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Pro-Choice Isn't Pro-Abortion

Alice Sullivan is an aspiring writer based in Prague, Czech Republic. She is passionate about many social issues and is a vocal activist.

We talk about all of these conditions in which abortion would be okay: if you are going to die or if the baby was going to die, if you are a victim of rape or if you are not in a safe position to raise the baby. All of these reasons are valid and they are perfectly acceptable reasons to need an abortion, but so is not wanting to be pregnant. If I got pregnant, I would have an abortion and I am not ashamed of that. It doesn’t make me a heartless baby-killer.

Making a choice

I would not take joy in terminating my pregnancy. I have had one pregnancy scare in my life and I was genuinely terrified. I thought about having to make an appointment at the clinic for an abortion and how upsetting it would be. It is not a decision that I would take lightly, but having a baby is not an option for me right now. I cannot even commit to living in one country for more than one year and that’s stopped me from getting a cat. Deciding not to get a cat was a difficult decision. The difference is that I actually want a cat and I am making the choice not to adopt one. I don’t want a baby, so I will do all that I can to prevent having one.

A negative pregnancy test

A negative pregnancy test

One of the times I had unprotected sex was when I was raped. If that had made me pregnant, that abortion would have been viewed as more acceptable. That horrible circumstance would have caused more sympathy for me. If I had a wonderful consensual experience and got pregnant, I am just a whore who made a mistake. I take precautions with contraception, so it would be a really unlikely accident. The implant has a 99% success rate and I usually use condoms, but what if I was the 1%. I took all of the measures necessary to prevent pregnancy and they failed, so I have to give up my life over an accident? I refuse to accept that.

Discussions Of Pro-Choice Views In Feminism

I was watching this VICE video in which a group of women from a broad range of backgrounds discussed various issues from intersectional feminism, with one of the topics being abortion (timestamp 19:27). A couple of the women were pro-life and one of them said that “the modern feminist movement has become synonymous with abortion”. I think that idea that feminists are encouraging everyone to kill their babies is ridiculous. The whole point of pro-choice isn’t that it is pro-abortion. She told us that she doesn’t “subscribe to abortion”, but I honestly don’t think any of us do. As I said before, if it came to it I would choose to get one. The times in my life I have taken a pregnancy test have been in anticipation of needing an abortion. There should not be an issue with that. I have the right to choose.

How important is the discussion of abortion rights today?

The reproductive healthcare rights of people all around the world have been threatened, whether it is the recent legislation completely banning abortion in Poland or the forced hysterectomies performed by ICE on immigrants in the USA. It is really terrifying watching these events unfold. I had to google the status of abortion in the Czech Republic out of a weird anxious moment I had. It’s legal up until 12 weeks here, but it is not covered by health insurance and costs about £100. Flying home to get a free one would probably be cheaper.

I am extremely privileged to be able to do that. Abortion access is a massive issue. Even at clinics that may be hours away from your home, protestors harass everyone entering and that clinic offers many more services than just abortion (STD screenings, birth control and breast cancer screenings to name a few). I couldn’t imagine having to face that on what would already be a difficult day.

Questions for Pro-Lifers

I understand that the argument of abortion being “murder” seems to be playing towards the compassion of the public, but regardless of science proving the lack of sentience of a foetus, there are much more compelling arguments. Are these “pro-life” protestors fighting this fiercely for the lives of black people, LGBT people and disabled people? Are these pro-life supporters advocating for effective sex education, which is a huge barrier to preventing unwanted pregnancies and therefore cancelling out the need for many abortions? Probably not. It is so important that pro-choice advocates continue to fight for bodily autonomy in every case. Not just the ones where you personally think abortion is acceptable. Pro-choice means everyone gets to make their own choice about themselves. How can you fight against that?

© 2020 Alice Sullivan

Comments

Alice Sullivan (author) from Prague, Czech Republic on November 02, 2020:

Thank you Cynthia. I think it's so important that we talk about these experiences and have a more nuanced discussion rather than just the unproductive yelling and misogyny!!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on November 01, 2020:

This was a good argument for the importance of standing up for people evrrywhere when making choices that affect their own agency in a democracy.

It takes courage to speak out about your support for reproductive rights and to share some of your own story. We live in a crazy world with backlash misogyny preached and practiced in places of power. I stand with you.

Alice Sullivan (author) from Prague, Czech Republic on October 29, 2020:

Yes, I have been thinking about this topic for a while, as abortion laws change and are discussed in other countries around me. As you said there are many reasons a woman could make that decision, therefore I believe they should be able to make that choice for themselves. Thanks for your comment.

Sharlee on October 29, 2020:

I can see you put a lot of thought, and work into this article. You certainly gave a very common-sense view of the issue. It a topic that certainly divides women. It seems there can be no middle. I am an RN and in my view, there is a middle. There are many reasons that bring women to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Good job covering a very hot topic.