Yes I’m pro-abortion. Who wouldn’t be?

14 Jan

If you spend your time in the same corners of the internet as I do you’ll be familiar with the line “I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion”. Whenever I see this, I ask “Why? What’s wrong with abortion?”

If you’re pro-choice you believe in the autonomy of women. You believe that no matter what importance an embryo/fetus/unborn baby might hold, it is never more important than the freedom of the woman whose body it is housed in. In short, women are more important than fetuses.

Since we’ve got that out of the way, we should all be able to say that abortions are awesome. The development of safe abortion is a medical advancement that has improved the lives of one in three women. The availability of abortion is something that gives women, me included, great comfort and security. Pretty great, right?

Before the advent of safe, legal abortion women were dying. Women were at the mercy of biology. Let it be remembered that in this same period it was legal for men to rape their wives. When we use the term “bodily autonomy” we are talking about no small thing.

Since I first become a pro-choice activist when I was fifteen, I’ve seen feminist discussion of abortion follow the same formula: to terminate a pregnancy is a difficult, heart-breaking decision for every woman who makes it but we must defend her right to make that choice. As friendly as that sounds, it’s also bullshit.

The “pro-choice, not pro-abortion” line plays into the trope that abortion, though sometimes necessary, is always shameful. It’s always difficult. It’s always sad. In reality, not every woman feels shame and nor bloody should she. Guilt should not be the tax we pay on autonomy.

I think of abortion the same way I think of a root canal. It’s an often painful, invasive procedure that in some cases could have been prevented through education and good habits. I don’t want to have one, but I’m glad it’s there if I need it.

Every time we say “pro-choice, not pro-abortion” we make it a little bit harder for a woman to stand up and say “I’d like an abortion, please.” It makes it a little harder for women to say “I had an abortion once”. It makes it a little bit harder for couples to discuss abortion openly and give women real freedom over if and when they have a child.

I’m pro-family.

I’m pro-woman.

I’m pro-choice.

And I’m pro-abortion.

You should be too.

Author’s note: Fix It, Dear Henry is a safe space for me and for my readers. Anti-choice/forced-birther comments, or those that otherwise denigrate women will not be published. If this upsets you let me remind you that WordPress is free.


2 Responses to “Yes I’m pro-abortion. Who wouldn’t be?”

  1. hessianwithteeth January 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m not sure “abortion is like a root canal” is any more accepting than “I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion.” Nobody wants an abortion, which is why “I’m not pro-abortion” makes sense. But saying that abortion could be avoided through “education and good habits” still suggests that there is something wrong with those of us who have had abortions. I got pregnant because a condom broke. No amount of education could have prevented that, and we were doing exactly what we had been taught to do. In short, we were using good habits. Sometimes shit happens.
    My abortion also wasn’t invasive or painful. I had a medical abortion. I was able to abort the fetus in the comfort of my own home. I don’t think abortion should be painful and invasive: it’s a medical procedure, not a punishment.
    Personally, I’m happy to say I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Abortions are great things to have available, but I wish they weren’t necessary. Having an abortion sucks. Yes, it’s not highly emotional for everyone, but, even if you don’t experience the painful emotions, you still have to deal with doctor appointments.

    • Eliza Cussen January 14, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

      Hi! You made some very good points. I certainly didn’t mean that all abortions can be prevented through education, that would be ridiculous. I meant only that, like dental hygiene, safe sex is a good thing to aim for. I’m so glad that your abortion wasn’t painful. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

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