Posted by: canthold | January 22, 2008

Blog For Choice

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I joined Blog for Choice to show my support for that important court ruling. Here is what Choice means to me:

I believe that giving a woman the ability to control the decisions involving her own body gives her a vote of confidence. Keeping Choice legal tells all women that they are important and worthwhile. In the Pro-Life focus on the unborn fetus, the fully grown woman is cast aside as insignificant.

As a mother I have learned the depth of maternal instincts in a way that only experience can impart. The desire to protect my children is potent and powerful. It is within this context that I believe I have the ability to know if I would be able to bring a child into this world. If a woman does not want her own baby, it can’t be a good thing to force her to have it.

Choice isn’t a matter convenience. It’s a matter of safety and well-being and a woman faced with bringing an unwanted child into this world knows when her safety and well-being are at jeopardy, as well as her ability – or lack of ability – to provide likewise for a baby. Taking away Choice does not change a woman’s mind, it puts her life at risk. A safe and legal abortion is far more preferential to a back-alley rusty coat-hanger job.

I cannot recall a time when I wasn’t supportive of a woman’s right to choose. It seems to be something that made sense to me like breathing air or drinking water. Perhaps it’s the influential Reagan years from my younger days when deregulation was gaining popularity. Deregulating the woman’s body is what Choice is all about. However natural this viewpoint has seemed to me, I was gravely influenced by a specific incident that happened in the early 1990s.

There was a young woman in her late teens who got pregnant. The state she lived in required parental consent for an abortion under the age of 18. Her father did a lot of interviews at the time to talk about his grief and he believed that he had the sort of relationship where his daughter could turn to him if she needed anything. Somehow this young woman was afraid to approach her dad this time. It might not have been because he wouldn’t have given her support, it might have been because she didn’t want to let him down. I don’t know. No one does. She crossed state lines and got an abortion and died from the complications. Her young life was over. Had she had better access to a safe abortion or the ability to seek medical attention without jumping through fire hoops, she might be alive today. The incident speaks to me on a lot of levels. It changed me.

I want to keep abortion legal so that if my own daughters cannot approach me for any reason whatsoever, they will not die from their decisions.

As parents and authority figures, adults do not know the influence they have on the young people around them. We tell them we do not trust their judgement to receive proper sex education. We expect them to be perfect little virgins until their wedding day but dare them to navigate this charade through blatant sexual messages in the media and in their very toys. We don’t give them any options or guidance about how to handle natural urges that their bodies create as a matter of physical maturity.

Our medical professionals can create numerous pills to keep impotence at bay, yet we cannot create foolproof birth-control methods, nor can we create birth-control for the men who are half of the responsibility equation. The birth-control options that are available are expensive, can be difficult to obtain and not covered by some insurance.

I am not pro-abortion. Ideally, women wouldn’t need to have them. I am Pro-Choice. I am Pro-Solution. I am Pro-Women. I am Pro-Keeping-Women-Safe-and-in-Control-of-Their-Own-Bodies.



  1. Very nicely put!

  2. Thanks Holly.

  3. I’m typing in the dark here. What amazes me about the pro-life movement is its assumption that once abortion is illegal women will automatically stop having them. It never seems to occur to any of them that women will instead be forced to have illegal, unsafe abortions.

    During one show I saw on the abortion issue, the reporter asked several pro-life supporters how long women who have abortions should go to prison for. The supporters were stunned at the question and couldn’t answer it. But that’s the reality. If it becomes illegal, women will end up going to prison for making a choice about their own bodies, and that’s just wrong.

    But so is the whole pro-life mentality.

  4. I also think that they need to offer solutions that would offer an alternative to abortions. Better sex education and adoption options would be helpful. Free birthcontrol, anyone?

    This issue is too complex to solve with an outright ban.

    It’s weird typing “in the dark” isn’t it? Thanks for hanging in there.

  5. I agree nicely put. I would like to see nore effort and thought going into how to prevent the need for an abortion. I would also like to see society becoming kinder and removing the stigma of giving a child up to a better family. It is a pure act of love that should be commended not condemed.

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