What Being Pro-Choice Means To Me

A few weeks ago, the Ohio House passed a new abortion bill that, according to CNN journalist A.J Willingham, “redefines the state's definition of ‘person’ to include ‘any unborn human’ and leaves the door open for extreme penalties for women and abortion providers.” This law would ban abortions in Ohio completely. Furthermore, by this law, the women seeking abortions and the doctors that perform them could be charged with murder and could potentially face the death penalty as well. At this point, the bill has no exceptions for women experiencing life-threatening pregnancies or pregnancies resulting from sexual assault. The bill has not been made into law just yet though. It still must pass through the Ohio Senate and be signed by Ohio’s governor. Governor John Kasich vetoed a similar bill in 2016 and he has “vowed to do the same” with this newer version. 

Over the years, abortion supporters and opposers have been placed into two categories, pro-life and pro-choice. These categories are seemingly rigid in the fact that society makes it seem like individuals must be one or the other. One cannot sympathize for both causes, a choice has to be made. However, I believe that these categories are more nuanced and very misunderstood. If were looking at the two, only by face value, they fundamentally disagree on one issue, whether or not abortions should be allowed or not. So, if both groups disagree on one issue, it makes sense to believe that they may have more alike feelings than unalike. 

Personally, I identify myself as someone who is pro-choice. However, that does not make me against life in any way. Just because I am pro-choice doesn’t mean that I go around advocating for killing babies or what not. Being pro-choice, to me, means that what I advocate for is the right for a woman to choose. I don’t think it is anyone’s business, but the woman involved, to decide what she should do with her body. For example, if abortion is what she decides is best for her and ultimately best for her unborn child, than she should be able to get this procedure done. If a woman has been raped and a pregnancy occurs as a result, I personally don’t think it would be wise to bring a child into the world, following such a traumatic event. If a woman is most likely going to die in childbirth if she does not get an abortion, I advocate for saving the mother over the fetus. Ending one life and replacing it with another, in this case, seems cruel, especially if it can be prevented. And, most especially, I don’t think that protecting a fetus over a woman’s right to her own body should be discussed by government officials. That simply is not their job. 

A personal choice, such as an abortion, should not be grounds for the death penalty. There is so much nuance that goes into making such a decision that it seems impossible to see clear fault on anyone’s side, woman or doctor. And the idea that a court could possibly convict someone for trying to do what was best for them, their situation, their body, or their unborn child, as a murderer is unreasonable. It is the woman who should get to decide if an abortion is necessary or not, not a judge and a jury. And as long as she is healthy and happy with her decision, that should be all that matters.