Here is why I will support a women’s right to choose until I die:
I believe that the job of government is to maintain laws that allow people of varying beliefs to live together peacefully. This is why “Separation of Church and State” is so important. If you want this Country to assert religion upon it’s citizens, you must be a Christian right now. But the world will change as it has always done, and that assertion that everyone should be following Christian law now, can be the very precedent that forces your children to deny their Christianity for another popular religion of the future. In my opinion, the Separation of Church and State is a primary source of pride in my Country. We are safe to practice what we believe and safe from the practices of other people. To that end, the Government establishes and enforces laws that allow you to live your life as freely as possible up to the point in which you infringe upon the rights of others. Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of Happiness. This protects everyone.
Where does human life begin? I believe it begins when a baby is born. I believe this because before a baby is born, it is a part of the woman it is within. It is a part of her life, a part of her body. When the cord is cut, it becomes an individual. I believe that asserting that human life is precious and starts before it becomes an individual is a religious belief, although there is no text in the Bible that truly asserts any such thing. It is frustrating that this has become a battle cry when we have 10 commandments already and people are breaking them all the time. Why would God be so worried about abortion and not list it amongst his 10 Commandments? Or as one of the Deadly Sins? The Bible said life begins at first breath. Nevertheless, the argument comes from a religious place. Life is sacred and I understand the feelings about wasted life and wasted potential. But I think this comes from a place of believing infants are innocent and pregnant women, being women who have had sex, are necessarily sinners and therefore necessarily less valuable. This is a religious argument.
As I have made clear in the past, I am not a religious person. I love my fellow humans with all of my heart and I support their freedom. I believe that I will live this one life — a burst of tremendous luck on an enormous chain reaction of events begun by the Big Bang — and therefore I want to make it the best it can be and encourage other people to seek the same. I believe when I die, that’s it. I cannot un-believe this. Sex is part of being human and certainly plays a huge part in a lot of people’s best life. In fact, sex is a basic animal urge. My proof? The fact that women have sex at all even though it could make you pregnant, give you shame, give you an STD, make you a victim of a stalker or murderer. What about the fact that it is objectively disgusting but we all want to do it? What about the fact that all our advertising, clothing, art, dancing, and huge industries like porn and sex toys and prostitutes (the oldest profession!) revolve around sex. Not only is it a basic urge that we must acknowledge, like the need to eat or sleep, but it is also loving, good for you, fun, relieving, and free of cost. No third party is harmed by any two (to infinity) people having consensual sex. To say to a woman “you cannot have sex unless you have the ability, financially and emotionally, to have a child,” is an impossible standard. Especially for poor people since their pleasure is harder to come by. Especially when we live in a culture of sex. Especially when women become fertile when they are as young as 9. Especially when men are relentless and withhold affection (you are trained to want) until you have sex with them. And if you do it, they win and you are dirty? And unfortunately a lot of women also get raped, and they will also likely not be believed by “important” people (men). I don’t see how you can blame every woman for getting pregnant without having $30,000 and a job that gives maternity leave. I don’t see how she should be held culpable for the rest of her life and be unable to reach her full potential (that she has one chance to meet) based on religious, faith-based standards that we don’t all believe. If you believe that God will judge you and send you to hell for having an abortion, that is fine. Let God judge everyone in the afterlife. But here on Earth, we should judge people only by how they affect and infringe upon those around them. I would NEVER support forced abortion or sterilization, NEVER. There are MANY morally ambiguous situations we come upon in life. We can call soldiers murderers too, for killing hopeless children who have been indoctrinated in violence, and that breaks my heart. God will judge the lawmakers for their decisions on the accessibility of health care or how they choose to help AIDS and Ebola victims. Abortion is no more or less straight-forward than these examples.
When I compare the value of the life of a baby (or certainly a fetus) vs. a woman, I always will find the woman more valuable. The tragedy of the loss of human life is a tragedy for those whom that person touches. When a child is born, it interacts with people and they love it and pin hopes and dreams upon it and eventually it has the ability to think up it’s own hopes and dreams and when a person dies, the evaporation of that hope and potential is the tragedy. More specifically, the sadness of the people around them. When a fetus dies, the only people whom it truly affects are the parents. When an individual dies, it affects everyone that individual touched. Now you may argue that forcing women to keep an unwanted fetus is not the same as killing the woman, and you are right. But if she does not have the resources (monetarily, physically, emotionally) to care for it, than you force her to neglect it. You force her to work to the bone, never get ahead, neglect her life, neglect her child, feel the guilt, the trauma, the blame, the shame and the waste of a life. She could have had a baby in 3 years. When she was ready. When she had a job that gave maternity leave. Now her forced family will be poor and miserable. Now she must try and find access to dwindling social services to provide for her child. Better live that life than never have existed? That is your opinion and shouldn’t be an enforced law. Importantly, a woman could die from childbirth. In fact, in Texas, maternal mortality rates have doubled. Is the baby more valuable? I don’t think so. People only take resources for the first 20–30 years of their life and THEN they start giving back to the community. If you kill a woman for her child, you have wasted 30 years of food, shelter, education for a baby who may not survive a year. She has touched hundreds and hundreds of lives and you have caused tragedy for them all. And now the child, and any other children the woman had, doesn’t have a mother. And furthermore, it is not in our country’s best interest to forcibly grow the population. This will make itself clear in short time. And of course, there is historical evidence that limiting the ability to family plan (or forcing women to keep every child) causes a spike in crime 20 years later. Neglected kids become troubled teens. Blaming mothers for this problem is heinous when you give them no options.
