I wrote yesterday about abortion. I do hate that word, and I shared yesterday that it is because of its divisiveness. I must confess to you, the other reason, is generally speaking, the act of stopping the potential of a human life is counter to my own moral compass. Yep, I know that’s a taboo confession among card-carrying progressive feminists, but it’s not something I think I could do. That feeling has only grown as I’ve watched my own children develop into the awesome little spirits they are.
But let me say, I’m not Pro-Lifer, and let me confuse you more by saying that I think Monday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is fair and based on solid Constitutional Law. Because as much as I don’t believe I could have an abortion and hope women explore every alternative option that’s feasible before they do, I don’t believe the state or federal government should dictate that. I especially have issue laws like those in Texas requiring abortion clinics to meet the standards as surgical centers or the one in North Carolina requiring that clinics send ultrasound images of aborted fetuses to the state. Supporters pretend to care about women’s health in their support of such legislation, when in fact we all know it has nothing to do with patient safety, and it’s insulting to think we buy that.
I call on the Pro Life movement to shift their money and effort to giving women reasons to think they don’t have to have an abortion. Educate young women pre-pregnancy and post, increase their access to contraceptives, and make the process of adoption more accessible. It’s fair to say that some Pregnancy Crisis Centers offer this, but we need to go further and be sure this help is free of judgement and shame.
Beyond that, we need to spend all of this effort in this decades’ old debate in supporting women once they have children. Increase access to affordable childcare, guarantee paid maternity leave, and help them build their network. If you really care about the wellbeing of a fetus and/or child – mean what you say – and support services that support the future of children. I’ve got to point out that some of the very supporters of laws governing abortions in this state and country are the ones who aren’t supporting the expansion of Medicaid and early childhood education. Is it just me or does anyone find both stances contradictory. If you support life, you should support the whole life and what happens after a baby is born.
And let’s accept that even if we do all of that, there will be some women who still feel like it is their best option. I won’t pretend to know enough to dictate their decision, and neither should our government. I can only evaluate mine. We need to accept that because none of us (including myself) are in their shoes.