This is the second letter in our pro-choice/pro-life debate series. When you stand firmly for a cause like a woman’s reproductive right, it can be hard to understand how anyone can see things differently. This letter may not reflect our own opinions on the issue of abortion, but it does help us understand things from another perspective and can help us to make arguments for our side of the issue.
An Open letter to Pro-Choicers,
My birth mom didn’t want to have me. She discovered, too late, that she was pregnant, in a time and place that made a late-term abortion very difficult. So she gave me up for adoption, and I was joyfully taken in by the most wonderful, loving parents I could have imagined. I love my life. I work for a great non-profit, I have a furry gray cat who thinks he’s a tiger, I live walking distance to the most divine coffee shop, and I love living (let’s face it, it’s all I’ve known.)
I don’t want to berate you for your beliefs – I don’t look down at you and I completely understand why you think it’s important for women to have a say in such a fundamental part of their lives. After all, a baby isn’t a one or two year commitment – it’s a life time of supporting another human. A big deal. I get it. And I’m proud of you for taking it seriously; and, weirdly, proud of you for standing up for women (even though I don’t agree with this particular cause), because women have it pretty rough.
We are still generally paid less than men for the same work; the glass ceiling is very much alive, and we routinely have to deal with sexual harassment. I completely understand why you don’t want a man (or anyone) trying to dictate what you do with your body.
But then, I guess, this is where I have a slight problem. I believe life has a purpose, that we are put here for a reason, and that purpose starts at conception. So, then, it’s not just your body you are trying to make a choice about: it’s the body (however little it resembles one), of another being, another life, and I just don’t believe that’s your choice to make. Because I believe it’s a little human, whenever you tell me that you aren’t in a good place to take care of it, all I hear is that you think you’re allowed to destroy a life for your own convenience.
And yes, I get that it might not have a fully functional system or think in complete thoughts, but it has the potential to do so. At three weeks your baby has a heartbeat. At nine weeks it has fingernails. Why is it that the same thing is considered a fetus by a mother who doesn’t want it, and a baby by that same mother, years later, now that she wants it? Is life really so gray? Do we really get to look at the same ultrasound and say “My baby!” or “That’s a collection of cells!”
Guess what? A lot of pro-lifers kind of suck. They say “save the babies” but then they refuse to invest in the struggling moms once the baby has been born. I’m not cool with that. I’m all about taking care of the poor and weak in our society (which, yes, I consider unborn babies to be a part of that group).
I’m not a pro-life woman who expects you to do it all on your own. I think you should get free daycare (yup I said it), and donated diapers and clothing. I think you should get all the support you need because you are raising a child! And if you truly don’t feel that you can raise a child, I think that you should be helped to find the perfect family who will love and raise that child.
I think you are brave and strong. You are a woman. Women are life carriers. Our bodies are built to nourish and cradle and ultimately give birth to new life. That’s pretty amazing.