Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trust Women

I know abortion is a touchy subject. Growing up in a Catholic family (with a touch of Dad's agnostic ways) and now living in one of the reddest counties in California, I understand how this issue really gets people fired up.

Everything from the word "abortion" to the idea of "baby killing" paints a certain picture about it, and I can see how many people can't sit comfortably with the idea.

My work is next door to a Planned Parenthood office, and every Thursday I see a slew of anti-choice people (whom I refuse to refer to as "pro-life," just as I refuse to use the term "pro-abortion") holding up signs to drivers with pictures of dead fetuses, signs saying "Abortion is Murder," "Let's Pray For Your Child," etc.

Not that we aren't all entitled to our own opinions, but I noticed that 8 of 10 of these folks are middle-aged and senior citizen men.

It boils my blood when I think that this particular demographic has so much power and so much say over what my gender can do. This is paternalism at its finest - poor little innocent, naive girls need the smart, strong, knowledgable man to teach them the "right" way of doing things.

Because we all know women can't think for themselves or make personal, healthy decisions on their own.

When will we be able to trust women? Trust that women can make their own choices and trust that women can take care of themselves without personal interference from the government (or men)?

On a personal level, I haven't had an abortion, but I know someone who has. Now that I'm 24 and self-sufficient, I'm fairly certain I will probably never need to get one, but that doesn't mean I believe in restricting others' freedom.

It's almost as if we care more about a group of cells than a grown, living, real human being.

Abortion may not sit well with people - whether they have a uterus or not - but you know what? Guns don't sit well with me. Do I try to shame people who favor gun rights by hoisting up photos of the dead Columbine kids in front of the NRA? No, I don't. Because I believe in the wonderful freedom this country allows, even if some of those freedoms are things I don't agree with (guns, legalized prostitution, Indian reservation casinos).

These people in front of the clinic are there under the guise that they are there to "help" pregnant women who may be considering abortion or intending to get one at that Planned Parenthood. Because nothing screams warmth and welcoming than a 20x20 posterboard photo of a gruesome dead fetus (which, while we're being scientific, I didn't know at 5 or 6 weeks that you have an almost full-grown baby inside of you).

It's one thing to want to help pregnant women. It's another to shame, degrade and condescend them for making a choice that is theirs and theirs alone.

Here's how anti-choicers can help women - just trust them.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Tracy!!! Amen. This is Stacy, by the way. :)