For those of you who know anything about my political leanings or personal views, you know that I more or less consider myself a “male feminist.” That is, I’m a man who believes in equal rights, equal treatment, equal everything, for women. I believe the only way men and women differ is their biological gender (and maybe their psychological gender as well), but other than that, as members of society we are equals and should be treated equally. Gender roles? Who needs ‘em?
One thing I adamantly will defend is a woman’s right to control her body, and a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Hell, even my own mother had an abortion before I was born. Do I hold it against her? Not at all, and I believe that she had every right to do what she did and will defend her on it. If she would have chosen to carry to term, that would have been fine also. Pro-choice is not about being pro-abortion per se, it’s about supporting the freedom of choice. Just like I don’t believe in forcing women to carry to term, I also don’t believe in forcing women to terminate. Personal choice is the name of the game here.
So, why am I doing a blog about this, seeing as how I’m already pretty set in my ways? Truth be told, the more vocal anti-choicers (the term “pro-life” is a load of garbage, one can be both pro-life and pro-choice, and most women I know are best described in this way) are manipulative and just are not honest people. Let’s take a look shall we?
Anti-choicers like to throw around pictures of aborted fetuses and stuff, choosing to focus on supposed late-term abortions. I’ve got news for you: what you see in those pictures is not the result of late-term abortion. Those are generally babies born prematurely who have died from complications or otherwise natural means, and then these anti-choicers get ahold of them and doctor them to use the shock factor. For most of us who are pro-choice, this doesn’t phase us because we know exactly what they do. It’s not different than what PETA does in their investigation videos (PETA drives me nuts, by the way, and I’m vegetarian, go figure). Doctored images are nothing new to the anti-choice world, it’s been going on for several years. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in my work as an intactivist, it’s that shock tactics very rarely, if ever, work.
Anti-choicers love to throw around the supposed “medical risks” of abortion, often times blowing them up ridiculously out-of-proportion and even claiming supposed risks that have long since been debunked by the latest data. As anyone knows, no medical procedure, be it surgical or the consumption of prescription drugs, is completely risk-free. Seeing as how abortion is indeed a medical procedure, it does have its inherent risks (internal bleeding, perforated uterus, etc. just to name a few). These risks are minimized by a well-trained, skillful physician. Myths like abortion raising the risk of breast cancer have long since been trashed, and quite frankly my mother popped myself and my youngest sister out of her womb and we turned out just as healthy as could be, despite her earlier abortion. Doesn’t sound to me like abortion is that big of a factor in the risk of miscarriage. The real big risk I can see is the risk one might regret it later, but that’s not a medical risk so it shouldn’t even be a consideration.
Another big thing anti-choicers love to play upon is religion. OK, I’ll give this to you, because quite frankly pretty much all denominations of Christianity (with the exception of your very liberal ones), Judaism, and Islam, oppose abortion from a religious standpoint. I am none of the above. I’m a Unitarian Universalist with atheistic tendencies. The UUA has supported choice since its inception and will continue to do so. Religion is really the only thing I think anti-choicers can argue on, and I’ve yet to find a compelling secular reason to oppose a woman’s right to choose. That said, is that a good enough reason for making it illegal? The answer is no, because not everybody adheres to a particular religion. Supporting a federal ban on abortions is no different than supporting organized religion, which is contrary to what the constitution claims.
Lastly, dare you oppose an anti-choice organization on the internet or in writing, prepare to be censored. I left a comment on the YouTube upload of the video “The Silent Scream” (which, by the way, that video is very clearly fake, I’ve seen enough sonograms to know that’s not exactly what they look like), exposing the video for the lies it contained within. You know what their response was? Delete my comment and block me. So typical anti-choice, there. If that doesn’t scream propaganda to you, I don’t know what does.
One last remark I’d like to make is this: roughly 7 in 10 anti-choice leaders are male. OK dudes, let’s get real here. When are you EVER going to carry a baby? What gives you the gall to say that women should be forced to carry to term, when you yourself will never, ever experience it yourself. Something tells me you’d be crushed to carry something for nine months and give it up to never see it again. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Until you’ve lived a day in the life of a pregnant woman, you have absolutely no right to tell that woman what to do. This issue does not affect you, so butt out.
So, what do anti-choicers really want? Are they really in it to “protect the unborn” as they say? If you think that they are, you’re wrong. Here’s what they’re hell-bent on: punishing women for making their own decisions about what to do with their bodies, and Christianizing the country. That’s all there is to it. That said, most of us who are pro-choice very clearly see through that smoke screen.
Where does the real work need to be done? Even as someone who is adamantly pro-choice, and I believe every pro-choice person will say this, we need to work to reduce the number of abortions that take place. Do I believe abortion is necessarily the right thing to do or is a moral thing to do in all situations? I’m not going to say that, personally. I will say though that I don’t think anyone is going to deny that abortion is way too commonplace today. The real answers to reducing the number of abortions are not on the law books, but in education. Comprehensive sex education is needed in schools, and also needs to be public access. Abstinence-only sex education, I believe, is the real thing to place the blame on. Abortionists should provide detailed analysis of the benefits and risks of the procedure, something they don’t do that well. Informed choice is always a good thing. Development of better, more failsafe forms of contraception is a must for reducing the number of abortions (well, unless you’re Catholic, but thanks to them and their anti-contraception teachings we’re facing a massive overpopulation crisis).
So, in conclusion, what are anti-choicers exactly? Nothing more than a bunch of manipulative, academically dishonest theocrats.