Blogging for choice!

Blog for Choice Day

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the American Supreme Court’s decision that legalized abortion in this country. NARAL has declared today “Blog For Choice Day”: they want bloggers to discuss why it’s important to vote pro-choice.

The answer to that is reasonably simple: the word choice. The pro-choice movement should not be characterized as a “pro-abortion” movement, and should not be cast in contrast to anti-abortion agitators. By definition, “pro-choice” means that every woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body. If a woman becomes pregnant, she could choose to have an abortion or carry the fetus to term, and then she could choose whether she would like to keep it or give it up for abortion. It is her body, and her final right to decide.

I’ve been reading quite a bit of late about these movements of men who are claiming to suffer post-traumatic stress because their wives or girlfriends chose to have abortions. I have a couple questions for these men. What post-traumatic stress would you suffer if you were suddenly drafted into the role of fatherhood? And what post-traumatic stress would your partner suffer if you pressured her into keeping a fetus for nine months and then raising a child for life? Yes, abortion is an important decision — there’s no reason to leave out the man to whom the sperm belonged, or other parties for whom the decision is important. But ultimately it is the pregnant woman who would carry the fetus for nine months, give birth to an infant, and most likely (because that’s how these things tend to go) care for it for the duration of childhood. Who else could such a life-changing decision possibly rest with but the woman herself? She deserves to make such a decision free of outside influences, and determine whether to abort the fetus or carry it to term regardless of what others might think best for her body and her life.

I live in America in the 21st century, that mythical time and place of the future when our bodies are our own. We have no more slavery or indentured servitude; in 2008 America no one owns our bodies but us. And yet, 35 years after Roe v. Wade, the right of a woman to choose what happens to her own body is as perilously under threat as it has ever been. I ask my 15-person readership to vote pro-choice because, regardless of one’s own beliefs about abortion, and what one would do in an individual situation, a pro-choice person stands for freedom and self-empowerment.

Now that’s what I mean by rights for women.


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