Why Being Pro Choice Doesn't Make Me Pro Abortion

In 1973, Roe v Wade changed the history of women’s rights forever. A single, pregnant woman (Roe) challenged the constitutionality of the law that criminalized abortion, unless it was done for medical reasons (where the life of the mother is put at risk). The decision of three judges in Texas, in favor of Roe’s petition, made it possible for women to choose to terminate pregnancies, without the consent of a medical doctor.  Controversy hasn’t stopped ever since; many states have done their part in trying to limit this right, but what resulted out of these deliberations was the beginning of an era where women could actually choose whether they wanted to become mothers or not, rather than finding themselves in the obligation to do so. 

 

Forty-three years later, abortion remains a taboo. A debate persist on whether respecting women’s right to choose translates into diminishing an unborn child's life. The issue is merely moral, as science has long-settled on the terms of what life means. In theory, the cells that make conception possible are already alive. All cells are alive, so under this simple, factual definition, cancer is also alive. However, a fetus is not viable outside the womb until the third trimester of pregnancy, therefore, an abortion within legal terms is not the murder of a child, but rather the hindering of the possible viability of a fetus. As a woman raised within traditional values, the idea of abortion felt like an abomination. Yet, as I understood the complexity of the situation, I concluded that, being pro choice doesn’t make me pro abortion. 

The first thing that hit me about this issue was the fact that we condemn abortion, yet our national laws are pro guns, pro wars, pro death penalty, and pro everything else that by nature goes against preserving human life. Isn't it convenient our definition of 'respecting human life'? But the double standard goes beyond. We sex-shame women by referring to their unwanted pregnancies as a sign of irresponsibility (as if a woman could get pregnant on her own), yet vote against any efforts to improve sexual education at school or to ease teenagers with access to contraceptive methods.

 

Here are some possible scenarios to consider: What about women who are brutally raped and get pregnant, should we punish them by forcing them to give birth to the child of their rapist?  What about the children who are ill since before they are born and are unchangeably condemned to die within days or weeks after birth, shouldn’t we spare them the pain? What if, simply, you want your child to have the best life possible and you are unable to do so at the very moment you get pregnant, does it make you selfish? Does it makes you a monster? 

Having a child is about the most important decision of your entire life. It is a legacy you leave to the world, a piece of yourself that remains, even after you are gone. Being a parent is the most important job you would ever do, and its success of failure may change the fate of humanity, forever. A kid is a sacred bond that will unite you with the other half of its chromosomes for life, whether you like them or not. A child is by far, the most beautiful masterpiece you will ever create. Shouldn’t it have every opportunity in the world to become the best it could possibly be?

 

It was then, when I discovered that, being pro choice, doesn’t mean I am pro abortions. It simply means understanding how important a child really is. Bringing a life into the world shouldn’t be taken lightly; and as much as I would love to offer women with unwanted pregnancies a practical, viable alternative for each of their situations, there is not one in every case. Sometimes, abortion may be the way to go, and I believe that nobody is more capable of determining that than the woman carrying the child. In an ideal world, every children that is brought into the foster system will find a lovable home. Also, every women who finds herself unsuitable to raise a child will find enough support to do so right. Even so, women would not be raped and get pregnant out of it, neither babies would be born with incurable, painful diseases. But the world as it is, is not perfect. Sometimes, you have to make hard choices for the right reasons and, in the end, it might be for the best. 

If we really want to help the issue, let’s promote a healthy, early sexual education. Let’s make contraceptive care for women a right, rather than a luxury that not everyone can afford. If we really believe in human rights, let’s educate against misogyny, against rape, let’s raise our boys to treat women with respect, to understand that 'no' means 'no,' and that being a parent is also their responsibility. Until we live in an ideal world, until generations change, and begin to think of women as humans rather than incubators, abortion will still be an issue to address. 

 

I am not pro abortion, I am pro choice. I know many women who choose to keep their unwanted pregnancy and it turns out to be wonderful, but this might not always be the case. Either way the decision goes, it should be equally respected and supported; that is what being pro choice means. I have never been pregnant, and I can’t predict how I would react if one of these scenarios happened to me, neither can say that I would or would not abort. Yet, I would really like to have the choice to do so. It is my wish that if I ever become a mother, I can look at my kid into the eye and tell him or her how much I wanted it, how I chose it even before it was born, how I was always sure. I believe that every children has the right to feel loved and wanted, and shouldn’t ever think of itself as a burden or a mistake. That is why every women should have the right to choose, to be the best mother she possibly can; or simply don’t.