Saturday, May 16, 2015

Team You Do You

Right now my computer (at home) is down so blogging on any kind of regular basis is proving to be difficult (my job doesn't exactly want me writing non-work-related things on the clock... imagine that). 

My hope is to utilize some of the awesome journals I have lying around the house to gather my thoughts until I can find some time and internet access to post for the world to see.  I have so many ideas floating around my head, I don't want them to leak out while I'm technologically out of order.  All that being said, here's the latest:

Team You Do You

It seems like there is a lot of news/social media coverage on abortion rights lately.  You're expected to pick a side of the street to stand on and hold your "PRO-CHOICE" or "PRO-LIFE" signs and never find any middle ground.

Personally I tend to identify with the Pro Choice crowd, simply because I don't feel like it's my place to make other women's medical decisions for them, just like it isn't some stranger's place to make mine for me.  I believe that a woman should absolutely have a choice with what goes on with her own reproductive system and that her actual life trumps any potential life. 

I think her choice should be between her, her medical professionals, and whomever SHE decides to share it with.  If she choses to not notify her parents, the father/sperm donor, local news team, I think that she has her reasons and shouldn't be required to.  I do not think politicians, lobbyists, or random commenters on the internet should have a say in personal medical decisions.

I think that sex education should begin early in life, and be taught often.  It can start at home and lead to the classroom in age appropriate intervals.  People should be well informed about how their bodies work and all options for birth control and disease/infection prevention.  ALL OPTIONS.  Abstinence is something that should be taught along with condoms, hormonal birth control, and whatever else science may bring to the table, including abortions.  Abstinence only education simply doesn't work, and if you think talking to your kids about sex is scary and gross, imagine trying to help your child raise a child or having your kid have to deal with a preventable disease.  Birth control should be readily available at affordable prices, whether or not you have health insurance.  In my mind, an abortion should be a last ditch effort to stop an unwanted pregnancy, but life doesn't always go as planned. Abortions should be destigmatized, and should be looked at like any other medical procedure.

Let's face it.  Condoms break, The Pill sometimes fails, IUDs aren't compatible with everyone, sometimes a person gets caught up in the moment and has unprotected sex.  That doesn't even factor victims of sexual assault.  It only takes one sperm to collide with one egg and BOOM you could be pregnant even if you aren't prepared.  If you choose to continue the pregnancy, no matter the terms, that's your choice. I don't think anyone should be pressured into having an abortion that they don't want either. Your body, your choice. End of discussion.

Thankfully I've never been in a position where I've had to make that choice.  I have felt close once or twice though.  Shortly after college I found myself 30+ days late and I was terrified.  What would I tell my parents?  Would I be able to keep my job, or would my super religious bosses make things so uncomfortable that I would have to leave? I didn't have health insurance, how would I pay for anything?  Then the light bulb went off over my head and I did a Google search for the nearest Planned Parenthood and started looking at options.  A calmness washed over me, I wasn't stuck, there were choices. I wasn't going to have to face anything I wasn't emotionally or financially ready to deal with.  Luckily when I took (multiple) home pregnancy tests they were all negative and I was relieved of the decision making ordeal.  Not everyone gets that lucky, sometimes two pink lines show up at exactly the wrong time in someone's life and they're forced to come to terms with a new reality.

I think that if you call yourself "Pro-Life" you should hold yourself to that standard.  Support programs to help infants and children, instead of treating the young like punishments for their parents' reckless mistakes.  Make sure new mothers and fathers have all the tools they need to be good parents.  Encourage paid family leave for both parents after the arrival of their child.  Support prenatal care.  If you truly believe that life begins at conception make sure that you do what you can to make sure the child has the best chance at a future post-womb.  If you are not prepared for that kind of commitment to the life of all potential children, call yourself "anti-abortion" or "pro-birth" because if you aren't really interested in the life of the child once they take a breath outside of their mother's body, I don't see how you can call yourself "Pro-Life."

If you hate abortions, that's okay, that's your choice.  Don't get one, and don't encourage anyone your know or love to get one.  I know I'm making it all sound so simple.  I'm not including any statistics or antidotes beyond my own.  To me it all comes down to I'll do what's right for me in my life and my circumstances, and I won't judge you for doing what's right for you and yours.