This took me way longer to write and put out than I wanted- so I’m really sorry about that. I have been rolling thoughts about this post around in my head for weeks, but I have been absurdly busy and I was afraid to try to write on such a sensitive topic while being preoccupied or on a time limit. Fortunately….tonight, I have the time I was looking for. So… -deep breath- …here we go.
Ordinarily I don’t really argue with people on abortion. The topic is too based around peoples’ personal belief systems, which means it is rarely productive. I’m also not interested in telling people if their moral beliefs are “right” or “wrong.” Not only do I not want to- I really can’t, because morality is a spectrum that no one person can claim the right to define for anybody except themselves. BUT. I’m making an exception and writing about this topic now for a few reasons.
The passing of the “Notorious” Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Rest-In-Power) was a terrible loss felt across the entire nation. What RBG did for women’s rights and the preservation of justice and fairness during her lifetime is absolutely incredible. Unfortunately, a significant piece of the progress she made is being threatened by the hasty decisions of politicians who wish to appoint a decidedly anti-choice Supreme Court candidate in her stead.
That, coupled with the fact that I have recently heard a multitude of people share that they are basing their vote entirely on “the abortion issue”…leads me to feel like this conversation is really important to have right now. Because even though I don’t think I can change anybody’s mind on abortion itself….I do hope I can encourage people to think about basing their vote on more than solely “The Abortion Issue.”
Let’s get started.
First- I’d like to point out something that seems obvious once stated, but not always acknowledged when people engage in discussion on this topic.
None of us think murdering babies is okay.
Seriously. Pro-Choice and Pro-Life people both. We are ALL anti-baby-murder. Only extreme, extremist crazy people are like “It’s cool to murder babies.” The ACTUAL disagreement that exists is not that pro-choice people are pro-women’s-choice-to-commit-murder…
It’s that we don’t all agree when life starts.
For the most part at least. I can’t speak for everyone and there are definitely a lot of other contributing factors and arguments for being pro-choice that are different from mine. But I am going to share my own thoughts on all of this and then you can take them or leave them.
I personally do not view a fetus as a baby until after 20 weeks. I know that’s not the case for everyone and I don’t plan to try to change anybody’s mind. Like I said… I’m just sharing my thoughts. NO fetus has ever lived outside of a woman’s body prior to 21 weeks, even with all of the advances we’ve made in medicine. So having an abortion before that is not something that makes my brain freak out, because I TRULY DO NOT BELIEVE A BABY IS BEING KILLED. It is also not until after 20 weeks of gestation that the brain of the fetus starts to exhibit any sort of activity…which is when my personal beliefs start to shift away from “potential” and toward “baby.” Think about it…there are so many people who are removed from life-support in the hospital after being declared “brain-dead” by a doctor…and nobody thinks of that as murder. I view this similarly.
I am not making some kind of “trade” or concession in my mind where I just think it’s so important for a woman to get to make her own choices about her body that she should be allowed to kill a baby. I just DO NOT BELIEVE that she is actually killing a baby. If I DID think that…. I would be fighting tooth and nail against it!!! And I think that’s where many pro-life people are coming from.
Understanding the root of this disagreement is really important in order to have courteous and productive conversations about it…which is why I took some time to unpack my personal thoughts on it. But the real thing that I wanted to talk about in this post is why people shouldn’t be voting for a candidate or party exclusively because of “the abortion issue.” Which is what I’ll get into now.
I personally have never had an abortion. I also have a son who is almost two-years-old and is the absolute light of my life. I can’t fully express how much I love him or what he means to me. He is my everything. So- I’m not coming from this not understanding how precious a child is or anything like that. I promise. I KNOW they are incredible.
Which is actually why I’m pro-choice. I personally 10000% support women, am a super feminist, and think women should be able to choose what happens with their bodies. But the MAIN reason that I’m pro-choice is because of children themselves. I think children are absolutely amazing and I never want a child born into a home where they can’t be cared for or worse…are unwanted or unloved.
Here’s a tldr picture of the rest of what I’m going to talk about in this post.
Fewer than 8 thousand abortions happen after 20 weeks gestation per year in our country and they’re frequently medically necessary. Additionally, at least 75% of those were requested by women in poverty or women who found out that they were pregnant very late. (Ps. All of these statistics can be found on the CDC’s website).
Apart from people basing their vote solely on the abortion issue, when arguably relatively few are actually occurring…. it honestly surprises the heck out of me when people say they vote for conservative candidates because they are against abortion. Those are usually the representatives who are blocking free contraceptives and comprehensive sex education! If we provided those two things, we could drasticallllyyyy (62-78%) reduce the number of abortions happening in America.
There are 11-18 MILLION children who are going hungry in our country EVERY YEAR. That is HEARTBREAKING. I don’t want any child to grow up suffering if it can be helped. I want them born into loving homes where they are wanted and able to be cared for….not just “born”. Right now… when we try to establish systems or programs that ensure babies who are born have their basic needs met…. the same “Pro-Life” conservative representatives block them. (And that’s without diving into how they also block so many other things that would help children- like spending more money on education or subsidizing childcare….which I’ll write about another time).
I am not asking that anybody change their stance on abortion. I know that’s a really personal belief and I respect that. What I am asking is this-
Please…do not vote for a candidate this November simply because they state they are “pro-life.”
“Pro-life” is not the same thing as “pro-children” or even “moral.” There are 850 MILLION people in America who will be effected by whoever replaces RBG and by the results of the election.
Just please…consider all of the issues on the table when you’re making your choice.
Stay safe and healthy everyone ❤