Short reflections on pro-choice statements with simple responses (a non-exhaustive list).
"It's not a baby until it's born."
Scientists tell us that human life begins at fertilization. If the concept of 'nothingness until birth' were true, it should apply to all babies, not just to the unplanned/unwanted. However, during "wanted" pregnancies, no doctors or nurses are telling their patients: "what you are carrying is not a baby". If they were, parents would be outraged. And why does the government bother to publish pregnancy dos and don'ts with warnings about what is harmful to the unborn baby?
"Forced pregnancy is a violation of human rights."
Of course and so is forced abortion. But when pro-life volunteers talk to a woman about alternatives to abortion, pregnancy has already begun and they are not responsible for fathering the child. Pro-life options are proposed and never imposed. Women are free to have their abortion but if they are unsure or pressured to abort, we want to let them know that help is available and that they have choices.
"Don't like abortion? Don't have one!"
This sarcastic statement misrepresents the tragic circumstances that lead women to abortion, the gruesome procedures and post abortion physical and mental issues. I will never tell a pro-choice person: "You like abortion? Go get one!" It would be absurd and assuming that the issue is taken lightly. Besides, who likes abortion?
"It's part of the woman's body & My Body, my Choice."
Firstly, science makes it clear that there are two distinct DNA and bodies involved in a pregnancy (see fertilization). Secondly, making an informed choice implies that women are told about their baby's developmental stage, all of the other options, what the abortion procedure actually does and the possible physical and psychological consequences. Women should also be free from all forms of coercion. The heated debate about ultrasound laws, research presented on the Unchoice website and Silent No More Awareness Campaign testimonies suggest otherwise.
"You are shaming women."
Paying somebody to destroy one's baby before birth is not psychologically neutral, even for the religion-free/dogma-free person. Women are not stupid and we shouldn't underestimate their ability to feel, reflect on their actions and see abortion for what it is.
"You want to put women in jail."
There will always be those who are using abortion to make money or to serve the eugenics agenda. These are the people who should be jailed, were abortion outlawed and were they to continue to take advantage of women and unborn babies illegally.
Secondly, making an informed choice implies that women are told about their baby's developmental stage, all of the other options, what the abortion procedure actually does and the possible physical and psychological consequences.
"You love fetuses but you don't care about born people."
Some of us are adoptive families; others are supporting women through crisis pregnancy centers (see Birthright), homes for unwed mothers and other programs including post abortion care (see Rachel's Vineyard Retreat). We value all human life, born and unborn, healthy and sick, young and old, even the lives of those who disagree with us. In the event of serious illness, would you prefer to be treated by a physician who values human life or by one who thinks that some lives are not worth living?
"Anti-choicers are violent."
In October 2012, Sean Kedzie was violently attacked by two Obama/Biden supporters over a Romney/Ryan yard sign. However, no one is suggesting that the actions of these individuals represent all Obama voters or the Democratic Party. Likewise, a few individuals do not represent the pro-life movement. We denounce abortion as the violent taking of a life, detrimental to women and we promote peaceful activism (see 40 Days For Life).
"Pro-lifers are pro-guns/pro-death penalty religious nuts who want to push their religion on others."
We are a diverse movement, much like the pro-choice movement. Pro-abortion activist Sunsara Taylor is anti-pornography and the organization "Clergy for Choice" is a group of pro-abortion religious. But it doesn't mean that all pro-choicers are religious and opposed to pornography. Likewise, there is no "one size-fits all" pro-lifer (see The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, Pro-Life Pagans, Secular Pro-Life and Pro-Life Socialists).
Beatrice Fedor. "On pro-choice statements." 400 Words for Women (October 26, 2012).
Reprinted with permission from the author. Beatrice Fedor blogs at 400 Words for Women — Short, simple reflections on womanhood.
I was born in France in 1975 and moved to South Carolina in 2005 to marry my American fiance. I was raised a non-believing Catholic and lived as a spiritual atheist for 20 years. Liberal feminism and humanism were my philosophies of life and I have served as a labor union group leader. Despite my commitment to those ideals, the scars of my abortions have moved me to research and embrace fully my original faith. In France I taught a creative writing class and authored an unpublished book of poetry. Always a writer and an activist, I am today a Pro-Woman, Pro-Life advocate engaged in peaceful activism. In 400 words or less, I am sharing my reflections on the journey through womanhood and faith. Contact Beatrice Fedor here.Copyright © 2012 Beatrice Fedor
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