Let's be Honest: Anti-Abortion Doesn't make You Pro-life
And listen up: We're not going back.
I barely slept last night after seeing the news out of Texas that, as of today, the only law West of the Pecos is the law against women seeking abortions.
It’s not enough that those brilliant yahoos shut down abortion clinics across the state, they topped it off by bypassing any real challenge and finding some convoluted, archaic reroute that gave them carte blanch to do anything they wanted, including posting a $10,000 bounty on anyone aborting, aiding in an abortion, or, I’m guessing, even saying the word out loud. They gave permission for anyone—ANYONE—to sue a woman or a doctor or a clinic or all three for, I don’t know, causing them untold anguish because a stranger is taking care of herself by scheduling a perfectly legal procedure? I don’t know. I Just don’t know.
I got up early, full of thoughts about what I could say today. What could I say that I hadn’t already said? As I looked at what I had already said, I realized one of those pieces—this one—said it all. It’s sickening that this piece was published in May, 2018, and not only has it aged well, it turns out it’s not nearly harsh enough.
It got worse. Much worse. So now what? We fight. (If you don’t agree with what I’m saying here, don’t expect me to apologize for causing you grief. Not today. Not ever. Just go away.)
I’ll get right to it: I’m on the side of every woman who chooses abortion as a solution to what she considers a problem in her life. I don’t need to know her story. I don’t need to insert myself in her decision-making. I don’t need to be judge and jury as she goes through the act of aborting a fetus.
I do need to support her decision against those who chant “Abortion is murder” and “Baby killer!” I need to let her know her worth is not any more, any less because her choices about motherhood are different from someone else’s.
I can do this without hesitation, without equivocation, and I do it as a woman who worked hard at conceiving my three children, never once considering abortion as a solution for an unwanted pregnancy. I can do this because it’s not about me. My own life, my own feelings, my own sense of right and wrong, has nothing to do with any woman’s decision to abort.
So let me speak directly to those who throw out that phrase “pro-life”, as if aborting a fetus is the be-all, end-all of life as we know it here on earth. If you insist on inserting yourself into any woman’s life, deciding for her that she must carry a fetus to term, you can’t, in all that’s holy, stop there.
If you force a woman to bear a child she doesn’t want, it should be on you to insure health, wealth, and happiness to both. The real sin is in turning your back on her once your interference brings about the outcome you were hoping for.
Children don’t raise themselves. Women don’t suddenly become Mother Mary at the birth. Real life doesn’t suddenly become wondrous or heavenly on the appearance of a baby.
You can’t possibly understand the factors in a woman’s life that would bring her to a decision to abort. It’s clear you don’t care. That’s how you lose your case. You don’t care.
We could spend the rest of our days defining life: When does it start? What makes it precious? Who gets to decide? None of it helps the woman who finds herself pregnant with an unwanted child.
You need to stop. I’m a mother who loved that life — reveled in it — and I’m begging you to stop.
Too many of you have used abortion as the single issue bringing you to the voting booth, and, for the most part, your choices have been piss-poor. You’ve put people in power who are intent on controlling our lives from birth to death, who are working to deconstruct every comfort, every gain, every protection, and you’ve done it without any deep thought beyond putting an end to abortion.
Abortion won’t end. Closing clinics, forcing women to wait, to get permission, to endure indoctrination — none of it will stop abortions. Praying won’t stop abortions.
You know what affects abortions? Free, readily available contraceptives for both men and women, economic stability, sex education, free or inexpensive child care, work schedules allowing for parenthood, a promise to value every single life, regardless of color, creed, or nationality. All of that. In many cases abortion is more than a right — it’s a necessity. Whatever the reason, the woman and her doctor get to choose. You don’t.
You must know by now that Planned Parenthood provides essential services to millions of women and families who wouldn’t otherwise have access to obstetric or gynecological health care. You know that abortion/abortion education is an infinitesimal part of their work. You choose to believe the lies. You cheer when clinics close. You need to stop.
If you voted for Donald Trump or any Republican only because you thought they would bring an end to Roe v Wade, you need to recalculate. How is the sanctity of life better under them? If your personal life is okay, what you do about the suffering of others under this regime is now your obligation. It’s on you to prove all life is precious.
If you can watch poverty programs disappear and health care become increasingly for-profit, knowing it’s the children who will be harmed most, you need to tell me how you can do that and still insist you care about the child.
If you can watch mothers and children being torn apart, separated, because the mother dared to want a better life in America for her kids — if you can watch that and do nothing, you’ve lost any chance at staking a claim for decency.
Life begins in the womb but can thrive only in a culture where kindness and humanity are the norm. If we were ever there, we’re swiftly moving away. You must see that. If you care more about fetuses than you do about the lives of people trying to exist, to survive, in a world turning against them, you need to stop. This can’t be who you really are.