Young Voices

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Pro-choice isn't the same as 'baby killer'

In a country where we value choices and the freedom to make our own decisions, President Bush has attempted to strip away a choice families have had since 1973--the choice of bringing a wanted and loved child into this world. The choice of abortion.

Before I get on my soapbox, let me explain a phenomenon here in the United States. Currently, there are two discourses occurring over the abortion issue. I'm sure you all are very aware of the pro-life vs. pro-choice dichotomy. But if I learned anything from spending three months overseas, it is America has the abortion argument all wrong. We are arguing about two different things-the life of an embryo and the rights of men, women and families.

When I tell people I am Pro-Choice, it does not mean I am against life; it does not mean I am a "baby killer," an atrocious term I have heard too many pro-lifers use in political and societal arguments. By saying I am Pro-Choice, I am not saying I believe all children should be aborted. In fact, I personally would not abort a pregnancy, but does that give me the right to tell other freethinking, responsible individuals what they can and cannot do with their bodies? No.

Being Pro-Choice is all about understanding no one can control your body but yourself and refusing to stand in the way of other's choices and freedoms. It is knowing the government has NO right to tell you what is good for your life or the life of your loved ones. Pro-Choice is about standing on the fundamental beliefs our country was based on-freedom, liberty and LIFE. Yes, life. A life that is wanted, able to be loved and taken care of.

Basically, Pro-Choice boils down to caring about the rights of women and families and the quality of any child's life. If this isn't "pro-life", I don't know what is.

So, politicians out there who wish to overturn Roe vs. Wade, people who have unintelligently convinced themselves de-legalizing abortion will make it go away, and those who wish to control the actions of others are Anti-Choice. This is the real dichotomy we should focus on...

Our current Anti-Choice President has adversely affected more people around the world than many of his predecessors. Bush's sneaky ways of attempting to overturn a right we've possessed for over 30 years has made me fear for my body should he be reelected.

Research the stats for yourself. President Bush and his Anti-Choice cronies who are ruling the roost in Washington are making life harder for people, not just women, all over the world. While overseas, I saw firsthand the terrible effects our Anti-Choice president has had on the world. Non-profit organizations in nearly every country lost millions of dollars through the Mexico City Policy, or the Global Gag rule, and were forced to stop offering educational classes about HIV and reproduction. Non-profit health clinics serving men and women around the world were forced to close because of Anti-Choice Bush. More children were without mothers because, when they couldn't receive an abortion, they died in childbirth.

And don't forget: abortion will happen whether or not it is legal. It was legalized in the first place to make women and children safer. It is the government's job to provide its people with every available option to better their lives. If abortion is one such option, so be it. In a country where I can go to Wal-Mart and find 20 different options for toothpaste, it is a sore disappointment we have a leader who believes in reducing my choice at all cost...

Remember the hundreds of thousands of people in the world who were denied simple access to information about STDs and birth control... Remember fathers, sons and boyfriends are having choices stripped from them as well. Remember your sisters, daughters and friends should have a voice in what happens to their bodies...

* Danielle Hay is a student journalist at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.