December 2, 2017

Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life

Something that’s I’ve always found pretty confusing about the pro-choice vs pro-life dichotomy is how the two groups have been named. Referring to pro-lifers as  “pro-life” almost implies that their counterparts are advocating for the opposite – which is not even remotely accurate.  Pro-life advocates always like to make it appear as though pro-choice actually means “pro-abortion” – that people who advocate for pro-choice are merely advocating for more abortions. In reality, this isn’t the case at all. Pro-choice means you are an advocate for the woman, and supporting her judgement in what she thinks is best for her at any given time (same rule applies to any individual with a uterus, whether they identify as women or not).

In fact, pro-choice organizations have done more to prevent abortions than anyone would like you to believe. Pro-choice groups focus on providing the woman with a solid support system, so that the woman is sure that she will have people in her corner if she decides to have the baby, making it easier for her and less scary. They also help provide women with several contraceptives, to prevent accidental pregnancies from happening in the first place (e.g. access to birth control, condoms, or access to sexual education that teaches the importance of safe sex).

This may come as a surprise to many people, but making abortions illegal actually does very little to the rate of abortions as a whole. It doesn’t stop them, it doesn’t even make them happen less. All it does is back women into a corner, causing them to resort an illegal (and probably unsafe) way out. And if the women do decide to have their babies, they receive no support from these groups that urged them to “do the right thing”. Unlike pro-choice groups, after the baby is born, pro-life groups don’t take the time to follow up and try to help new, struggling mothers. So maybe a more accurate name for them would be “pro-birth”? Referring to them as pro-life advocates is misleading, since they provide absolutely no support for this new life after the mother gives birth.

If a woman decides that she is not ready to have a baby, then her judgement should be trusted. After all, it is her body, and nobody can understand her and what she can handle more than she can. No one is advocating for abortions. In fact, both sides are actively trying to reduce abortion rates. However, being pro-choice means you’re pro-woman. It means you want the woman to have freedom when it comes to her reproductive health, and supporting her regardless of what she chooses. It means providing women with a strong and solid support system that they can always turn to, as well as other options as needed.

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