Monday, April 11, 2011

Pro-Life or Anti-Freedom?

Today on my campus, there was a huge anti-choice display. We're talking a 20ft tall, 30ft long, big disgusting display of what they would like to tell you abortion looks like, and how it is not humane. This thing was right in the middle of campus, in a place where you could not avoid it, at all. There was a sign that said "warning: graphic pictures ahead" which most people saw AFTER seeing the actual display. The thing took up the entire grassy area where people normally relax during their day, especially on such a beautiful sunny day such as today. I am disgusted.

Beyond my opinions about their opinion, I find this display highly inappropriate. I get free speech, but people have the right to not listen to the bullshit you have the right to spout. No one could avoid this display, it was as big as a ride at an amusement park.

And the thing that really pisses me off is that they say that they're doing this for the women. They're saving the women from the emotional trauma of having an abortion, because women can't be trusted to appropriately deal with the consequences of their choices. Especially the emotional consequences. They need to be protected from the consequences of freedom, so let's take their rights away. (I call bullshit)

What about the women who have had an abortion? How is this disgusting display protecting them from further emotional trauma. Or how about the emotional trauma of having to go through a pregnancy you do not want, and having a child you do not want? What about the emotional trauma the child will go through when they grow up knowing they were not wanted, either because the mother makes it clear or they are adopted. What about that?

It's not like abortion is an easy decision or process. I've been there, I know.

When I was fifteen, I found out I was pregnant with the potential child of the man who was abusing me. Of course I had an abortion, it was my only choice. If I were to tell him, he would have beaten me, blamed me for getting pregnant, for not being on birth control, whatever. I would have probably lost the baby anyways.

And then there was the whole issue of telling my parents. "hey mom and dad, you know how I'm not allowed to date and I'm supposed to wait until I'm married to have sex... well, I'm pregnant." This was not going to happen, I would have been kicked out.

Add the fact that I was totally fucked up on drugs to the whole equation and abortion was the right choice for me to make. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. It was also the best decision I've ever made. For me and the potential life that then inhabited my uterus.

Regardless of that, it was not a fun process, and I would do almost anything to never have to go through it again. It was physically painful, really dangerous (because I couldn't go to a decent clinic without telling my parents), really expensive, and emotionally traumatic. And seeing those signs on campus today was a lot more than I could handle.

What I think they should do, if they really care about women, is to put all that money and energy into education. Fund some comprehensive sex-education programs that teach about protection (barrier and hormonal), sexuality, peer pressure, interpersonal violence, and how to say no until you're ready. Keeping in mind that kids will have sex, it's fun, we were built for it, and abstinence is not the only option. To think otherwise is unrealistic.

Of course, these organizations do not really care about women, or fetuses. They care about keeping women from having rights. They always have, always will. That's why we need to continue fighting for reproductive freedom. It's not just about the right to an abortion, it's about the right to do what you will with your body. From sexual activity to sexual reassignment surgery, it all comes down to freedom of choice. If they take one right away, what else will they take?

1 comment:

  1. In response to:
    "Of course, these organizations do not really care about women, or fetuses. They care about keeping women from having rights. They always have, always will. That's why we need to continue fighting for reproductive freedom."

    While I am whole-heartedly pro-choice, I can sympathize with pro-life groups and I am pretty sure that their aim is not to "keep women from having rights." I don't think a bunch of pro-lifers stood around and said "well we need to squah womens' rights today so let's put up a huge,horrible poster at auraria."

    I think they A) really think that abortion is murder and B) are trying to do something about it. I mean if murder was imminent for anyone wouldn't you try to stop it if you could?

    The abortion debate is tricky because there are people fighting for what they believe is morally right on both sides. While for you personally, abortion may have been the right choice, I think in a broader sense the issue is not so black and white.