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Blog for Choice Day 2008

January 22, 2008

bfc_day_button_200.jpgThe theme of this year’s Blog for Choice Day, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, is why it’s important to vote pro-choice. I know there are those of you who may disagree on this issue, but it’s important to me, especially in an election year, to have this discussion.

I vote pro-choice because, in my state, there are politicians who, every year, propose bills intended not to make women and families better able to successfully raise children, not to encourage access to birth control and healthcare, not to improve sex education and education generally, but solely to restrict women’s ability to make this legal and personal decision. I vote pro-choice because I believe that when politicians are focused only on the act of abortion and not all of the personal and societal reasons that women choose abortion, we all – women, families, and communities – lose.

I vote pro-choice because when these same politicians propose legislation that suggests that women just haven’t thought about what they’re doing (waiting periods), that they don’t know what pregnancy is (ultrasound provisions), that they would choose differently if they just knew better, those politicians demonstrate an appalling underestimation of women’s intelligence and capacity as fully functioning human beings, if not outright contempt for women and their families. These politicians further attempt to shame women with proposed bills such as the one to mandate death certificates for aborted fetuses, while not requiring the same for miscarriages that take place at the same gestational stage as most abortions. I vote pro-choice because I believe women are smart, capable, and know exactly what they’re doing when they make this personal choice.

I vote pro-choice because methods of bringing on a late period (inducing miscarriage) and terminating pregnancies have existed as long as women have existed, and will continue long after any legislation makes them illegal. I believe that voting pro-choice protects existing women, families and communities which we have invested in as a society by keeping abortion as safe as possible. I vote pro-choice because I believe that making abortion illegal would increase the rate of unnecessary death for fully grown women, and make criminals of women and doctors who are making what they believe is the best decision for them, in their own times and places and situations.

I vote pro-choice because I believe that there is an inescapable ethical and legal conflict inherent in any situation in which one being depends solely on the body and resources of another being for its existence, and this conflict is never more pronounced than when a fetus inhabits a woman’s body. To codify this conflict such that one party always necessarily wins seems to me a poor solution, whether the fully grown woman must always carry a pregnancy to term or a pregnant woman must always have an abortion. I vote pro-choice because I believe this conflict cannot be resolved in extremes, and is best resolved on an individual level rather than by a faceless, unaccountable government.

I vote pro-choice because I do not trust my government. My government turned its head while poor, Southern, black men were systematically denied treatment for syphilis. My government allowed laws to be passed permitting involuntary sterilization. My government has suppressed responsible sex education, allowed abstinence-only provisions to be largely written and spearheaded by a man who says, “Abstinence at the federal level is not primarily an STD prevention program. It is rather a marital preparation program. Also, it’s not about preventing teen pregnancy,” and pulled factual information on condom efficacy and abortion and breast cancer from its websites that did not support its political agenda. I vote pro-choice because the default position in our political system should be our government saying, “yes, we trust you” (with accurate information, and with personal decisions), not the other way around. I vote pro-choice because we are people, not pawns in a game with no consequences for those moving the pieces. I vote pro-choice because my government cannot be trusted to make my decisions for me, or for any other woman or families on such a personal level.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2008 8:53 pm

    What a wonderful post. I didn’t realize that there was a theme this year about why we vote pro choice. I probably would have given the same answer that I did, with a different intro.

  2. January 22, 2008 8:54 pm

    Hilary, your post was excellent, regardless.

  3. January 23, 2008 10:36 am

    Wow, Rachel, very well written. Thanks for writing such a powerful post on this topic.

  4. January 23, 2008 10:54 am

    This is a profoundly thoughtful post and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Karen, Kansas NP

  5. January 24, 2008 12:01 pm

    Excellent post. I’ve been somewhat out of the blog loop lately, or I would have done a Blog For Choice post on Tuesday. It’s so important that our Pro-Choice voices not be silenced. I will never vote for a candidate who doesn’t support a woman’s right to choose. Period.

    Thanks for this post, Rachel.

  6. January 24, 2008 12:03 pm

    Thank you all for your comments and kind words.

  7. Stacey permalink
    January 24, 2008 2:36 pm

    Amen, sister! An eloquent, thoughtful, *logical* post that sums up why I always support pro-choice. Thanks for sharing.

  8. January 27, 2008 10:48 pm

    Excellent post, Rachel. You don’t disappoint.

  9. davisoftheapes1 permalink
    May 8, 2008 4:36 pm

    Rachel. I’m curious. Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?

  10. May 8, 2008 4:50 pm

    Davis, seriously, does that look like a coherent argument or rational disagreement with my post to you, or are you just really curious about my personal religious beliefs? Do you think I’ve never heard of Jesus and so asking me that question is going to cause me to have a complete change of heart? Are you new to the Internet?

  11. davisoftheapes1 permalink
    May 8, 2008 5:15 pm

    Were we having an argument? I have no desire to argue with you. I merely asked. As a believer in Jesus, I am of the opinion that God is the only one who can terminate life “legally.” I suspect that you hold to the opinion that because the US Supreme Court says that a baby has to be X amount of grams and X centimeters in length that abortion is okay.

  12. davisoftheapes1 permalink
    May 8, 2008 5:26 pm

    I’m new to your blog.

  13. May 8, 2008 7:00 pm

    Davis, see, now you have laid our your position that you believe God is the only one who can terminate life legally. Much better in my opinion, and thank you – I may disagree with you, but at least we’re not asking each other questions without tying things together. You know, I’m sure, that different religions, religious people, and non-religious people having differing opinions on a number of issues. I assure you that I have not come to my opinions based on Court opinions, but after careful consideration of the conflict of interests inherent in the issue. I try not to rely on branches of government for my opinion-formation, which is one item on which I suspect the two of us would agree.

  14. davisoftheapes1 permalink
    May 8, 2008 7:57 pm

    By the way. I did cut and paste “The Birthday,” but, from my own computer. I wrote that a couple of years ago. One of these days, you and I are going to die, Rachel. Then, as important as Women’s rights are to you and the passion and care that you take to champion the cause will pale in comparison to judgement.

    I don’t want me, you or anybody else to go to hell. And, there’s only one way to keep from it. A person either believes the Bible or not. It’s not mandatory. Abortion is but one of a myriad of issues, but the basic issue is sin. Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the Life. No man comes to the father but by me.” Either he’s telling the truth or a lie.

    I’ll admit, that, after discovering WordPress, it’s kind of fun to read, comment, argue and verbally “spar” with people. I spent several days in a running discussion with several people (atheists by their own description) debating creation vs evolution. DNA, thermodynamics, etc. etc. Some postings between us with vitriol, insults and various degrees of heated argument, But, this issue is too important with eternal consequences. Not only for you and me, but, each and every individual that ever was or ever will be born. I just want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you. Also, every other person, no matter what side of this issue or any other, but “someday” all of us will stand in front of him and and he’ll either say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Or, “Depart from me you cursed, into everlasting flame.” I hope we’re both ready when that time comes.

  15. Amelia permalink
    May 22, 2008 10:51 am

    I vote Pro-Choice because I gree up in a country with NO CHOICE. I vote Pro-Choice because illegal abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Latin America. I live in the US because I could not stomach living in Latin America and having no choice and no voice.

  16. May 22, 2008 12:24 pm

    Amelia, thank you for sharing that – it’s a very important perspective to remember.


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