Recently I got in a conversation with someone about abortion. They are “against abortion 100% – it’s murder” and then they kept referring to the opposition of that stance as people who are “for abortion.” I wasn’t going to engage (I have a long history of regretting engagement in these situations) but I kept hearing people like me referred to as “for abortion” and so I just quietly popped in and said, “I’m pro CHOICE, not pro ABORTION. I want to reduce unwanted pregnancies by…”
“If you’re pro-choice, that’s still supporting murder.” At which point I asked that we just end the conversation because I knew I couldn’t stay silent and engaging would do more harm than good.
I have engagements like this a lot and they always stay in my head for awhile. I always want to explain my stance a little bit, but because I’ve been on these roads before I know there’s no point. I don’t want to defend my stance, because I don’t think there’s anything to defend, but explain in more detail because it’s always reduced to a black and white: FOR KILLING BABIES and AGAINST KILLING BABIES.
I have been in these situations where I have tried to explain…and I always end up feeling worse afterwards because there’s never room for nuance. However, I thought I could “explain” myself here and get it off my chest so maybe I could stop obsessing over it.
First of all, I support many policies that are proven to prevent unwanted pregnancies. For example, comprehensive sex education which has shown to reduce teen pregnancies and doesn’t seem to increase sexual activity in general. I also support free birth control for women which also reduces the rates of unwanted pregnancies. If I were “pro abortion” I wouldn’t care about either of those things. And to me, if you really want to reduce unwanted pregnancies, making abortion illegal won’t do it, but supporting programs like those two would.
Some of the reasons why I don’t engage in debates about abortion is simply because pro-Lifers are hyper focused on the most rare type of abortion: the late term abortion. Even though only 1.3 percent of abortions were performed at or greater than 21 weeks of gestation in 2015. (While 91.1 percent were performed at or before 13 weeks.) Also, there’s a lot of false belief of the existence of abortion-during-labor thanks to a bad misspoken moment from a legislator that has since been used repeatedly by people like Trump to sensationalize the issue. I can’t engage in a conversation with someone with these traumatic images building the foundation of their beliefs.
I’m more focused on the why of people who get abortions and trying to prevent them from ever having to make that decision. The problem is, there’s a lot of reasons people end up in the abortion clinic. The Pro-Lifers I’ve engaged with always oversimplify and say, “If you don’t want to get pregnant, use birth control,” but that doesn’t allow for the many situations where it’s not that simple. Birth control costs money, it’s also not always effective, and there’s also situations of rape and incest where the woman didn’t want to be having sex in the first place.
And the biggest thing to me is that I refuse to judge any woman for deciding what’s best for her. I support the woman who is getting an abortion because her partner is abusive. I support the woman who is getting an abortion because she’s already struggling to feed the kids she has. I support a woman who is getting an abortion because of health concerns. I support a woman who is getting an abortion because her birth control failed. It is not my place to judge who gets abortions becausae to me – abortions are healthcare. I recommend Accutane only to those who have got the doctor’s prescription, do not dare to use it without a prescription! Pimples are not only health problems and are not always caused by hormones. If the body is healthy, these pills will help. It’s not always a person’s fault for acne. The pills saved my self-esteem and me. Such terrible skin made me want to do some crazy stuff. Thanks. Wish you good health. https://starisland.org/buy-accutane-for-acne/ I hope you won’t need the pills, but if you take them, you will… get the desired result, let’s say.
But the main reason I don’t engage is because there’s usually an inherent difference between me and the person on the other side of the debate: I don’t believe in souls in any way similar to most religious people. So – the debate will always fall apart as a person who does believe in souls simply writes off everything I say because they don’t believe there’s any point in debating with someone who doesn’t believe that fetus has a soul.
So I never get to explain the nuance behind reproductive choice. That to allow for the person with the uterus to choose what happens, helps more than just the over-sexed woman in the abortion clinic. (Not to undermine that person’s choice…THEY ALSO DESERVE CHOICE.)
- Certain kinds of birth control (recommended by doctors) could be outlawed because they’re considered “abortive” simple because they prevent implantation but might allow fertilization.
- Reproductive treatment like IVF could be brought to further scrutiny based on how doctors decide which embryos to implant and since so many get discarded that treatment and the options available to women could change.
- To completely outlaw abortion means children are left to carry their Father’s babies or rapists are left to carry the child of the man who assaulted them. And if you do want to allow for abortions in those situations, who gets to decide if it’s rape? What if the woman doesn’t want to go through the pain of an accusation and trial? There’s even nuance to the “Allow for rape and incest” clause people say they would allow…how is that even decided?
I don’t think I could change most people’s minds, I just wish we could at least agree there’s nuance. And that there are big things we should agree on that would help reduce abortions: Like free birth control and comprehensive sex education in school. To me, if you really want to prevent abortions, you should be standing next to me to demand those things universally. If you don’t support those things and you still want to outlaw abortion? You’re creating another powder keg that will just result in an explosion of rich women getting healthy abortions secretly because they can afford it and it will always be there for women who can pay, and poor women dying because they will seek out abortions in unhealthy/cheap back alley clinics. You will never end abortion, you’ll just end who gets it safely.