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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An excellent post on excellent topic.

This is a topic that comes up for me every once in a while, yet over the years I've never really nailed down what I think entirely. To me it is a complex and multifaceted issue. It is nice to see a concise and thought provoking entry on the subject that doesn't fall prey to the kinds of oversimplification which often pervade such complex issues.
Great post and good responses guys!
The value a fetus gets assigned to it by the "moral" religious right never ceases to sicken me. They will do everything to stop an abortion to save a human life, yet they are opposed to saving the lives of fully-formed, sentient, and established human beings through stem-cell research. They give no consideration to the situation of the mother, and leave her own happiness and well-being by the wayside for the sake of an unconscious blastocyst. Once a woman becomes pregnant, in the eyes of pro-lifers, her fetus has more legal influence than she does, as it's existence essentially negates her human right to control her own body. A bundle of cells becomes worth more than the already in progress life of another human being, should the right to choose be taken away.

Great post ;).
I agreed with most of what you said until I got to this bit: "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.."

I think pro-choice is a moral position. No one really thinks abortion is the right thing to do full stop. but cost of not aborting an unwanted baby includes, taking away the freedoms of an individual, jeopardizing the long term welfare of the woman and child, claiming possession over an individual's body.

These are all immoral consequences.
I'm not as well spoken as everyone above(especially the original post) and am always hesitant to add to these debates because I am a guy. But I wanted to paraphrase a philosophical argument I think I read on http://www.askphilosophers.org

A fetus is a potential human. That "potential" is 100% dependent on one person.

Suppose I am one of two people in the whole world with a very rare blood type. The other person with my blood type is in a terrible accident and requires a blood transfusion from me, or he will die. Under no circumstances would a just society use force or coercion to get that blood from me. I should be allowed to refuse for whatever reasons I have.
While I agree that abortion should be legal, I disagree with some of your reasoning. Granted, I say this from the male perspective, so take it as you will.
You say that anti-abortion is misogynist, but I think that's not particularly true. There's a fundamental biological difference there, and I think that even toying with the hypothetical of men having babies ruins the argument. If men could have babies, there would be an entirely different set of social imperatives that would change how things worked, and not so simply as Ms. Kennedy seems to think. It's a moot point.
Also, just because a man can run away from pregnancy and a woman can't, barring abortion, it's hardly a reason to say it's a good thing to have choice. It's got to do with what your parents and teachers probably told you hundreds of times - life isn't fair, and it was never meant to be.
Someone mentioned that you didn't oversimplify the issues, but I think it's just the opposite. You break it down to women being victimized, and I hardly think that's the only issue here, and it's definitely not the most complex. Saying "but... men don't have babies!" doesn't add anything new to the argument. I knew that long before I got here.
My arguments for pro-choice are more along the lines of what you said in the third paragraph. The morality of abortion is your own choice. Suggesting anything else seems silly to me.
the woman can have control also by choosing to find the man willing to commit to her in marriageand then bless that man with her beuty and the very special blessing(intimacy) YHWH created for them to enjoy and have kids if they choose toPEACE!!!!!!!!!
Great follow up.
Nicely done, doone.
I completely agree with you. It's unfortunate to say that i have never really thought of it as the woman running away like the man does. I just thought that the government shouldn't have the authority to tell a woman what she can not do to her body. Who are we to tell someone what they think is immoral? Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you.

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