I hate that with so many social issues in politics there’s no way of compromising between the different viewpoints.
Take abortion for example. Yes, a lot of pro-lifers are misogynistic, have no idea of how women’s bodies work, and consider themselves “pro-life” in a thinly veiled attempt to keep women subservient and shame them for having sex. But there are some genuinely pro-life individuals, some of whom aren’t even religious, who genuinely believe that a pregnancy is a life that holds just as much value as people who have already been born. There are some people who truly, truly believe that a fetus/embryo/zygote being aborted is equivalent to shooting a toddler. And there’s no compromising or changing their minds. It’s not like economic issues where politicians can haggle over numbers and come to a semi-mutually agreeable number for taxes, for instance. Pro-life and pro-choice can never be on the same page because they essentially have arguments supporting their stance in completely different books. The pro-choice argument essentially doesn’t take into consideration the stance of “this pregnancy is a life that you can’t take much like you can’t shoot a toddler.” The pro-choice argument is that a woman should be able to decide what she does with her body, and that includes deciding whether or not to continue with a pregnancy. When you put the sides against each other they don’t really make sense. Pro-lifers call pro-choicers “anti-life” or “pro-abortion.” Pro-choicers call pro-lifers “anti-choice.” Interestingly (ironically?) both sides call the other “anti-women.” Is there any room for them to get along?
I think it depends on each individual person, because I guarantee there are not two people in the world with the exact same views on abortion and what they think should be legal.
Some pro-lifers, while their intentions may be good, have a poor understanding of some or many aspects of human and female anatomy and the basic workings of pregnancy. Some underestimate the toll pregnancy takes on a woman’s body, the accuracy of contraception, the desire of some women to never have children, and the horrible burden it puts on women when they advocate for not allowing them to plan their own families.
The pro-choice community often tries to steer the conversation away from abortion anyway and try to soften their views, which I think is horribly unfortunate. You can see this in people talking about what a great organization Planned Parenthood is, while at the same time diminishing the abortion services it provides. “Only 3% of PP’s activities is abortion and yet those whakcos still hate PP, jeez,” or “well we should really be trying to reduce the number of abortions by making contraception more easily accessible,” or even “I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion. I don’t think anyone is pro-abortion. Women who have abortions make such a painful decision and no one actually wants one, sometimes it’s just a necessity.”
I think all those arguments and downplaying of abortion is a bunch of bullshit. I consider myself pro-choice but also pro-abortion. Abortion is a hard-earned right that women have, and it should not be hush-hush and we should not be ashamed to talk about it. If I were to summarize my beliefs on abortion in a nutshell, it would be in two words: Contraception Fails. Yes, we can do whatever we can to attempt to prevent pregnancy through contraception. But, contraception can fail. It is not 100% reliable. If a woman does not want to become pregnant, she should not have to be pregnant and should not be forced to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth. Humans having sex is a normal, healthy activity and it should be no one’s business but the people doing it. No adult or teenager with a same-age partner should ever be shamed for having consensual sex. Yes, sex can result in pregnancy but women have every right to decide if they wish to continue the pregnancy or not. Why? Because CONTRACEPTION FAILS.
Another of my favorite sayings is: “adoption is an alternative to parenting, not to pregnancy.” In other words, the options a woman has when she is pregnant are not: keeping the baby, adoption, or abortion. The choices are: continuing the pregnancy, or not continuing the pregnancy. Only if she chooses continuing the pregnancy does she then have the choice of: parenting or adoption. This is something the pro-life community doesn’t understand. A woman may agree with adoption in theory but decide against pregnancy for her situation.
To put this in perspective, not that it matters to me, but to show the pro-life community things they don’t understand and to tell my personal story: I am a married mid-20’s childfree woman. I do not ever want to have children; biological, adopted, or step. I never want to give birth or engage in any parenting activities. I would like to be sterilized by the age of 30. However, most doctors will not sterilize women below the age of 30 or even 35, especially if the woman in question has never had any children. There is no way of really getting around this. If a doctor will not sterilize you, that’s that, you must remain fertile. But that’s a discussion for another time.
So, until I can be sterilized, my husband and I must use contraception so that we don’t fall pregnant. We do whatever we can to not become pregnant. However, as I have stated, contraception fails and is not 100% reliable. You can bet your ass if I become pregnant I will get an abortion faster than you can say “Mike Pence.” Why? Because I don’t want to be pregnant or have a child! It’s my decision! I become physically ill when imagining myself pregnant with a little parasite inside me. Giving birth is in fact more dangerous to a woman’s life than getting an abortion. Pregnancy causes permanent, gross changes to a woman’s body that I want no part of. What would the alternative be, according to the pro-life community? I shouldn’t have sex with my husband? Ok, no. I should just get sterilized? Well, I want to, but as stated above, no one will sterilize a mid-20’s childless(free) woman. Do they not understand how ridiculous they sound? It’s equally ridiculous to any woman no matter their situation. Who are they to tell a woman not to have consensual sex with any partner or partners of her choosing whenever she wants? Who are they to tell a woman that she can’t decide when the right time to have children is for her own situation? Pro-lifers are the truly out of touch ones here. And the pro-choice community that tries to diminish abortion does the whole community a disservice by not acknowledging women who are not just pro-choice but also pro-abortion.
And if I ever had to get an abortion, it would not be a “painful” or “difficult” or “agonizing” decision. It would be a happy and joyous occasion. I might even have a party for it. It would be a relief to me, to not be forced to continue a pregnancy. The only agonizing part, for me, would be the 24-hour waiting period and ultrasound. And I’m sure I’m not the only woman who feels this way.