It’s the 35th anniversary of Roe V. Wade and Blog For Choice; NARAL wants to know why we vote pro-choice. After 35 years of legalization it’s hard to imagine why this very personal and intimate medical procedure is necessary of such vigilance in its continued support. Our public discourse is painted in caricatures and broadcasted with soundbites; there is little room for nuance or real women.
The average person can picture someone that has had an abortion, and very well may vote with her in mind. She’s the virginal woman whose fetus suffers a fetal abnormality, she’s the slut who can’t keep track of her lovers much less her cycle, she’s the rape victim, she’s the cancer patient, she’s the woman that birth control failed, she’s the drug addict, she’s the impoverished mother, she’s the incest victim, she’s the diabetes patient, she’s the irresponsible but promising college student, she’s the woman of ethnic background, she’s the career-driven bitch, she’s the vain one, she’s the taxed mother with 4 other children, she’s the mentally unstable woman, she’s the woman carrying the child of someone other than her husband, she’s the woman left by her lover; she’s the woman that many voters may pity.
While her circumstance may be acknowledged, she is not. If she was treated as a fully sentient, independent and whole individual do you believe that she would be forced to justify her choice to the phoned in straw polls every 4 years? A woman’s womb has become a permanent fixture in the town square, and the village is full of righteous shopkeepers. If she dare exercise her rights she had better be prepared to justify it to those around her with tales of woe or be forced to forgo inherent occupancy of her own body. How is this exchange any different than being declared mentally incompetent in order to obtain an abortion 40 years ago?
The justifications that women have been subjected to have been enacted through mandated wait times, parental consent, spousal approval, and even insurance coverage; a battle that also includes birth control. Voting pro-choice doesn’t focus exclusively on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion, it also subscribes to the belief that a woman is wholly capable to make the choice that is right for her within the recognized limits of the law. Unfortunately we live in a society where others(and there are plenty of them) believe women are less important than their potential to produce.
I vote pro-choice because I believe in women, their health, and the notion that every child in the world is a wanted one. I believe that women already cater to their loved ones enough to take into account what their wishes are, already care about making the world a better place to be resourceful in their paths, and know themselves well enough to have the wisdom that only comes from being the heiress of a uterus. I vote pro-choice because I trust women.