(This was supposed to be posted on April 28th, but between the evil wasp that decided to randomly take out it’s fury upon me, and my perfectionist tendencies, it’s been slightly altered and is being posted now.)
Disclaimer: This post contains logic. It also contains sarcasm. It is very, very long. I have much to say. Consider yourself warned. Most of this post is inspired by my life, and I know that many women’s (and trans*-men’s) experiences will differ from my own, and there’s no way I can speak for all of them or for the pro-choice movement as a whole. The following words are simply what being pro-choice means to me. Oh, and I welcome responses to this post. As long as those responses don’t read something like: “you’re a (insert profanity here), go die/burn in hell.” or “But what about the “BABY?” or “How can you never want any CHILDREN?” Those responses will be deleted. So will any responses with atrocious spelling. Sorry, but I don’t take kindly to groundless insults or extreme ignorance.
Do you know what happened on April 28th? Pro-choicers all across the United States gathered at their respective State Capitols to protest against the ever-strengthening “War on Women.” People were protesting a record number of anti-abortion and anti-family planning bills that were passed in 2011. And things aren’t looking good for 2012 either. I wish I could have gone to the protest in my state, but I couldn’t. However, I am going to protest in my own way. Because too many lives are at stake. And I’ve always wanted to make a protest sign. Anyway, the following are questions and arguments that I have been asked or told numerous times by “pro-lifers,” and these are my responses:
1) “Life begins at Conception.”
Sure it does. But how exactly do you define this “life?” The life that begins at conception is the life of a one-cell organism that has no nervous system, no functions organs, and most importantly, no consciousness. Most pro-lifers would not think twice about killing a wasp. Yet a wasp is in fact alive. Many wouldn’t think twice about eating meat (although a living, breathing animal can certainly feel more pain when being slaughtered than a developing fetus is capable of feeling during an abortion). Some pro-lifers even kill animals themselves (and yes, hunting does in fact = killing). Can anyone tell me how any of this is “pro-life?”
2) “A embryo/fetus should have the same rights as a woman.”
Even if one did believe that, outlawing abortion would give a embryo/fetus more rights than any already-born person enjoys. No law requires anyone to donate their bone marrow, blood, or any of their organs or other bodily resources to another person. The law cannot force anyone to donate these things even if the person who needs them would die without them. The law cannot force them to donate these resources to someone even if the the dying person is a blood relative to the potential donor. So to say that a woman should be forced by the law to donate her resources, her uterus, her very body to a non-sentient, potential human for nine months is completely and utterly ridiculous.
3) “All women regret having abortions.”
Some do. Not the majority. Not to mention, although it’s an unpopular fact, some women really regret their choice to have children. Regret is a part of life. It’s very patronizing to say to a woman: “I’m going to make a choice for you because you obviously aren’t smart enough to make the “correct” one.” I never want to have children. If you want to have several children, would you like for me to tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t because you “might regret it.” No? You wouldn’t? Then do me a favor and please quit telling me what I (or other women) “will” regret. You are not me.
4) “Abortion is dangerous.”
Pro-lifers love to say this. However, the simple fact is that childbirth is far more dangerous than abortion. Don’t believe me? A recent study proves it. Women are 14 times more likely to die during childbirth than during an abortion.
5) “Jesus is pro-life.”
It is very problematic to base laws that apply to everyone on the basis of your personal religious beliefs. Here in the United States, we have this thing called separation of church and state. I’m assuming you call yourself a Christian if you say this. Guess what? I’m a Christian too. I have read the Bible. Jesus never said anything about abortion in it! It’s funny, as much as many so-called “Christians” like to hate on those who are LGBT, Jesus never said anything about homosexuality either. But that’s another post for another day. Several love to use Jesus as an excuse for their beliefs. Especially if said beliefs are hateful or discriminatory. Sorry, but it is not in any way Christ-like to be “pro-life” (or as I like to call it, anti-woman, because that is the proper terminology for the crap that most so-called “pro-lifers” believe).
6) “You can just give the baby up for adoption, there are millions of people wanting to adopt”
That doesn’t change the fact that a woman would have to give said “baby” access to her body for nine months, and then go through childbirth, which some women; including myself are completely unable or unwilling to do. I have tokophobia- a fear of pregnancy and childbirth. I want nothing to do with either. If I was forced to stay pregnant, I would feel as though a parasitic creature were growing inside of me, and I would do whatever it took to get it out of my body. Immediately. I also consider myself childfree. I have no maternal instinct towards any being that doesn’t have four legs and a tail. Or wings. Or fins. To put it simply, I love animals, but the loud, banshee-like screams that only babies and small children seem capable of making always make my already horrid anxiety disorder about 10 times worse. I can handle children 7 years old or over in short bursts (I find some older children quite charming), but I could never be a primary caregiver to one. And even if I weren’t tokophobic, but just didn’t want children; I still would not want to take the route of adoption. What if my child was born with a medical condition that essentially made him/her un-adoptable? What if they ended up committing suicide because no one wanted them and they felt like their life meant nothing? I don’t play “russian roulette” with my life, and would certainly never play it with the life of another. Especially when I would have no control whatsoever over the outcome.
7) “You are just a horrible slut who wants to have sex without suffering the consequences!!”
First of all, if you can’t make a “pro-life” argument without calling women sluts in the process, you might be a misogynistic idiot. Also…..not that it’s any of your business, but I’m actually a virgin. I honestly have little interest in sex, have never had a romantic relationship with anyone, and if I were in such a relationship; (once again, really none of your business) it would most likely be with another woman. And just what is all this “suffering the consequences” you speak of? I thought most pro-lifers said that every pregnancy ever is a “beautiful blessing from God.” So which one is it exactly? A ”beautiful blessing” or something that must be suffered through? Also, if anyone out there honestly believes as Rick Santorum does, that rape is a gift from God in a very broken way, then you are a sick, insipid human being. Please seek help from a qualified professional before you pollute anyone else with your so-called “morality.”
