In our current political culture, everything seems to be one way or the other. You can’t be between sides. It’s always democrat versus republican, liberal versus conservative, etc. A big area that these two parties disagree on is being pro-choice versus pro-life. It seems to be implied and believed that these two sides are complete opposites and a middle ground can’t be reached because of the extremes; either you believe that abortion is good, or you believe it is bad. But what if I told you that being pro-choice doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pro-abortion?
I consider myself pro-choice because I believe that if I got pregnant right now I should have the choice to end my pregnancy. The root of this is that I believe that we shouldn’t bring any more unwanted children into this world. Usually, people combat this by telling me that I could just give the child up for adoption, but the reality is that our adoption and children’s services don’t function well overall. Often children who have gone through the foster care system end up with long-term psychological issues. I’ve also often heard the argument that it isn’t only one person’s decision. It takes two to create a child! But only one of those people has to carry the child. Only one of those people has to surrender their body to care for that potential child for nine months.
That’s what being pro-choice means to me, but for others, it’s different. For example, a friend of mine is very much pro-choice but she doesn’t think she could have an abortion herself. Even though she doesn’t think that she could do it, doesn’t mean that she thinks other people shouldn’t have the option. My mom is also pro-choice. Her belief in whether she would get an abortion has changed over time, but this hasn’t changed her belief that everyone should have the ability to make their own choice.
I understand why pro-life people believe the way that they do. I know that the idea of terminating a pregnancy isn’t ideal and sounds gruesome. I know that pregnancy occurs because of two people. I know that in theory, it is killing a child. I’ve heard and absorbed all of these arguments, but I still don’t think that other people should have the ability to choose what is best for other people. I don’t think anybody should be forced to have a family that they don’t want and aren’t prepared to care for.
A male friend of mine recently told me that he doesn’t feel it’s his place to choose between being pro-choice and pro-life. A part of this is most likely because he can’t get pregnant, and he also told me it’s because he respects his mother’s beliefs. But when it comes down to it, him feeling like it’s not his place to choose for others, means that he is pro-choice. Even if you fundamentally disagree with the concept of abortion, you can still respect other people’s ability to make their own choices.
I believe that everybody should have the right to choose what is right for themselves and that others shouldn’t be able to condemn or legally prohibit others from making their own choices. In reality, unless you are intimately involved with that person’s life, it will not affect you. And even if you are close to the person, you should respect their autonomy. People should have the right to choose, and whatever choice you make, make sure it is what is right for you.