April 28th, 2004

planet

pro-choice

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18493

Interesting article about situations that arise when we start considering a fetus a human being.

When a fetus is the same as a baby, we think of it as a baby. It's innocent, for one thing, and deserves more pity than the woman carrying it. It's also a child in the eyes of the law: it needs our protection. If a child is in danger, the law comes in and removes it from that danger. We don't force kids to save themselves from abuse or neglect. When a fetus is a child, we'll might have to save some of them too, which means more and more forced c-sections, and pushing women to put their own health aside in the interest of the fetus.

When I was first a feminist I didn't understand why abortion was such a huge issue. I mean, it's so tricky to figure it out, there are so many questions, it's so devisive. I've come to learn that it's more the anti-choice movement that's devisive. As women, we know that abortion is a terrible thing to have to go through. I had a friend in college who had one, the decision wasn't easy, and she never, ever felt good about it. We'd all rather give women real alternatives: health care, paid leave, birth control education and access, acceptance by a society that's ready to call an unmarried pregnant woman a whore. Then there'd be less abortions. We don't like abortion. Having a child under the right circumstances is one of the greatest things that can happen in a woman's life. But by making these other, more sociological tactics of decreasing abortion rates the priority, we're called "pro-abortion". We don't think jailtime is the solution, so we're fetus killers. We don't think women should be criminalized, so we're murderers.

We value women as people. When a fetus inside a woman is more important than she is, she's valued beneath that fetus. We are no longer people on the same level as other people. We are only as important as our reproductive system. We are subject to every question. Our health is put in jeopardy the second we become pregnant. Trying to have a baby is no longer a joy, it's an obligation, and if something goes wrong you could be taken to jail. Imagine being on trial for a miscarriage.

Yes, I skipped the march for women's lives last weekend. Watched it on C-SPAN. I attended an art benefit for abuse victims, so I think I did my service to The Cause, but I still felt bad about missing the march. I've come to realize through the years why reproductive freedom is so incredibly important to women. So many things in our lives are influence by whether or not we have children. We've got to be able to make the choice.

And if you're pro-life, you can still be pro-choice, you can still be with us, pro-woman, anti-abortion. We all are. Just don't write the laws to make abortion illegal. Don't be anti-choice. Please.