8) “Only sluts use birth control!”
Once again, that “S” word. *Sigh* Really…..are some of you incapable of stating your opinion without resorting to name-calling? Some extreme pro-lifers believe that women shouldn’t even be allowed to use something that prevents a pregnancy. Umm…..but I thought you wanted to stop abortion? Wouldn’t preventing a pregnancy in the first place help you to achieve that goal? Do take into account as well that some women have to use birth control because they have a medical condition that makes life miserable without it. I have endometriosis. Before I was put on birth control at the age of 13 I was in sheer agony for a grand total of three days every month. I had to miss school a lot because I couldn’t even manage to get myself out of bed. Even on birth control, I still have pain, but at least now it’s bearable. I also have recently developed PMDD (look it up….it’s quite wonderful) which would also undoubtedly get worse if I stopped taking BC. So…..apparently I’m a slut because I have two medical conditions that I have no control over. Lovely.
9) “Pro-choice gives no choice to the fetus.”
Pro-life doesn’t give a choice to the fetus either. Just as a fetus can’t consent to being aborted, it can’t consent to being born. Apparently, pro-lifers think that no one wishes that they had never been born. If that’s true, than why is suicide so prevalent? The bottom line is this: if you are not 100% sure that you want to be a parent to the individual you want to bring into the world (with all of the emotional and financial responsibility that entails), if you are not 100% sure that you will love that child unconditionally, even if they are not the “perfect little angel” you imagined; then you have no business whatsoever bringing another life into the world at all. You might think I must have horrible parents to be writing something like this. Actually, I have two parents who love me very much and accept me for who I am. No, I’m writing this because I have quite wonderful parents, and yet I still suffer from chronic depression and severe anxiety. And one of the many reasons why is that some people refuse to acknowledge me as anything more than an incubator for potential humans.
10) “Aren’t you glad your mother didn’t abort you?”
This question is a red herring. If my mother had aborted me, I would not exist in this world, and I would not care that I didn’t exist. My soul would still be in Heaven, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the fact that some people wanted to take my rights to my own body away from me. Understand this: my mother chose to have me. If she had chosen to abort me, that would (and should) have been her choice, and her right; because I was in her body. I was using her body to keep myself alive. In short: her body, her choice.
11) “Your child could grow up to cure cancer/AIDS/etc!”
Another red herring. My “child” could also grow up to be the next Adolf Hitler. If you don’t agree that the world would be much better off had the Holocaust never happened, had Hitler never been born; then consider me completely uninterested in what you have to say. Because you obviously fail at life…..and you certainly aren’t “pro-life.” Pro-lifer’s could do much more good in this world if they started trying to help the people that are already here (who knows, we might already have a future cancer curer in our mist who ends up starving to death because pro-lifers are too busy trying to protect the “unborn”) instead of concerning themselves with the hypothetical lives of hypothetical people.
12) This one mostly relates to my personal experience: “Why don’t you just get yourself sterilized if you never want kids?”
Unfortunately, I have found no doctor willing to do a partial hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy on me because “I’m young and I might change my mind.” I want to keep my ovaries to avoid going into pre-mature menopause. But all my other reproductive organs? I want them taken out. I don’t understand how anyone who is pro-choice (or pro-life for that matter) would be against a childfree woman voluntarily sterilizing herself. Yet I’ve found no doctor yet that will do it. And until I am sterilized (and probably even after, if you count the few crazies out there) there will always be people under the insane delusion that I am an incubator. But I am not an incubator, I never have been, and I never will be. I am a woman, and a living, breathing, sentient human being. My already existing life is 100 times more valuable than the “life” of anything that might decide to take up residence inside my body against my will. To compare my, or any other woman’s life to the “life” of an embryo or fetus is at best naive and at worst, it is pure evil. It’s like comparing a blank canvas to a a beautiful, complex work of art. There is no comparison. After all, which has more value: a blank canvas that has the potential to become a beautiful work of art, or an already completed, unique, beautiful painting? I think we all know the answer.
I know I sound hostile to some of you. I know I sound angry. Guess what, I am. You would be too, if “pro-lifers” were constantly telling you that even though you yourself never asked to be born with a functioning uterus, you must use it to incubate a potential human should you become pregnant. Even if you were raped. Even if you have several medical and mental conditions that would cause you to commit (or at the very least attempt) suicide because you feel like you have a parasite growing inside of you and, on top of that, couldn’t take half of the medication that keeps you alive and sane because it might hurt “the baby.” Because that “life” is somehow much more valuable and “precious” than yours. You “pro-lifers” just don’t get it do you? Some of you never will. But I’ll never stop fighting. Because I believe that every woman, regardless of her circumstances, and regardless of how she became pregnant, should have the right to her own body. Because I believe that their lives matter. Because I believe they should always have a choice.
<3 Alice Phantomhive
Oh and by the way, here’s the sign I made, and me…..and my epic pink bunny rabbit of doom:
Please imagine the above statement being said in the same tone as this. Then maybe you’ll be aware of just how tired I am to still be having this argument with other supposedly intelligence-possessing human beings. In 2012 no less. It’s really freaking annoying.
(A note: I would be very honored if you chose to re-post, re-blog, or otherwise link part or all of my post. But please credit me. Or else my epic pink bunny rabbit of doom will find you and eat you. She likes the taste of human flesh.)