You’re probably reading this post because you think I’m going to blog about how immoral it is for uterus-bearing people to have any sort of determination over their own lives, because I think that a fetus’ life matters more than a grown person’s.
I’m not. That’s not what pro-life means. That’s what people in the anti-choice movement, who have co-opted the term pro-life, mean when they rant about abortion being “murder” and hold up their signs with the pictures of the dead fetuses in an effort to scare people to their way of thinking.
I’m pro-life because I believe that every person has the right to a healthy life. I believe that having a right to a healthy life includes the right to determine one’s own reproductive health.
This doesn’t just mean that I believe that abortions should be offered free and on demand without apology. I do believe that abortions should be offered free and on demand, without apology. But that’s not all I believe.
The “right to choose” isn’t much of a right if you don’t have the ability. It’s very easy to talk about it as “pro-choice” if you’re middle-class, white, or Canadian (with all the free health care, I mean). But, you know, the legal right to get an abortion isn’t going to stop a 13 year old from stabbing herself in the uterus with a pencil if she doesn’t know abortions are available, or if they indeed, are not available anywhere near her.
I see this argument a lot. “Feminists shouldn’t complain because abortion is a legal right, and that has nothing to do with this 13 year old’s choice to stab herself with a pencil!”
This argument is fucking bullshit.
The right to choose doesn’t just stop at the legislation that allows abortion. It includes the amount of abortion clinics in a given area, the coverage of abortion costs by insurance providers, availability of aftercare services for people who have just had an abortion, and availability of information regarding abortion services to people who might not know otherwise (poor people, teenagers, etc). The right to choose includes pre- and post-natal care for mothers* of all income and age brackets, information on the risks of both carrying a child to term and abortion, funding for pregnancy and childcare medical services, daycare, and a comprehensive system for adoption that doesn’t let kids fall through the cracks. The legal right to choose means precisely jack and shit if abortion options and abortion funding are not in place across the board. The legal right to choose means precisely jack and shit if pregnancy and childcare services and funding are not in place across the board.
And they’re not.
Not here, not in the States. North America does not give its uterus-bearing people the right to choose how to handle their own reproductive health.
So when I say I’m pro-life, I mean I’m pro having enough options and funding that abortion is free and legal for everyone, across the board, in Canada and the States and any other countries where that’s not already the case. I mean I’m pro having enough funding for pregnancy and childcare services for people of every age and income brackets, so that the right to choose really is a right.
When I say I’m pro-life, I mean I find it unconscionable that we live in a world where “pro-life” means “anti-choice”, and where you have to distinguish yourself as pro-choice because there are people who believe that you shouldn’t have that choice. I mean I find it absolutely disgusting that these self-righteous assholes have the gall to say they’re pro-life when they show no regard for the life of the mother after xe brings the unwanted pregnancy to term, nor any regard for the child that’s been born in a world that’s already over-populated, with over-taxed resources.
When I say pro-life, I mean exactly that — because you can’t be pro-life without being pro-choice. If you do not support a person’s right to choose how hir own health is taken care of, then you do not support that person’s life — and taking the moniker pro-life is a lie at best, and a heinous act of anus-facery at worst.
I’m pro-life because I believe that everyone should have the right to determine hir own health.**