As most of us know, my home state of Texas has passed Senate Bill 8, the heartbeat bill that denies women the right to an abortion at six weeks. The bill makes no exceptions for rape, incest, or terminal pregnancies. Therefore, for medical reasons, women who are given the awful news that their baby has a low chance of getting out of birth alive have no choice whether to go through that process or not. I want to emphasize choice because it is misconstrued all the time, and I don’t think there will ever be a time where it won’t be because people have their personal opinions, and that is their right. Nonetheless, I persist in talking about what it means to be pro-choice in hopes that I can create an understanding that helps people realize we can all be pro-choice.
Growing up in Texas, the idea of being a pro-choice person was not introduced to me decently. When I was in fourth grade, it was 2008 and the presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain was in full swing. For some reason, the kids in my class loved to talk about who their parents were supportive of. I remember very vividly a classmate told the table Obama kills babies. My teacher didn’t refute what the classmate said, and I ran home to my mom, who told me the kid didn’t know what they were talking about. I wouldn’t find out until years later what all of that meant. I understood at thirteen that Obama was called a baby killer because he is pro-choice, and I found myself pro-choice. Personally, all it took was for me to decide how horrible it would be to endure pregnancy after rape.
Into my twenty-somethings, I remain staunchly pro-choice for many reasons. I do not understand why pro-life is only limited to a fetus that cannot breathe outside the womb. Why am I not pro-life? Because I believe that there should be more support for children brought up in poverty? Or that children should receive adequate healthcare, education, and shelter? Why is it not pro-life to be anti-war? Why is it so fixed on a women’s decision of what she thinks is best for her body and state of mind?
Some people are pro-life for religious reasons, such as being Christian, and my intentions are not to drag religion or Christianity at all. I was raised in a Christian household. My mother is Christian and staunchly pro-choice. We are pro-choice because we believe in the separation of church and state. Additionally, we recognize that abortion is something no woman would ever go through if she did not have to. Some women strongly believe that is the best decision for their life. Additionally, some women will decide that not getting an abortion is the best decision for themselves, and that is how it should be. When we deny women the right over their bodies, we deny them the right to be individuals.
Many Texans are marching at the capitol on October second. I encourage people all over who have an organization near them to join. Be safe and keep speaking out!