Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I am pro-choice. But I am not very good at it.

The ultimate pro-choice position, contrary to what antis may believe, is simply that the outcome of a pregnancy is up to the woman. Whether or not her oven will bake the proverbial bun is her choice. I think that’s great. Though I will admit that my personal biases regarding what constitutes a healthy, happy, and safe environment for a child to grow up in sometimes puts me in a non-choicey mood. It puts me in a straight abortiony mood.

Example: Young Woman gets pregnant. She’s not terribly young (19? 20?), is physically able to safely carry a pregnancy to term, and is emotionally secure enough to decide whether or not to become a mother. Let’s say Young Woman is in her second or third year of college. She is doing well, has high hopes of becoming the first in her family to achieve a post-secondary degree, but damn-it-all, she ends up pregnant. And she’s keeping it.

My response: ???

Now, I do believe that Young Woman is perfectly capable of raising children, and even of doing so on her own. Hell, my mom’s a single mom too. And I do believe that with financial and emotional support from Young Woman’s family, which she very well may have, her baby can certainly grow up in a loving environment. Why then, does it drive me nuts for a woman to end her education, or at least postpone it, because of a pregnancy? I’ve personally seen enough Young Women leave school never to return. I’ve spoken to hundreds of Young Women who want nothing more than to finish school, but can’t because they have no way to pay for abortions. They break down in tears. I have such a hard time correlating young motherhood with success and independence. Can Young Women have both? If they can, why are so many unable to achieve them? Whenever I see this happen, I can’t help but lose my pro-choice bearings and think to myself “why couldn’t you have had an abortion?” This is terrible! Who am I to question a woman’s personal choice? An anti?!

Maybe my picture of a “successful” family is waaaaay off. Or maybe it’s just my personal standard that I need to keep to myself. More likely the latter. Maybe it’s also because my stake in other people’s pregnancies is so little that I can look at them in this disconnected and even judgmental way. If my sister had dropped everything to have a baby, would I feel the same way? Or would I start knitting some booties because I’m Auntie Anti-Anti (say that five times fast!)?

As a human being, like the antis, I have much to learn. I have many experiences to experience, and many parts of my mind to open up. So I appreciate the input and wisdom of my fellow Abortioneers who help me daily in this pursuit. Ready for action!


  1. Ha! I know what you mean. You know those "values clarification" sheets that list a bunch of scenarios or conditions to try to tease out what does and doesn't bother you? Well, I never had a problem with any of the items on the list titled "I would provide / refer for / approve of an abortion in the following circumstances..." [except the ones that say things like 'under duress from a partner or patient', which honest to god I cannot understand how anyone anywhere might think that's open to debate] -- and then I took one titled "I would approve of carrying to term in the following circumstances" and damn near every item gave me a queasy feeling. Like, "Really? You want a[nother] child right now? But look at your scenario!"

    The good news is that I wasn't saying that to an actual client, and I am pretty good at keeping that sort of thing to myself. I've counseled women and girls who didn't want an abortion, or weren't sure what they wanted, and plenty of times this meant working out how someone was going to break the news to her parents, how she was going to seek child support, how she was going to approach the registrar about withdrawing, in order to carry a pregnancy to term in a difficult situation. After the conversation came to a close and I was alone, I could take a minute to debrief: "Holy shit, I know exactly what I would do if it were me." But everyone's different and so far it's been simple to respect that.

    Well this was a long story! Just empathizing. Also, on-tee ant-eye ant-eye.

  2. First of all, you are not the only one. When the antis charge at you as being "pro-abortion" your immediate response is to think "NO! I'm pro-CHOICE", but in reality, there are situations that you feel abortion is the *better* choice. It's hard not to feel that way. I do the same thing too.

    What I try to remember is that any interference in a woman's personal choice is a hindrance to abortion rights, no matter what. Whenever any single person, group of people or government infringes on a women's right to choose, whether that is to forbid an abortion, or encourage or force an abortion it takes away women's rights to their own body. It implies that we do not trust women enough to make decisions about their own bodies and lives. Even though it's just the thoughts in your head, that can easily translate into visible judgment, even if you do not mean it that way. You are not alone, I struggle with this all the time, but I think about this so often.

    Short story, then I'm done: I'm a clinic escort at a moderately targeted rural clinic. Occasionally, patients turn away from the clinic after being harassed by the antis, believing their lies about how inside they are all witches who sacrifice the babies on an altar, and how women leave this place with baby parts still inside of them, and I see them dragging along their kids, or the lost and scared look in their eyes and I think "GO! Go in! Please let them counsel you!!" but I can't. That is not my job. The only way I sleep at night, and the only way I keep coming back is to remind myself that she would only turn back if she were already unsure about her abortion, and that is her choice.

    You're not alone!! <3

  3. Wow. I just discovered your amazingly courageous site courtesy of a Canadian anti-abortion blog, who connected to this post.

    I can see why the antis love your blog. You tell the truth, you struggle with individual cases, you try to keep your spirits up in terribly difficult circumstances.


    Here is a blog by a volunteer coordinator at a beseiged clinic in New Brunswick -- the Canadian answer to Kansas -- Anti-choice Is Anti-awesome.

    In Canada, we have NO law on abortion, but even with our 'socialist' universal health-care, access to abortion is uneven.

    And, of course, we have our fetus-fetishists/harassers too. And meddling politicians who keep trying to introduce legislation on abortion.

    In Canada, abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor.

    Canadian feminists wish the same were the case around the world. And we watch your struggle with intense interest.

    I've added you to our blogroll.

    Thanks for your courage and dedication.

  4. Anti-anti. I really enjoyed your post. And I loved the "Aunt Anti-Anti" bit!

    Fern: how fabulous you found us!!


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