If you’ve managed to get past the title of this entry, congratulations. You’ve already passed one of my tests, in that you’re willing to actually read a thing before jumping down my throat and assuming I’m here to attack you. And actually, that’s good, because I’m NOT here to attack your views. In fact, at the risk of sounding cliche, one of my very good friends happens to be pro life!
I know, shocking, right? I’m such a hardcore feminist and have always been pro choice, and yet I have a standard weekly playdate with “the enemy”.
For those of you who have never met a rational pro lifer, I totally get your skepticism. Indeed I was once of the opinion that pro life and sanity could never, ever go together. And then I met my friend and now I have a different theory. My theory is that much like everything else in this world, the crazy zealots and right-wing nutjobs speak louder than the rest of the individuals in any group. It’s unfortunate, because it means that if we’re on one side and they are on the other, neither side is able to see past the crazy people shouting slurs at the others.
Pro Life are “religious zealots”, “woman haters”, “right-wing nutjobs” and Pro Choicers are all “sluts”, “baby-killing whores” and any number of things probably having to do with the Bible and how we’re going to Hell. At least, according to the psychos on both side of the issue, that is.
But now that I have a friend on the other side I can tell you with all certainty that there are logical human beings worthy of conversation in either camp, and it would do us a whole lot of good to recognize that and do a few things that will balance out the crazy.
So, in light of the problems that are happening due to the pro life movement, here are my thoughts on how to truly co-exist.
Listen up, Pro-lifers! I’m about to defend your cause (somewhat). Here are the things I will totally support and what you might want to try to get your message across better:
You are welcome to share your opinion, provided it is in a calm and non-judgmental way. In other words, you may state how you don’t believe in abortion. You may get into as many points as you like on why you would never consider that as an option for yourself. You may NOT tell someone who has made a different choice that they are evil, a baby killer, or that they are going to hell. Regardless of why they made the choice they did, you are not them. You do not know how they felt when they made the choice or what their circumstances were. Therefore, while YOU may not agree with their reasons, they are not your reasons to agree with. Please don’t be an asshole.
You are welcome to provide information on alternatives to abortion to those who are undecided, provided you’re not screaming it outside an abortion clinic. I understand that last part may be confusing to you, because how are you to get your message across if you’re not standing at the abortion clinic, but hear me out. While there are some women who might welcome your information, there are others who are already traumatized as it is. There are times when one is faced between having an abortion or having their baby die in their arms moments after their birth or a few months after. This is a very scary and very real possibility if the child has a severe birth defect, and screaming about how a mother is “killing her baby” can make a horrible situation all the more unbearable. How would you feel if you knew that one of these women, who genuinely wanted their baby but had no other choice other than to watch their child die in their arms, was at the clinic the day you screamed those words? Again, please don’t be an asshole.
You are welcome to assist abortion doctors into leaving their profession if it has become unbearable for them, however you cannot bully, threaten or attack any doctor who does NOT wish to leave. Obviously if someone is in a line of work they no longer agree with then they are free to leave. I find it is perfectly fine to help them find new employment. But I draw the line at threatening your fellow human beings for doing something that YOU find objectionable. Threats and violence are never okay and it doesn’t matter which side of the debate you’re on. It would be just as wrong for me to go out and blow up a hospital just because I don’t agree with how many c-sections and inductions are performed unnecessarily. Don’t be an asshole.
You are welcome to help mothers who are choosing abortion for financial reasons or because they have no support, but otherwise truly wish they could have their baby. You are also welcome to assist mothers with adoption if they are unable to care for the child themselves. You are not welcome to bully, threaten, or berate women who choose termination anyway. I understand that there are women out there who genuinely regret having an abortion, or who are seeking it because they feel they have no alternatives. I would fully support you in your efforts to raise money for these women to be able to hire a doula during their births and to provide monetary support for them to raise their babies. That is something that would be highly admirable and no one could argue that mothers who don’t really WANT to end their pregnancies due to these financial burdens or lack of support should have to terminate. That being said, don’t be an asshole to someone who chooses abortion anyway. You cannot change EVERYONE’S mind and telling those women that they are going to Hell doesn’t really make them want to re-think their priorities; it just makes you sound like an asshole. Don’t be an asshole.
You are welcome to show sympathy when a woman miscarries her baby. You are NOT welcome to accuse her of miscarrying “on purpose” regardless of whether she had been considering abortion or not. This should be a no-brainer, and yet…
And just so you all don’t think Pro Choicers are exempt…
You are totally welcome to believe that women should always have a choice. You are NOT allowed to attack a fellow human being for expressing disagreement with your views. Just because someone is Pro Life doesn’t mean they are automatically crazy and some of their points really aren’t that hard to agree with. Yes, ultimately everyone needs to decide for themselves what they believe in, but that’s my point! We can take in information from both sides of a debate, even if it’s emotionally charged and can be unpleasant. For example, I’m still Pro Choice but I agree that the way in which abortions are done is emotionally traumatic for me to think about. I can’t imagine being able to make such a decision lightly. But for other people it may not cause the same reaction and that’s okay. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me 100% on anything. But one thing I really hope we CAN agree with is this:
Let’s all try not to be assholes ❤