Op-Ed: Why I Am Southern, Catholic And Pro-Choice

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There are a few things I should say about myself before I explain why I am pro-choice.

I’m Southerner, as in, the higher the hair the closer to God, Southerner. I was born and raised in Georgia before attending college in Alabama. I’m proud of my Southern heritage. I’m a god-fearin’, hair teasin’, SEC football lovin’, Southerner. I don’t subscribe to some of the more usual stereotypes above-the-Mason-Dixon-liners believe: my cousin is a wonderful person, he is not, however, my boyfriend. I didn’t live on a farm as a child. We didn’t have a black housekeeper I called Miz Keeshia that raised me. I have all of my teeth (and so does every member of my family.)

I do, however, come home when Momma calls, feel better when wearing a dress and heels, and know how to make biscuits from scratch that will knock your boyfriend’s socks off. I attended Catholic school my whole life. I am teaching first grade Sunday school. But I am pro-choice. That in turn makes me a liberal Democrat. I wish politics today didn’t make social issues the cause behind my choosing a side, but they do and I have. 

I do believe in the death penalty. I want fair taxation for the upper middle class. Heck, I want fair taxation for every tax bracket. I want the troops to come home. Most importantly, I want to be able to make decisions regarding my body without worrying about legal consequences. I voted for President Barack Obama. Twice. I believe in the woman’s right to choose. It’s a choice I pray I never have to make, but I want it to be MY choice. Not anyone else’s choice made for me. And above all else not because a group, comprised of mainly males, eradicated my right to make the choice.

Being pro-choice does not make me pro-abortion.

Being pro-choice means I fight for the right for women to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies. I think many of y’all out there are pro-choice and just don’t know it because you “really don’t care.” By “really not caring” you don’t have an opinion, which in my book, is fine. Laissez-faire: that’s all I want the government to do. Let us decide for ourselves what we are going to do with our bodies. If you don’t really care one way or another then you should be pro-choice because, like I said, pro-choice is not necessarily pro-abortion. It’s not caring about what private citizens do to themselves. It’s the government “really not caring” about our medical decisions.

According to Planned Parenthood, one in three women in the United States will have an abortion before they are in their mid-forties. One in three in the whole country, not just one area or one socio-economic group, one in three. That is downright amazing.

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About The Author

Jessica Johnson is a senior at The University of Alabama double majoring in English Studies and Communication Studies while minoring in Creative Writing. Avid reader, writer and one-man band, Jessica is always working on a project of some sort. After spending summer 2011 interning with Atlanta's Q100 morning radio show (and waking up at 3:30am to dress for work) she has a new respect for early birds. When not playing with her three rescued mutts, you'll find her at Gallettes sippin' on a Yellow Hammer screaming ROLL TIDE ROLL!!