Once I Understood My Feelings About Sex & Pregnancy, My Stance On Abortion Evolved

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

By Zoey Hickman

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I’m from a small town in Louisiana, where Southern Baptist churches litter every street corner in place of non-existent liquor stores. I can’t remember a time before I started sitting in the pews every Sunday and Wednesday learning about God. As you cou can assume, I strongly believed that abortion was murder. Up until I was about sixteen years old, in fact, my favorite argument to make against abortion was, “If you’re not ready to have children you shouldn't be having sex.”

This view, of course, didn’t last. The older I got, the more I was willing to be sexually active and the more I had to come face-to-face with reality: If I were to enjoy sex, I would (by my own beliefs) be giving up my right to my own body. I also, within this span of time, realized something very important about myself: I had Tokophobia

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it, I hadn’t either. It’s not a very common phobia to learn about but it’s one that affects more women than you’d think. Tokophobia is the intense fear of pregnancy or childbirth, a fear so strong that I had made up my mind by the time that I was ten years old that I never wanted to give birth to children. In my mind, though, I didn’t expect myself to become sexually active until I was married and then by that time I could get my tubes tied (yes, my logic was flawed, but I genuinely believed it).

So, my beliefs did a 180 degree turn from “ABORTION IS MURDER” to “MY BODY, MY CHOICE” within the span of a year. Having to explain that I would get an abortion without question to my parents was difficult, but having to explain that to complete strangers is just taxing.

I started realizing how narrow my view was as a child and how sickening the world was for giving that view to me. Why do I need an explanation for not wanting children other than “I don’t want children?”

Why should women have to beg society to let us be the rulers of our own bodies? And why should we give up one of life’s natural pleasures as a defense against pregnancy? All of these questions scared me and angered me, as they still do to this day.

That is why I’m no longer Pro-Life. Because it’s not “Pro-Life,” to work to ban access to safe, affordable reproductive healthcare — it’s “Anti-Choice”. It’s “Anti-Women." There are women who need abortions for different reasons than me: medical reasons, situational reasons, financial reasons, etc. — and all of them are valid.

So, on this 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m going to be thinking about all of the amazing women who helped fight to give me my right to own my body and helped set the precedent for countless women to understand that pregnancy is not a punishment to women for having sex.

In honor of the 46th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade SCOTUS ruling, Her Campus contributors shared their reflections about abortion access, challenging stigma and reproductive choice. You can read more about what college women really think about abortion and reproductive health via Our Bodies, Our Rules.