Let’s chat about abortion

Let’s chat about abortion

My heart is in absolute tatters after reading about an 11-year-old Argentinian girl who was raped by her 65-year-old grandfather and was forced by doctors to carry the baby, despite her begging for an abortion.

A child, forced to carry a child.

Even if you’re one of the three in 10 Americans who don’t support Roe v. Wade—the court case that granted women with the access to a safe and legal abortion—surely this particular case can strike a cord of deeper empathy in your heart for those that choose to terminate their pregnancies.

I can (to an extent) understand where the division occurs. Once upon a time, I was a good Christian girl from a good Christian home, and I was adamantly pro-life—as many good Christian girls from good Christian homes are. I believed deeply that God created all life with a specific purpose in mind, and that by prematurely ending that “life” before it had the chance to reach its peak fruition, we were sinfully altering the divine plan for humanity.

It was easy for me to look at the world in this way, not just because it was how I was raised to think, but also because I had a skewed perception of life due to my position of privilege. I was fortunate enough to be born into a family with two parents and a stable, upper-class income. For the first few quarters of my life, I was sheltered from rape and incest—I couldn’t have told you what those words even meant if I tried. My abstinence-focused school taught me that sex was always a choice, and that it was dirty and morally wrong if done out of wedlock and to be used solely for procreation.

Naturally, the combination of these factors led me to believe that people would only get pregnant if they wanted to get pregnant. I didn’t see abortion as anything other than cruel. Like an attempt to erase a mark made in pen, I saw it as more destructive than helpful in any way. I would even call it selfish, as I believed that a mother should always put her child’s needs ahead of her own.

My perspective changed the minute that one of my privileges was stripped from me.

Very few positive things came from my sexual assault, but I would say that one of those few was my outlook on abortion. Though I was fortunate not to get pregnant from my sickening experience, I was able to see that so many other women do. The idea of having to forfeit nine months of my life that would probably dip into my first semester of college was absolutely gut-wrenching. I suddenly understood, and I understood more than simply cases of rape. I understood that when a woman chooses an abortion, she is pro-life: she is simply choosing her own life.

The best example that I’ve heard of this is that of organ donation. If I was a donor match for my sister who, say, needed a kidney, I would not be forced to sacrifice my kidney for her. Even if it meant that she would die, I would not be forced to give up my kidney because I have autonomy over my body and what happens inside of it. Am I then, by default, a “murderer?” Well, I suppose it depends on who you ask. But I should have that choice. I should have the free will to decide who and what occupies the space within me, and when, and how, and on what terms.

Let’s retreat to that case of the eleven-year-old girl. Think of her pain, her fear, the stripping of her innocence from her soul. Think of how she felt powerless when she was raped, and think of how powerless she felt when she was told that she would have to give birth. To overturn Roe v. Wade, as many far-right politicians would like to do, would be to equalize our society with the one that wronged this poor child.

Aren’t we better than this?

It’s time to drop the taboo surrounding abortion and let women be. We are human, and we deserve the basic human right to our human bodies, our forever homes.