My stance on abortion: love is the reason I am pro-choice. I am pro-choice because I believe in life.
Here’s how I see it, as a person who has survived two suicide attempts, sexual abuse, abuse, two near death experiences, depression, poverty, homophobia, bullying, being transgender, and having an eating disorder:
I value my life as a process over time. To me, life is meaningful in that I can interact with the world, discover new things, learn new ideas, and contribute to the continuum of human existence. I believe that life is meaningful in that I can love others and be loved in return. I see life as meaningful in that my existence has and will continue to influence and change the lives of other people. Most of all, I see meaningful life as more than just eating and breathing. I believe in the QUALITY of life, not in life as just existing. If we cannot learn and love and decide, then there is absolutely nothing which separates us from animals.
I am a person who has been at the edge of life and death, who has experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I can tell you that living is much more than simply being. This is why I believe that if you are pro-life, then you devalue all of human life as a whole. This is why I believe that if you are pro-life, you devalue women especially. This is why, if you compare abortion to “murder”, you are insulting each and every one of the now living, now breathing and loving human beings on this earth. This is why, if you compare abortion to genocide, or slavery, you are insulting literally generations of people who have experienced genocide or slavery. You are basically stepping on the decades and centuries of suffering and experience of Holocaust survivors, of black woman slaves who were repeatedly raped and had their children taken from them, of people who have died in war or who have been murdered, and of people who die to police brutality protesting dictatorships in the Middle East. The problem is that the “murder” analogy reduces our infinitely complex and incredible existences to the same value as a cluster of cells.
To those of you who say that uterus-bearers can just give up their children— do you only see people as wombs or something? There is literally no legal precedent in which a person’s right to their body can be shunted in favor of saving a “life”, even a real one. The government cannot march into your home, demand one of your kidneys, and walk back out. This right to your body is so strong that no judge or law in the world can override it even when you are dead; you have to consent to being an organ donor it beforehand. If people are suddenly required to take all pregnancies to term, then I demand that every person be registered in a compulsory organ donor database, for immediate harvest on demand.
The fact is, too, that there are millions of children out there who are already not being taken care of. I’ve heard the bullshit adoption argument before, and the fact is that no one is even taking care of the children we already have. Those children are here, right now, and they need someone. Maybe if you stopped wasting time and money protesting abortion, maybe if you stopped wasting resources on fake clinics, you could actually take care of a few of them.
Also, that the majority of these parent-less children are poor or minorities tells me that there is an inherent racism and classism going on here. That many children in foster homes end up sexually abused or abused also tells me that we are simply not capable of handling any more people, and yes, that not everyone is the greatest parent ever. Every year, 37 million people in the United States, the world’s most developed country, go hungry each year— so obviously we need to fix a whole lot of shit before we can have even more kids.
Let’s talk about this sexual abuse thing, since children in foster care situations are incredibly likely to experience it. I am a survivor of sexual abuse, I have known people who were raped and abused, and I can tell you that sometimes that is a fate worse than death— to have your entire being violated, to have your soul basically taken out of you and ripped to pieces. I could never doom my children to that. And hey, guess what? A fetus or a zygote is not a living, breathing, loving human being.
People have told me, “but you could be killing the next Einstein or Barack Obama!” But letting something die is not at all the same as killing it. Also, you are equally likely to “kill” the next Charles Manson or Saddam Hussein. This bullshit argument is built around the assumption that everyone in the entire world has all of the resources they need, the greatest, most well-balanced parents, and absolutely nothing will go wrong. Well guess what? There are poor people, there are people who are living in terrible conditions, there are people with multiple children already, and there are some people, like me, who want the right to raise their children at the right time, in the right space, with all of the love and care that they deserve.
I’ve also heard the “if you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex” argument. You obviously have no clue about human beings or what people are like, because sexuality is a natural, normal part of being alive. Sex is not solely for procreation. Sex builds relationships, intimacy, and deeper connections with people, and sex is AWESOME. Unfortunately, contraceptives don’t always work 100% of the time, but to ask people to stop having sex, period, is absolutely ludicrous. If you want to reduce abortions, go fight for comprehensive sex ed. Don’t force people to have children they don’t want.
Think most of the people who get abortions are stupid teenagers? Guess again. The majority of people who have abortions already have kids. These parents want to be able to raise their children with all of the love and resources they deserve. They know what it’s like to be mothers and fathers, and they choose abortion out of love for the living, learning, and loving children they already have.
I’ve been asked before: if your mother had decided not to have you, would that bother you? Hell no. First of all, this is a fallacy— how could I even think or feel if I wasn’t here? And secondly, if I could go back and time and spare my mother from having to suffer through poverty, raising two kids on her own, and tons of other bullshit, then of course I would. I love being alive but I love my family just as much.
Again, I care about the QUALITY of life, not whether or not life is simply there. If we care about life happening, completely without discernment, then we have to ask ourselves what makes us human— is it our “special” DNA, some evolutionary advantage, or something else? What makes an animal different from a human? The answer is really not much at all. Animals feel pain. Animals can love. Animals have language, community, desires, fears, and dreams. So if you open up the human race criteria to include literally a few cells which just happen to share our DNA but which cannot truly think, love, and feel, then you are demeaning the existence of every living human who can do those things.
It is for these reasons that I believe that any view which is not pro-choice is inherently morally reprehensible.
In summary: If you compare abortion to murder, if you claim that pregnancy can be solved with adoption, then you are not pro-life, you are anti-life. You want uterus-bearers to carry children against their will, to unacceptable standards of living. If you don’t think life is about learning and loving and having relationships with people, then I dare you to sit in an empty room with absolutely nothing but food and water for weeks. I dare you to do that, and then tell me that somehow this zygote, this cluster of cells, is in any way comparable to my life.
I will call myself pro-life when every existing in the person in the world can be properly taken care of, without discrimination, and when every future person in the world can be, too.
I will call myself pro-life when every last vestige of classism, racism, war, homophobia, sexism, and ableism is eliminated and children are seen as just children.
I will call myself pro-life when we can all lift each other up as fully educated, completely capable human beings.
I will call myself pro-life when those who are born and living right now, in this moment, are properly nurtured and safe.
Until then, I believe that any position besides CHOICE demeans life as we know it.
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