I see a vast array of women capable of every single thing on the spectrum of possibilities. We come from long lines of mothers AND fathers, and we carry traits from them both, so necessarily men and women cannot be terribly different from each other. But we are starkly, most importantly, different in one way. Women can bear children. There is no male counterpart because, in the end, women always carry that burden alone. And this miracle, the basis of humanity, handicaps our ability to give 100% to anything else. Men can. They always could. And that is why they are in charge of every part of our world. Because they don’t have to split their focus. They only need to keep themselves alive in the end, not another, extremely vulnerable person (obviously there are exceptions). And women MUST be a part of the decision-making in this modern world. We are half of it, and we raise all of it. We are geared towards compassion and shared resources. We are not obsessed with ownership and property. We work hard, we work together, we protect the weak and nurture the best qualities in everyone. Women must have control over their reproductive abilities in order to fully participate in the modern world. And we must be heard. Men think we are weak and need to be protected. But the danger we face is from men. Our narrative is not about finding a savior. Our narrative is not about finding our calling or finding a way to stand out. Our narrative is survival. Men think that is their narrative because they pick a side and go out and fight. But who gets raped and pillaged? Who keeps humanity going? Who always finds a way to live and to protect the helpless? Women. Our perspective is different, varied, valid. All men are alive by the grace and sacrifice of their mothers and they’d do well to remember it. Men live because we love them.
Which brings me to the most urgent matter. I do not believe that these politicians care about preserving life. I do not think they cry over fetuses. I believe they are purposefully trying to demonize and criminalize women who do not submit to men. They want us to feel that there is no option other than getting married and having children and spending all of our time with them. And I am not saying that path itself is wrong or bad or anything (it is frankly my primary aspiration). But they are threatening us with our lives. And that will incentivize young girls to get married to the first man who asks to marry them because they believe that is their safest or only choice. When you tie yourself to someone out of that fear, they have all the power and therefore can abuse you how they like. I know this because of history. And I think the republicans want this system back. And if they make it illegal to have an abortion, make birth control hard to obtain, and it impossible to convict rapists, they’ve got it in the bag, don’t they? They are purposefully making this a divisive battle cry and I wish with everything that I have that ALL women would recognize it for what it is. We know how to stop or limit abortion. Make birth control and sex ed available. We know how to incentivize women to keep their pregnancies. Subsidize health care and child care. We know how to maximize potential for any child. Give all children access to quality education. These Republicans don’t support any service that aims to improve child birth or child care or to limit pregnancy. They want the choice to be either have sex and have children or never have sex, making recreational sex essentially illegal for women by proxy. Is it illegal for men? No, their boner pills are subsidized, they choose to believe that rape is just a mistake that young men make, they don’t crack down on any of the aforementioned sex industries, and sex trafficking in the US is rampant (especially on Super Bowl Sunday). Women are being painted as murderesses, witches, criminals. We are actually the least violent and most nurturing and self-sacrificing demographic of humans. And I KNOW they hate us because their animal brain cannot stop wanting to have sex with our bodies (and we don’t always let them for ALL OF THE ABOVE REASONS (or because they’re jerks)) and because we call them out when they get greedy. And maybe some sort of inner issues relating to their mom’s power in their childhood. I don’t know about that last one.
For all of these reasons, I believe it is imperative for women to have access to abortion. And I think every woman who agrees with me on this also agrees that it would be better to limit abortion by use of other options mentioned above — birth control and sex education — which we KNOW works. And of course, I must point out that when it comes to late-term abortions, I guarantee you will never come across a true story that goes like this: “woman decides after 6 months of pregnancy that she’d rather not, asks doctor to murder it.” Late-term abortions are ALWAYS sad and ALWAYS involves a problem with the pregnancy. Early term abortions are almost always a relief (and if they aren’t, it is usually because of societal shame). I think the way they talk about late-term abortion so much — like it’s a rampant epidemic of viable children being put to slaughter — is ridiculously misleading and the fact that they want to mislead us so much reveals their sinister ulterior motives.
Follow the Moral Heathen on Twitter: @moral_heathen or send mail to email@example.com