Last night, I made a statement that I am a feminist, liberal pro-life woman. And I am. I am also a feminist, liberal, pro-choice woman. How can I be both?
In a perfect world, no woman would be forced to have or to choose an abortion. Her parents and the baby’s father would be a loving, supportive force for her. She would reside in a dormitory on campus designed for mothers with onsite daycare, enough room in the dorm for her and her child. Pumping stations near classrooms if she needs to pump. If she’s in high school, schools would have special classrooms for mothers and children, or special homeschooling programs to ensure the girls finish their education. Birth Control would be taught in high school as well to help prevent “unwanted” teen pregnancies. For working women, a one year maternity period would follow birth, or to compromise, 6 months. This would increase the number of breastfed babies because by the time the moms go back to work, breastfeeding would be well established. Pumping and working is not always easy as pumps are less efficient than nursing babies. More job sites would have onsite daycare, or be more flexible to allow women to telecommute.
It’s not a perfect world. So I understand why women choose abortion. I don’t want to take her choice away. I just can’t call myself truly pro-choice, when I feel some women don’t have a choice. Choose to have the baby and perhaps be a single mom with no education trying to find a job to support your baby, returning to work weeks, and in some cases days, after birth. Been a teenager with unsupportive or even abusive parents, again, no education. No chance to go to college or finish high school. Or, have an abortion and finish school, go to college, get a job. Those are choices? It’s a fallacy that women have choices. I’ve had friends who had abortions because they didn’t know where to turn for help, or their parents pressured them. The only choice they had was Sophie’s Choice. Choosing one bad over another bad.
I can’t really call myself pro-life because I don’t like most pro-lifers, at least the active ones. They are narrow minded. They don’t truly care about the babies. They don’t care about the mothers. They care about controlling and punishing. Once the babies are born, they don’t help the mothers and babies at all. They criticize nursing mothers; they cut funding for WIC and other programs designed to help the poor. They cut medical funding. They scoff if you ask for longer maternity leaves. They provide support for formula feeding, but not nursing in public. They condemn the mothers who go in for abortions, rather than condemn the system that made them have to make that choice. They are against teaching birth control or providing birth control (pick your poison, I say, birth control or abortion, which is worse?).
I don’t judge a woman for making either choice: to have the baby, or to not. It is her choice. It’s her body. But we need to push laws to give women a REAL choice. I’m not going to stand in front of an abortion clinic, unless I have a solution to her problem. If I can go there and take a mom by the hand and tell her that I can help her and give her a place to live and an education, I’ll go, but until then, leave her alone.