So FB is doing their new polling thing or whatever. A few days ago, some friends of mine answered the question, “Do you think Planned Parenthood should be Defunded?”
Now, since Planned Parenthood provides low-cost women’s health care, I’m absolutely, 100% against defunding them. I think anyone who would suggest such a thing is either a) hugely ignorant of what they do or b) a vicious, selfish excuse for a human being. So of course I voted, “No,” and didn’t think much further about the poll.
Today, it came up in my husband’s feed. Apparently he’d clicked the little “follow” button or something when he voted in it (also, “No,”) and was now getting updates. And somebody pointed out that a Pro-Life page had posted this question, and was now upset and wanting to delete it. We laughed a bit, and then John went onto the Pro-Life page. And holy fucking shit.
Okay, leaving aside the whole fetus/human debate, I just don’t get pro-lifers. I may have mentioned a time or two that I was raised LDS? My upbringing was definitely pro-child, pro-birth, pro-life. Up until I had my first kid, I was convinced I would have a brood, a passle of children. I would have a dozen of ’em! I was personally horrified at the idea of abortion for years.
I remember once, as a teenager, talking with a friend of mine. She told me she didn’t ever want to have children, and she wasn’t even sure about marriage. I was shocked. Shocked, and horrified, and totally lost on how to react to such a statement. I couldn’t reconcile it — she is my friend, she’s a good person, and she doesn’t want children?!? The very idea was foreign to me. I asked her what she’d do if she accidentally got pregnant, and she shrugged and said probably get an abortion. I remember how conflicted and horrified I felt — that someone I loved and esteemed so highly could so casually speak of such a horrific act.
I struggled over this for weeks. I’d bring it up randomly in conversation, I’d quiz her about it. I’d ask things like, “Well, what about adoption? What if you really loved the guy?” She was really patient with me, and eventually I let it drop and stopped nagging her about it. Even later, I realized that even if I personally could never have an abortion, I could hardly deny my friend her right to choose how she lived her life.
Eventually, I realized I was pro-choice. I used to jokingly call myself pro-choice, but pro-life. Now I just leave off the “pro-life” part, because it really doesn’t matter what decision I would or would not make if abortion was on my list of options. It’s my decision. It’s my choice, it’s my life — and I suppose that’s the part of the pro-life movement I simply cannot comprehend. Why do these people think they have the right to strip other people’s rights from them? I just don’t get it. Pro-choice does not necessarily correlate to pro-abortion — it simply means we accept that it is, in the end, a choice. A personal choice, and one to be made with relevant and current medical information (not debunked studies), while surrounded by professional, sensitive, and compassionate people (not screaming lunatics waving signs with dead babies on them).