January 22, 2007

Blogging for Choice


Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Happy anniversary! It’s the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. And I particularly like the idea of Blogging for Choice, to show my support not just for a monumental legal decision that had far reaching effects and sparked a firestorm of discussion and debate over the past three decades, but also to answer the fundamental question that the Blogging for Choice site poses. So in that spirit, let’s get started.

This year’s topic is a simple one: tell us, and your readers, why you’re pro-choice.

This is simple: because I believe in the power of the individual to choose the direction of their own lives.

It’s actually much deeper than that, to be honest, but it starts there. I believe that no one, regardless of their religion, their personal belief system, their personal morality, or their personal decisions, whether those beliefs and choices happen to be pro-choice or anti-choice, have the right to tell anyone else what they can and can’t do with their own bodies, how they can and cannot lead their lives, when they can and cannot start and raise a family, and how they choose or do not choose to have sex or have children. I simply believe that abortion is a matter between a woman, her doctor, and potentially her mate or partner, and that’s where the conversation can and absolutely should end.

I believe that those people standing outside of medical clinics holding photoshopped placards of blender babies that apparently are supposed to make me sympathize but instead make me chuckle at the horrible post-processing work done on the images have an agenda, and that agenda has nothing to do with protecting life, or a “culture of life,” I believe it has nothing to do with proving that all life is sacred, and I believe that they have no one’s best interests at heart and no good intentions to bring to bear. They have a sense of self-righteous, indignant morality that they seek to impose on everyone else-women, children, men, everyone. They seek to control our lives and our bodies, and the matter of abortion is only a first step, and those who believe that this begins and ends with “life,” or begins and ends with “abortion” are either incredibly naive or allowing themselves to be played as pawns in a greater campaign by a vocal minority of evangelical, radical, and incredibly un-Christian religious crusaders and far-right conservative fascists. The question is, then, inevitably, what that campaign seeks to achieve, and the answer is clear: starting with abortion, these people seek to define, legalize, and enforce morality according to their own beliefs and forsaking all others and any sense of pluralism and compassionate civil society. These are the people who would have adulteresses stoned in public and homosexuals beaten, the same people speaking from the same pulpits who felt so strongly about the “horrific ungodliness” of interracial marriage that they would rather castrate and hang young Black men than even stand the possibility that he may have given a white woman a sideways glance. This isn’t about “defending life,” it’s about asserting morality and dominating power, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing at all noble.

I draw these relationships between all of these same people because their eventual goal is crystal clear: to shape and form society in the image of their own morality, their own misinterpreted religious ideas, and their own corrupted sense of right and wrong. There are no analogies between abortion and murder to be drawn here, only between choice and freedom and the oppressive lack thereof.

Why am I pro-choice? I believe in freedom. I believe in liberty, and I believe in the rights of the individual to steer the direction of their own lives, and that includes the basic human right to voluntary reproduction, not compulsory reproduction. Extending this right includes the right to available, affordable, and effective contraception, reproductive care, (which includes not just abortion, but pre-natal care for women who opt to have children-note the opt, and extended care for children who have been born, a group the anti-choice community seems to conspicuously ignore) and education.

There’s nothing more American than choice, than freedom, than liberty, than the power of the individual to chart the course of their own lives, to rise and fall under their own power. It’s the American dream that we all stumble towards and grasp for, advantaged or not, and that choice, that freedom, is that makes us who we are.

Now then. Who are these people who dare try to take our freedom away from us?

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