Choice: It's None of Your Business


It’s that age.

I have one friend who is hosting her baby shower. I have another friend who is waiting at an abortion clinic.

Another friend—of the friend who is having a baby—just bought a pink blanket with baby elephants on it for the baby shower. I’ve been sending my other friend funny text messages all morning—she is too strong and fierce to let me wait with her at the clinic, no matter how much I pleaded.

Both girls made the perfect choice. Because both girls made their choice—something that will shape what the rest of their lives look like.

So, I want to write about choice today—being a woman, republicans and how the choices we make are no one’s business except our own.

Having a baby at age 22 doesn’t look easy—but as her birthday is around the corner, we celebrate her upcoming arrival. Having an abortion at age 22 doesn’t look like an easy decision to make—but having that option is something to celebrate. Neither are tragic or to be despaired. As much as those who are pro-choice lament a young woman being saddled with a child not being able to have as much freedom as her childless friends, at some point her choice to become a mother needs to be accepted and celebrated. As much as women hear about another woman having an abortion and feel nauseas, sympathetic and upset at imagining—or remembering—that decision, it’s important to respect that choice as something responsible for the future. After all, she is in good company—one in every three women gets an abortion, and sixty percent of those women are already married.

Sometimes we don’t use as much protection as we should. Sometimes we use every type of protection possible—and despite the fact that it is 99% effective in conjunction with another form that is 99.7% effective, we are the .03 percent. Until there is a radical revolution in biology, and men can also get pregnant, we will always be at a disadvantage—as we fight for workplace and economic equality, leadership positions, and careers and contributions to the world around us that go far beyond the domestic sphere, it’s important that choice is available, affordable and accessible.

It’s a difficult choice to make—no one is in danger of trivializing it. But the social stigma and forced tragedy of it seem to only make it worse.

So, I would like to say a few words to all of the Republican (and Democrat) legislators trying to make abortion inaccessible—first through manipulating insurance plans away from covering it, then through enforcing mandatory counseling, mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds designed to guilt women about their choice and then through absurd regulations designed to shut down abortion clinics, making abortion nominally legal but inaccessible.

Those words? Fuck. You. All.

You are all men. You have no idea what it is like to be a woman, and what it is like to be pregnant, not be sure if you are pregnant or even any grasp of how much taking a pregnancy to term affects every aspect of daily life—and then the future thereafter. You can have children, see them when you come home, and continue your career (as an ideological terrible politician) being as absent as you choose to, or not to be.

Your desire to control women’s bodies is sickening. The painstaking effort you are taking on legislation to choke our right to choose from the outside, all the while cutting funding from institutions that actually matter would be absurd—if it weren’t so immediately dangerous to our lives and futures.

As men who wish to be called men, you have no role in the abortion debate other than to unquestioningly support women in whatever choice they might choose to make. Politicians, we are not your daughters, and even if we were you have no right to compromise our futures with one stroke of your patriarchal pen. Boyfriends, lovers, flings, sex buddies and men we knew for a night, this is not your choice. It is ours. We will figure it out. Trust us.

Feministe / By Anna Lekas Miller

Posted at July 7, 2012, 10:51am