Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Abortion
There is a difference
Let us consider the difference and what it means when pro-lifers refer to their opposition as pro-abortion.
To be in favor of choice does not automatically make you a proponent of whatever other people choose. You just believe they have the right to choose. I say I’m in favor of your right to be a New York Jets fan does not mean I am in favor of the New York Jets. I just support your right to choose to be their fan. When I say I’m in favor of your right to choose whatever religion you want to be a part of it doesn’t mean I’m in favor of whichever religion you choose.
So, when pro-life uses the term pro-abortion in place of pro-choice they are trying to say pro-choice and pro-abortion are the same thing. This isn’t true. Both sides are yelling at each other, which means neither side is listening. It makes us see this issue as each side wanting all or nothing, and that the issue is simple. This isn’t true, either.
There are pro-life people who believe abortion is okay in certain instances. And there are pro-choice people who wouldn’t choose abortion as a birth control option.
I am in favor of a woman choosing whatever medical procedure she and her doctor deem necessary for her, that includes abortion.
I am pro-choice. However, I had an experience a few years ago that had me reevaluate what it means for me to be pro-choice.
I visited the Oregan Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, OR with my wife and two kids. Plenty of fun stuff for the kids to see and do and they had a really good time. However, there was one exhibit that really stuck with me. It was the Prenatal Development exhibit, which was part of the larger Body Worlds exhibit. Inside the room was a curvature display of forty-two 3-dimensional plasticine fetuses through 33-weeks of development. It was an eye-opening experience that left me questioning my pro-choice stance on the topic of abortion.
You can read an article here that goes into more detail about the exhibit. It is an article by a proponent of pro-life, but I think it is worth the read. Or you can google Dr. Gunther von Hagens who created the exhibit.
Seeing those 42 fetuses had me question the abortion process, such as, should there be a cut off time for conducting an abortion? My son had joined me and we walked along the display. We are a pro-choice family, so we raise our children to believe that they have a choice in what they want to believe and do with their lives and bodies. (Though, my wife draws the line at what our son can do with his hair. The arguments are monumental, but in the end, it’s his hair, I have to remind her.)
I asked my son what he thought about someone getting an abortion at each stage of the fetus’s development. It became harder and harder for him to justify. As it did for me. The one thing I was sure about, the only thing, was my belief that it was a woman’s choice. It was not up for legislation or anybody else to tell the woman what she can or cannot do.
It might be best practice to educate the public with knowledge of the fetal development process. The hard science of what the fetus looks like and what the abortion procedure would look like at each stage. Not to dissuade the woman from her choice but to have her be informed as she is making a decision. She would also have the right to choose to waive the review process and go into the procedure trusting that the doctor will perform the procedure safely. Which isn’t something she would get with an illegal, rushed procedure by a non-trained, non-licensed, non-professional. Safety measures are not guaranteed and you are not protected with an illegal medical procedure.
Experiencing that Body Worlds display hasn’t changed me into becoming pro-life. I just have a better understanding of the fetus’s growth and what it would look like when it is aborted at particular stages of development.
I see this as a woman’s choice. A woman’s choice to decide weather or not to have the baby. It isn’t simple, it isn’t easy, and any decision is something the woman will live with for the rest of her life. So, how about more counseling for women regardless of their choice. Counseling for her about her choices and the potential effects, not just physically but, also, mentally. Easier access to support groups for women who have decided to have an abortion and women who made the choice to have the baby. Let there be no shame in either choice. Keep the topic of abortion choice out of the dark. Keep access open and available.
This is hard on every woman who has to make her choice. We have to get rid of the shame and anger surrounding abortion and bring in respect and love. It is the best way to understand in order to stand with the women who are going through this.