If You Wanna be Pro-Life, Be Pro-Sex Education

I’m pro-choice. I have been for twenty years now. I will be until my death. There is nothing that can be said or done that will change this. This leads to a lot of bad shit. People say a lot of shitty stuff when they find out that you’re pro-choice.1 Today I posted a link from NARAL on my Facebook profile that promoted an editorial in the LA Times. I had a friend respond with this–beware, it’s a bit gross:2

Have you ever had an abortion? How about an abortion where the EXPERTS were wrong on the age(12 weeks when it was actually 16) of the fetus? How about hearing the heart beat of a fetus at 12 weeks? No, I highly doubt you have. Having to go through an abortion that when the EXPERTS finally realized the actually age of the fetus with a strong heart beat and could actually determine the gender and yet still performed the abortion? To be awake to hear them auctioning out a fetus of 16 weeks, a heart beat, a gender if female and in doing so you hear them say oops as they puncture your uterus resulting in bleeding out? No I highly doubt you have?

While waiting in the waiting room and hearing some stupid girl who brag on how it was her THIRD ABORTION and how she found it a great choice in birth control.

This country and the people of this generation have lost ALL RESPECT of morals and how to be responsible for their actions. We have become a disposable world, even of life.

The following is my response to this friend. There is also a quote included that is even more grotesque than the one above.

I have not had an abortion, nor would I ever plan on having one. I do believe in individual choice. I have morals and I am very responsible. I just believe that it is not my right to make a decision on another woman’s health.

And, before you ask, I have heard the argument that the decision to have an abortion ends up affecting the life of the fetus. The problem with that argument is that the fetus involved is depending on the life of the mother to survive. If a woman chooses not to carry a child to term, she should have safe, legal alternatives.

Abortion is not a new concept. It existed before the decision in Roe v. Wade. All that that decision really did was give women access to safe, legal abortions. Abortions that were a lot less likely to end in the death of both the mother and child. Abortions that were a lot less likely to take away the fertility of the woman because of some infection.

And every time that politicians and lobbyists try to take away the availability to those abortions, they endanger the lives of women.

This is a quote from Jessica Valenti’s book The Purity Myth:

“A woman in South Dakota who wants to get an abortion, for example, is subject to so many hurdles—geographic, financial, and legal—that getting an abortion is near impossible. Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, says that in her region, the obstacles make don’t women so desperate that they take matters info their own hands.

“Stoesz tells me the story of an eighteen-year-old living in western South Dakota who had an unplanned pregnancy. Because of financial constraints that prevented her from traveling across the state to the Planned Parenthood clinic in eastern South Dakota, this young woman inserted a toothpick into her cervix in desperation, hoping it would induce an abortion. After several days, she became afraid and called a local doctor to help her. The doctor informed her that removing the toothpick from her cervix might cause an abortion, so he refused to see her.”

After all sorts of obstacles were put in this woman’s way, she endangered her life by this desperate act because she didn’t want a child. When people argue against abortions, this is the alternative. It’s either the life of the potentially aborted fetus or the life of both the fetus and the mother.

If people really wanted the abortion rate to go down, then we would have things like stronger (more informative) sex education classes. We would provide easier access to birth control, rather than have court cases like with Hobby Lobby, to prevent access. In places where abortion and adequate sex education classes are in place, the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortion is lower. If you want to stop the abortions and have younger people be “more responsible”, then fight for that, instead of against abortions.

Because when you really look at what causes the abortion rate to go down, it’s birth control and sex ed–not attempting to slut-shame, not accusing people of being irresponsible, not victim-blaming. No, if you want people to “be more responsible”, you make it so that being responsible doesn’t cost them their job or get them kicked out by their parents or isn’t so expensive that they can’t afford it. You teach them their options and ban education techniques that only promote abstinence or that give faulty information. You let them know the actual failure rates. You react with honesty and compassion.

If they decide to have an abortion, you continue to have compassion for them. You believe that they know what is best for their lives. I know that’s what I’d want if it were me. I am the only person who gets to make a decision about my health. A doctor can make recommendations. My family can make their objections known. I’m the one who has the say because I’m a person and I know what is best for me. I don’t know what’s best for my friends or my family or for total strangers and they don’t know what’s best for me. It’s called bodily autonomy and respecting it means that you respect another person. And isn’t respect something that responsible people do?

  1. The number of times that I’ve been accused of being a “baby killer” or a promoter of infanticide is a fairly large number. 

  2. Notice how I’m not putting this friend’s name on here because I respect their privacy. 

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.