“I mean, if someone is, like, homophobic, or transphobic, or racist, then of course they’re just an asshole. I’m pro-choice, but when it comes to abortion, I’ll at least listen to what a pro-lifer has to say,” my friend said over coffee.
I mulled over his words, trying to understand why hearing someone simply state they’d give someone who believes abortion should be illegal a chance to explain themselves still caused a golf ball of rage to swell up in my throat.
Here’s the thing: There’s nothing to explain.
Since the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade made abortion legal there have been heated debates across the country about if abortion is safe, or if a legal medical procedure is actually just plain old murder.
But whether or not a woman should be forced to use her body for something she doesn’t want to use it for is not a philosophical debate, even though we tend to treat it like one.
As a woman, the only person who can decide if I should grow a baby in my uterus, give it life and nurture it, then give birth to it and raise it, is me. And it makes me uncomfortable that others — especially men — seem to believe their opinion about that is just as important as mine is.
Now, with only a day until President-elect Donald Trump takes his oath of office, the fact that women’s bodies are not a political battleground needs to be crystal clear.
In the midst of the GOP’s and president-elect’s misogynistic, terrifying attempt to make abortions essentially impossible to receive in many states, as well as to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that serves as the only accessible source of healthcare to millions of women, even a “moderate” stance on abortion is an active attack on women and women’s health.
People often point out Planned Parenthood does more than provide abortion services — they provide birth control, pap smears, STI tests, cancer screenings and more. Furthermore, many people realize government funding doesn’t even go toward providing abortions for women who need them — funding for abortions comes from other sources.
Legislation banning state funds from going toward abortion forces many women to pay for procedure out-of-pocketAs conservative efforts across the country have limited access to abortion clinics, the question of whether or not recent legislation Read…
Planned Parenthood remains under siege because its opponents are unable to differentiate between the actual goals of Planned Parenthood and abortion, just one of many services the organization provides. Which is fine, because the right to abortion is really, really, important, and making that clear to the public is the only way to stop the attack on Planned Parenthood.
When the stakes are this high, vocalizing the fact you think abortion is a “little” bad, even if you don’t think it should be illegal, simply gives legitimacy to the idea that there are a range of reasonable legal stances that one can take on this issue. There aren’t.
Implying it’s “hard to decide” whether women should be forced against their will to host a growing fetus inside of their body for nine months, and then be responsible for the person it later becomes, for 18 years or more, is irresponsible.
It’s irresponsible, even if you decide in the end that you’re okay with women taking ownership of their own uteruses.
It’s irresponsible to treat millions of women’s real, actual lives like a stimulating philosophical debate to have over drinks.
Because in our current political climate, keeping the line between philosophical concepts and actual, concrete policies that will affect millions of women’s lives is absolutely vital.
Wisconsin now has only two Planned Parenthood abortion clinicsPlanned Parenthood of Wisconsin is closing its Appleton abortion clinic, leaving the state with only three other centers that offer abortions. In Read…
In a world where the legitimacy of climate science and CIA reports are being questioned, those who care about women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people who are disabled or poor and human rights in general cannot afford to be moderate, to compromise or allow the facts to become blurred.
We need to be radical, and standing up for Planned Parenthood, wholeheartedly, including safe, legal abortion services, is a vital place to start.
Julia O’Donnell ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism and strategic communication.