I have a confession that may shock my fellow liberals: I am pro-life. I never want a woman to be in a situation where she chooses to terminate her pregnancy. However, I am also pro-choice. Although we have been taught these two terms are mutually exclusive, in reality, they exist simultaneously. I don’t want women to have abortions. A choice like that takes an extreme emotional toll, and I never want my sisters, my friends, my cousins, or myself to have to go through that. But, I want them to have that choice. I believe, the conversation surrounding abortion has developed this toxic misnomer of “pro-life,” when the real debate is between those who are pro-choice and those who are anti-choice. All women should have the right to choose, whether your personal views agree with abortion or not.
Anti-choice advocates fighting to make abortions illegal would not suppress the demand for this procedure, thus leading to women pursuing dangerous abortion methods. OB/GYN Daniel R. Mishell states that prior to abortions being legalized, women would frequently try to induce abortions by using coat hangers, knitting needles, or radiator flush. According to the World Health Organization, unsafe abortions cause 68,000 maternal deaths worldwide each year, many of which are in developing countries where safe and legal abortions are difficult to access. Those who advocate for “pro-life” should want to preserve all lives and seek an end to this overwhelming number of maternal deaths due to unsafe procedures.
Women deserve to have access to unrestricted, safe abortions. So, the next time you catch yourself saying “pro-life,” consider what that really means.