If I were to write for The Onion, my story would read: “Pro-Lifer Discovers She’s Pro-Choice!” Yeah, I know. But I’ve always struggled with labels. Part of it’s probably how I hate conforming to almost anything. Part of it’s that weird assumption that Pro-Choice people are cheering on abortions as if they are cheering on gladiators, or how the mob cheered on beheadings during The Reign of Terror in France. Um, no thank you.
So let’s take these two labels of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. I always felt more comfortable with “Pro-Life” because I value LIFE (just as Pro-Choicers do. You can’t be pro-choice and not value life). I respect that you shouldn’t have to waste away in your last years miserably if you don’t want to, that you have a right to not bring a child into the world because you care about the quality of life that child might have or how that life might impact the lives of your family (no one will ever know or understand those circumstances better than the person making the choice), that a convicted criminal shouldn’t be put to death, that we should not wage war and take another’s life because (ultimately) a few powerful people disagree.
The conversations I have around Pro-Choice with my peers are always about the VALUE of the life being lived. When I’ve called myself a Pro-Lifer, it’s not that I’ve supported anti-abortion policies. I truly believe abortion rights ARE pro-life. That’s how I feel. How a lot of Pro-Choice women and men feel.
These days, with all that’s happening, I’ve been thinking about the political side of what it means to be Pro-Choice and I need to embrace the proper political label. Because I AM for a woman’s right, not the government’s right, to choose what happens to or with my body.
That’s why I carried a sign at the Women’s March on Washington that said (on one of the sides) MY BODY. MY VOICE. MY COUNTRY. MY CHOICE.