Time to stir things up a bit.

Dawn has made some comments recently about the issue of Pro-Choice. I thought I’d drop in my two cents as most people think I just party all the time and couldn’t care less about social issues. (You know who you are)

I think Pro-Choice hasn’t made an impact because most people feel “that would never happen to me”. Pro-Life currently has the advantage of strong political clout and extremists on the religious right who are more than happy to harass people who would dare venture into an abortion clinic (abortioncamsDOTcom). It’s easy to be Pro-Life and shake your finger at immoral sexual behavior. If a couple gets pregnant “they deserved it”, “they shouldn’t have been having sex to begin with”, or any number of God driven justifications. But the fact is accidents happen, women get raped, men get trapped and both sexes can be irresponsible when it comes to bedroom behavior.

I agree that Pro-Choice is not Pro-Abortion. I also believe that abortion shouldn’t be used as a means of birth control. I’m not sure what I think anymore of it being called “a woman’s right to choose”. I would rather see it as “a couple’s right to choose”. I know it’s idealistic, but just because it’s a woman’s body doesn’t mean she bares the sole burden. It’s a reality for many sure, but why enforce that behavior by isolating women even more? Any man is capable of providing emotional & spiritual strength during a pregnancy and should be encouraged to do so.

Most of the movies I’ve heard or read about on the topic involve a woman protagonist struggling on her own endowed with this heavy responsibility. Where are the movies that show men involved in the same crisis? If you’re attempting to sway public opinion and rally support wouldn’t you want to include all races & genders?

I think it’s “a woman’s right to choose” because there haven’t been any role models or stories that men can identify with. Personally, I know guys who’ve dated women that had abortions without telling them, who had partners that lied about birth control or STDs. These things don’t just happen to women. I also know guys who stood by their girlfriends/spouses/lovers when told about an unexpected pregnancy. And Chuck & Ken aren’t alone, there are plenty of single fathers out there doing the best they can.

On a personal note, just because I’m Pro-Choice doesn’t mean I’m a sexual deviant or completely without faith in God. But if someone else chooses to have an abortion, they have to live with the consequences not me and if it is a sin then shouldn’t God be the one to punish them? If you force people to have babies that don’t want them do you really think that child will grow up in a happy & healthy home environment? There are already enough children in foster care being railroaded by the system, why would you want to condemn more innocents to that?

If society educated men & women to be more responsible for themselves and share more as a couple then perhaps Pro-Choice wouldn’t be seen solely as a woman’s right to choose. And maybe one day society wouldn’t care about Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life because people would be more responsible period.

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  • Dawn December 11, 2002   Reply →

    Excellently put.

  • Jay December 12, 2002   Reply →

    All that seems reasonable… IF and only if you deny the personhood of the infant.

    A potentially messed up life is still a life. Give THAT kid a choice, I guarantee he or she will NOT prefer death to a crummy childhood.

    Beliefs may be all over the map on this one, but consider THIS – scientifically we don’t know exactly when life begins, so we make our best guess and pass laws (or create them in court) about it.

    But what if we guessed wrong? If we decide, say, that it’s not a human life at 6 weeks, and have an abortion, and we’re wrong, we didn’t just have an ill-advised medical procedure, we just killed another human being.

    Both my kids had kids out of wedlock. I AM SO GLAD that they never considered abortion. Because I love my grandkids, but also because I love my kids. The best anti-abortion bumper sticker I saw: “Abortion: One Dead, One Wounded.”

    We’re not all finger-wagging moralistas, BTW. MY belief is that all life is sacred, and we should be protesting executions and failure to feed the poor and unjust wars as strongly as we protest abortion. Sadly, the religious right (who likes executions and wars and keeping our riches for ourselves) has hijacked our side of the debate, and the term “pro-life” has been sullied to mean “only-cares-about-abortion”. Don’t believe it.


  • A.J. Wood December 12, 2002   Reply →

    Jay –

    Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate that. And I respect your opinion even if it differs from mine.

    I personally would never have an abortion either and my current stance is based on the reality we live in. If people are going to choose to have abortions I would rather it be safe under medical supervision after non-biased counseling without the threat & fear some people go through to have one. I’ve seen & counseled the victims of abuse first hand and it’s sad the depth of despair some people have going through those experiences.

    I would be happy to see more efforts made on alternatives, better adoption programs, better sex education, more involved parenting, less government parenting, etc. and I do get frustrated with the extremes on BOTH sides. I hope one day people have more respect for themselves and each other.

    Oh and I don’t think all Pro-Lifers are moralists, I just got caught up in a rant.

  • the evil queen March 14, 2003   Reply →

    dear aj,

    i appreciate that you are pro-choice and i do understand your point that many men are left out of the decision making process however, there are also many MORE women who are left to make the choice solely on their own without any thought or consideration from the men who impregnated them.

    and there are NO MEN who will ever be faced with the prospect of carrying a child and the life altering problems and burdens associated with that.

    if a woman bears the burden of incubating, nourishing, and birthing the child that originates from her cells, it is still her body and her choice. when a man incubates and births the child, then it becomes his choice.

    and as far as jay’s claim that “I guarantee he or she will NOT prefer death to a crummy childhood.” i would beg to differ. i know of MANY people who have had horrendous childhoods who DID wish they’d never been brought into the world to suffer what they suffered and i know that suicide is NOT a rare killer.

    who can say what would drive a person to suicide? illness? abuse? poverty? neglect? abandonment? mental illness? a troubled childhood? perhaps.

    and i’m sorry, but the whole religious reason doesn’t work for me on ANY level because as far as i’m concerned it’s like telling me i can’t make decisions about MY OWN BODY and MY OWN FUTURE because the easter bunny says it’s bad. until a “supreme being” is proven to exist, i don’t see how he/she/it can be used as a deterrent or rule maker.

    and although i know this is probably going to sound bad, but until men are at risk for pregnancy, then i really don’t understand how they feel entitled to spout off about it or legislate rules that WON’T EVER APPLY TO THEM. i can understand why they might have FEELINGS and OPINIONS around the issue, but as far as i’m concerned it’s primarily an issue of women’s health and reproductive rights and should therefore be dealt with and decided by women.

    so, we agree on most points, sometimes for different reasons, but i appreciate you choosing the woman’s rights over the “religious right”.

    happy weekend, doll!
    xoxo, jared

  • A.J. Wood May 7, 2003   Reply →

    “as far as i’m concerned it’s primarily an issue of women’s health and reproductive rights and should therefore be dealt with and decided by women”

    I disagree only from the standpoint of relationships. In those grave scenarios where a woman is raped, or abandoned by her lover than I would agree she is left alone to make the choice.

    However, I feel it is wrong to assume that in a relationship where intimacy is mutual a man’s opinion should simply be discounted. Now I’m not saying a man’s opinion weighs more than a woman’s, but I am saying that BOTH people should be on the same page before they engage in sexual gymnastics. I repeat BEFORE you & your partner decide to bump uglies there should be some discussion of things going awry.

    A relationship is based on mutual respect & trust. I think it’s a violation of that commitment if a woman simply dismisses her partner’s opinion.

    If you tell me that my opinion doesn’t matter in this issue then why should I give a damn about Pro-Choice?

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