Are You Truly Pro-Choice?!
The vast majority of the women I know can clearly articulate their rationale for their pro-choice abortion stance.
These women can easily and clearly articulate how difficult the decision to abort can be, whether it’s for health reasons of either the mother or fetus, financial reasons, being unprepared, unwilling, or unable to be a parent. I love the clarity of these conversations. I love the conviction that is quite evident in them. These women have stewed over their perspectives and have accepted the sober realities of what might become a choice they make some day (if not already).
I also know women who have made the difficult choice to have abortions. These women are clear on their rationale, even in the midst of pain. I’ve had friends who’ve chosen abortion because the baby had so many birth defects that it would have lived a very painful life for only a short while (assuming the body didn’t experience a miscarriage). I’ve known women whose own health would’ve been in jeopardy had they chosen to carry to term. Moreover, I’ve known girls who were raped on prom night and decided that they’d rather did not want to become 17 year old moms. I’ve even had friends who were raped via stealthing and chose abortion because despite being responsible in their actions to avoid pregnancy, a jerk had robbed them of their right to choose unprotected or protected sex. Finally, I know women who had to make painful financial decisions: “I am already struggling with the kids I have, I cannot handle another one”.
All of these women share one thing in common: they are NOT begging for anybody’s forgiveness or permission for making the decision that they made.
One of these women told me that she thinks about her aborted baby every year on its due date. Even when she shared this, she was NOT asking anything of me, not even my opinion. She was simply sharing how she manages a painful chapter in her life. She, like the others, is 100% clear that they made the best decision for themselves. Even if they wish that they felt like they had other options, they are clear that they made the best decision at that time. More than anything, they stand flat footed and own their choice. They know that there was no ideal situation for them at that time in their lives. They also know that there will always be people who think they sinned or made a bad decision.
In some instances, they know that the men they were involved with didn’t approve of their decision.
These women know that they risk debate every single time they decide to share their story. They know that there will be people who will NOT even attempt to empathize with them. Some won’t even exercise their right to keep their mouths closed about a decision someone else made that won’t have an effect on them. Nevertheless, these women shake the dust of their judgers off their feet and stay focused on living their best lives in each new day.
I honor the temerity of these women to make the decisions they need to make and let the chips of other people’s opinions fall where they may.
But this is what baffles my mind: these same women struggle, whether they are clear on their rationale or who have made that particular decision, to put clear boundaries in place in those areas and with those people who steal their joy, undermine their peace, or keep asking for more and more and more. It’s like they believe they have the right to choose in terms of their bodies, but not their emotions, time, money, or ability to say no.
They live under the cloud of duty that they once intentionally chose to escape.
What’s up with that?