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Pro-choice versus anti-choice

There is a fundamental error in considering pro-life and pro-choice as diametrically opposed. They simply cannot be each other’s antithesis since pro-choice allows for a woman to choose to keep her child. There is nothing in the pro-choice movement that says you cannot keep your unborn child, it simply allows for you to have access to a safe abortion if you need it. 

Therefore a better way to consider this argument is to label it as pro-choice versus anti-choice, though a campaign like pro-life that is trying to gain a following wouldn’t have as much popularity if it overtly tells people it is limiting other’s freedoms. Because goodness knows in America we take people’s freedoms very seriously, just look at the Second Amendment. God forbid we try to restrict that. 

The pro-life movement should be—and will be for the rest of this article—referred to as anti-choice. The anti-choice movement operates on the assumption that life comes from being born. Being born does not constitute a life, life is so much more than taking your first breath. It’s about having a roof over your head, food in your mouth and an education. A true pro-life movement would consider the totality of the situation that individuals and families are in. 

True pro-life would consider a mother with three children who could not afford to feed another. True Pro-life would consider the young girl who was just raped while walking home at night. True Pro-life would consider the statistics that a child put into the foster care system has a higher chance of experiencing homelessness

The foster care system in the United States is notorious for underserving the population that needs it the most. Its reputation precedes itself, and by removing access to abortion it will simply place a heavier burden on an already-failing system. You cannot get rid of a person’s right to abort a pregnancy when there isn’t a thriving system in place that can care for children when their biological parent(s) can’t. Where do you think children will go if the parent did not want to see the pregnancy through in the first place?

If it were truly a pro-life movement, the anti-choice campaign would also support the betterment of the foster care system, greater access to food stamps for those in need and improved access to housing and schooling suitable for young children. You can’t strip a person of their right to not give birth when you don’t consider the factors after birth. 

And why do we care so much about children in the womb and suddenly forget about them when they’re of school age? We will let any person walk in with a gun and slaughter children and yet we’re still pro-life? 

Life is a beautiful thing, but I say this as a person who has never had to want for anything. I recognize my privilege, I know my family could support having four children. I also know, however, that that is simply not the case for every individual family. Life can be ugly and challenging and brutal. Why would you ever want to bring a sweet and innocent little one into such an ugly world? 

Therefore I think it is the greatest act of love for a parental figure to have to admit that they are not fit to bring a child into this world. If you know that your child will have to struggle and you come to the decision that having an abortion would be better, why should anyone stop you? 

We have just barely touched the surface of how limiting a person’s choice can affect the life of the being already walking this earth. Being anti-choice does not consider the life of the individual who will bear the child. How can a so-called “pro-life” movement support a decision which does not consider the life already being lived? 

Anti-choice does not consider the student who cannot take care of a child full time with classes and will now be forced to drop out in order to raise the child. Anti-choice does not consider the person who was raped and now has to share custody with their assailant over a child they did not want to keep. 

This is not to say that every situation in which a parent decides to keep their child will end horrifically. But, there is no guarantee that every child brought into this world against their parents’ will will have access to a good and happy life. 

It should be no one else’s choice, aside from the individual caring for the child, to decide whether they will keep the baby or not. They know themselves, they know their situation and they will know whether they are fit to bring a child into this world. If they believe they are unfit whyever would you want them to? 

Oh and how could I forget the life of the individual carrying the baby that can be put at risk. There are medical abortions that are sometimes required when the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s life. While not all states are banning medical abortions, they are no longer inherently protected in the US. How are we pro-life if we are letting a woman die in order to bring a child into this world? Or did you forget that she too is someone’s child? Ah yes, that’s right, because a woman’s value is not important if she cannot carry to term a living, breathing child and what is she worth if she cannot bear children? That’s what we are being raised to believe, that our worth as women comes from our ability to produce children. 

I am pro- the life of the woman who does not want to keep her child. I am pro- the life of the individual who cannot give birth to their rapist’s child. I am pro- the life of the couple who decides they want to keep their baby but don’t have it all figured out yet. I am pro- letting a person choose the course of their life and not having it be controlled by someone they have not even met. 

But at the end of the day, it does not matter what I say. I will say what generations of women have said before me and it will not matter. Because today I know my sisters throughout this country will struggle when trying to access safe abortions. I know that some will die trying to get an abortion. I know that there will be a child born into a home that cannot support them. I think of the women who will have a re-found fear of the dark and think twice about wearing a short skirt to a club. Because there is a new risk, a life-long risk that will be thrust upon them without their choice.

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