Friday, January 22, 2010
Blogging for Choice: Trust Women
Today is the 37th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision allowing, for the first time, for safe and legal abortions all across the country. It allowed a woman to choose for herself whether to carry her pregnancy to term. The Court said, in essence, that it trusted women to control their own bodies.
I know there are millions of people who passionately believe that life begins at the moment of conception, that all abortion is murder and that abortion is immoral and goes against God's plan, and they are 100% anti-abortion in any circumstances. That's okay. Not to sound glib, but to them, I say, don't get an abortion. And it is my sincerest wish that none of those people are ever in a situation where they are faced with a decision to terminate a pregnancy for any reason.
But please trust me to know what's right for my life and my body. Please trust that I make judicious, thoughtful decisions. That I KNOW what an abortion is. That I've explored all the options. That I do not need to be condescended to by being forced into having an ultrasound prior to exercising control over my body or have a waiting period because I haven't agonized enough already.
What I know for sure is that there are many circumstances in life where being pregnant is an unduly burdensome physical health or mental health risk for the woman. What I know for sure is that not all babies are conceived out of love. Not all men are happy to discover they have helped create a child and they strike out against women either physically, verbally, or both. Rape happens. Incest happens. And even though we don't like to talk about these things and many women are afraid to ever admit they are survivors of either rape or incest or domestic violence, they happen all too often.
I've never had an abortion, but I know many women who have. These women are thoughtful women who did not make the decision to terminate a pregnancy in haste or without agonizing over it. They made their decision with the full awareness of what they were doing and why they were doing it. Their individual reasons are not important. What's important is that the decision they agonized over was ultimately right for them.
My personal belief is that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. That's right, rare. I am pro-choice, not because I think abortion is great, but because I trust women to make prudent and carefully considered decisions on what is right for their lives and because I don't pretend to know all that goes into any decision to terminate a pregnancy.
Because I trust women, I am pro-choice.