I am pro-choice because I don't think there is any reason why a woman should have to face all the consequences from something she did not do alone. If a guy can get a woman pregnant and then run away, there is no reason why she should be the one responsible for everything. Having more options puts a woman on more equal footing with men, instead of being someone of whom they can take advantage. In addition, I believe that it is best for a child to not be born at all than to be born hated, to a mother who is forced to have him because she has no choice, and not because she wants the child.

The single most important factor for women's advancement in society is our ability to control our fertility. Without that, we are trapped by the realities of pregnancy, childbirth and chilrearing; rather than a privelege and a gift, these aspect of being female become an unbearable burden. Attempts to limit women's reproductive freedom are no more than a gambit to keep women "in their place"-- a gambit in the guise of religious moralism. True, the guise can run deep, and many so-called "pro-lifers" genuinely believe that killing a fetus is equivalent to killing a human being. But such religious feeling has no place in the public policies of a country that claims to separate church and state. In the words of supreme court justices O'Connor, Kennedy and Souter: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." No one wants to plan an abortion. But the best way to prevent abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies: through sex education, improved distribution of birth control, and general empowerment of women to shape our own individual lives.

I think one of the biggest problems with the abortion debate is that the two sides aren't in direct opposition. The pro-life movement seeks to force their moral beliefs on others - grounded in their own religion or personal philosophy. The pro-choice movement doesn't make claims on the morality of abortion - we leave that as an individual choice for every woman faced with an unwanted pregnancy. If they feel abortion is wrong and they want to give their child up for adoption, or keep it, we will support their decision. Pro-life people say "Abortion is wrong;" we only say "Abortion is." Making abortion illegal won't stop abortions from happening, it will only stop them from being safe. 43% of abortions worldwide are illegal. Changing laws doesn't solve the problem, making contraception available and affordable does. If we are to maintain the separation of church and state so central to our nation's identity, we cannot have some people forcing their beliefs on us all.

I'm pro-choice because it's the only option that isn't poisoned with misogyny. I believe that we are responsible for justifying our beliefs, and just as one cannot claim that a given race is inferior to another because "it's what I believe", I don't think one can argue that old white men can assert control over a woman's uterus -- and future -- because they claim to believe that a fetus is comparable to a human life. That belief is so clearly a result of the fact that only women can get pregnant and only women would ever have to carry an unwanted fetus to term that I find it laughable that anyone claims being anti-choice has anything to do with concern for potential life. Can anyone really believe that abortion would even be an issue if men had to face the possiblity of giving birth to and raising a child because of one night of failed contraception?
I think Florence Kennedy said it best: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrement."

Your views?

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i agree with you.

nobody is "pro abortion". and "pro choice" people can also be "anti abortion" and "pro life" in that they think abortion is basically a bad thing and that preserving life is basically a good thing.

it's just that sometimes abortion "less bad" than other options. the "good" of preserving another life might be offset by "bad" outcomes which would impact both the mother and the baby, possibly including medical, mental, emotional, social, economic, and other considerations. nobody is in a better position to judge this than the mother herself (at least assuming she is of sound mind) - certainly the government is not in a better position. (there is rarely any good to come from inviting the government in to regulate your personal life.)

however, i disagree with the assertion that being anti-choice has nothing to do with a concern for potential life. as quickly as you dismiss the male point of view regarding abortion generally, one might try to dismiss your point of view (assuming you are somebody who's never gone through a full term pregnancy and the subsequent raising of her own child) as not fully understanding the emotional connection that people have to children (unborn or born). but personally, i think that is also a weak argument.
I completely agree with your view. Nice post ;)
I find it amazing that so many people who are against legal abortions are also against sex education. As I have pointed out several times to people who ask my opinion, if there were no unwanted pregnancies, then there would be far fewer abortions. (There's always the chance of a medical necessity)
I teach human sexuality, my students know what's out there, but they choose to ignore the consequences. This is a far deeper societal issue of why humans fall victim to the "that won't happen to me" heuristic.

I was just reading the philosophy site below, so now I'm in "think" mode. Forgive me.
Yeah, the fallacy that it'll always happen to the other guy is a strong one, and not an easy one to overcome. Humans are innately bad at statistics.
"Pro-gun" people can be against guns but they still respect the right to choose to own a gun. "Pro-choice" is a euphemism.

http://maverickphilosopher.powerblogs.com/posts/1219281537.shtml
Wow. It takes me about 10 minutes to wrap my head around each topic, but I love it anyway. Thanks for the link!
I suppose, but at this point the argument is becoming semantics. As pointed out in the article you reference "pro gun rights" is the term usually used, and is a lot better. I would say I am "pro gun rights," but would not care to call myself "pro gun" because that implies that I want to actively promote people arming themselves.

And, when you say "pro gun" can be "against guns" ... you really can't claim that this is the less obfuscating or euphemistic use of language... And it has at least the APPEARANCE of Orwellian double speak. "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength."

Pro or Anti "Abortion Choice" or "Abortion Rights" would be the more straightforward names for the Pro Choice and Pro Life positions in my opinion.

Specifying "Choice" or "Rights" is important here because unlike abortion, there are some issues where people generally favor actively promoting not just the right but the activity itself. For example: sex education, science education, voting, etc.
Fantastic post. I couldn't agree more! You have a flair for writing.
I'm against abortion in late term or in the 3rd trimester, unless the mother's life is at risk.
It's my understanding that the great majority of late terms abortions in the U.S. are performed either because the mother's life is at risk or because there is something very very wrong with the fetus. I saw a great documentary on PBS (about 8 years ago now) about so-called "partial-birth" abortions that was very enlightening. The assertion made in that documentary was that doctors simply do not perform these procedures unless the fetus will not be able to survive after birth or the mother's life is at stake. Regardless of whether it is legal, it is widely considered unethical for a physician to terminate a fetus that is old enough to survive outside the womb. Most of the examples given of this procedure were of fetuses that had vital organs (like brains) missing or developing outside their body that simply could not be saved after birth. It would be brutal to make the parents of such a fetus go through to the end of the pregnancy. Can you imagine having to give birth to a baby that is missing a brain? Can you imagine walking around in your eighth month of pregnancy, knowing that your baby is effectively dead, and having people congratulate you and ask you about your due date? That's why I'm concerned about blanket statements like the one you posted, because a mother's life might not be at stake, but an abortion might still be best for everyone. This is why the issue should be left to the mother and her doctor to discuss and decide.
Such a good topic to discuss! Great points!

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