live in the best of all worlds. Instead, we live in a country where many of our elected leaders want to eliminate public sources of information, cut off easy access to birth control, and then, having done their best to create more unplanned pregnancies, deny women the right to end those pregnancies safely and legally if they so choose.
It’s vital that pro-choice Americans vote this year, to ensure that we elect Democratic, pro-choice national leaders who will protect us from an even more ridiculously skewed Supreme Court and the specter of restrictive, choice-trampling legislation.
My body: my choice.