I am a feminist and I am pro-choice.
I am a feminist because the feminist movement allowed me to make choices. My choices aren’t always the best choices, but they are my choices. And I am pro-choice because I have been lucky to been born in an era and in a country that allows me to have choices in my life.
I think the minute a female says that they are a feminist, people automatically conjure up images of a woman wriggling out of her bra and burning it. Sometimes its not so much the bra-burning female that they are afraid of but the empowered female dressed in a powersuit. Its almost as if society had exchanged our freedom with our femininity. Why can’t I be feminine and be a feminist at the same time? I am choosing to be an empowered and feminine woman. I appreciate the hard fight that gave me the power to vote, the ability to obtain an education, to work my way out of poverty, the opportunity to pursue my dreams. Why, then, must I be made to feel guilty when I covet pretty things? Does it mean that because I’m a self-proclaimed feminist I must always be dressed as if I’m going to pick up an axle and do some muscle work? And why can’t a man be a feminist? Surely a man who loves and respects women, can be allowed to call himself a feminist? A man who respects a woman to give credit where credit is due, to be appreciative of her as an equal. Surely that man must be a feminist. But why must he hide his enlightened self?
With the freedom to choose comes great responsibility. Having the freedom to choose also means that one must “suck it up” if your choices don’t turn out to be the brilliant choice that you had hoped it would. I will even go further to say that if you don’t think you can live with the consequences of your choice, then don’t choose it because you can’t guarantee that someone else will drop everything else in their life to help clean up the mess. You created it, you clean it.
But how does one go about making a choice? With the freedom to chose comes the need for accurate information about all possible choices.
Take this rather sticky icky issue about abortion. Roe vs. Wade pretty much legalized or at least set the path to legalize abortion ablaze. In some countries, abortion was legalized because it was seen as a public health neccessity. When I was still in high school, I wore the pro-life pin because a) all my friends were doing it b) the pins were pretty cool. Now that I am older (and hopefully wiser), I am no longer pro-life. But being pro-choice doesn’t mean I’m pro-abortion. I feel that there are so many other roads someone could have taken before going down the abortion path. But the most important thing is that the person in question must have the choice to choose her path!
Sex education needs to be taught in school. Not the sanitized church-sanctioned sex education. But real sex education. Yes, it can be fun (for some). Yes, its a huge deal. If you choose to have sex when you aren’t ready, you pretty much have to grow up ASAP. And yes, there are ways to not get pregnant beyond abstination. But guess what honey? Other than abstination, nothing is 100%. And no, he’s not going to love you or stay with you simply because you had sex. If the fool isn’t going to stick around because you aren’t ready, he ain’t worth it! And why in the world would you want to have sex without any barrier protection? Because its more fun? For who? Him or you? And who’s going to be having more fun when you catch STDs? Its not just pregnancy we are trying to avoid here, its the other stuff that’s also going to be a part of you for the rest of your life.
Say despite everything, you are ready. You are ready to have sex, to make a deeper commitment. I don’t think you should feel ashamed. Even then, its a pretty big decision. Taking birth control pills may cause you to break out or grow fat, but girl, take it. Don’t be a fool. Condoms aren’t 100%. Come to think of it, better make sure he gets some spermicide too.
Say you did everything ‘right’. You went to the doctor, got and faithfully took birth control pills, used protection. And then a couple of weeks later, you realise that you are ‘late’. Shit. Maybe you are pregnant. Maybe you are so stressed that you are just missing that period this time round. Maybe you’ve never been regular so this is just normal. But maybe, just maybe, this isn’t normal. Now what? Time to get that pregnancy kit. Turns out its positive. Now what?
Abortion is one way. OR you could continue the pregnancy and take care of the baby. With or without your partner.
But there’s another way: adoption. And why not? Yes, you have to go through with the pregnancy. All 9 months of it. And maybe in the end you might decide to keep the baby. Or give the baby up to a couple who has the ability and the capacity to take care and love your baby. Yes, its going to be hard because you develop a bond with the baby over 9 months. But abortion isn’t easy either. Many women have reported feelings of guilt and depression post-abortion. You don’t have to keep the baby, but you don’t have to get rid of it either.
I believe in having choices. I believe that its important that children are given all the facts about sex and all the different ways to protect themselves. Yes, it can seem overwhelming. But having sex for the first time should be overwhelming. That’s why ideally you should be an adult by the time you have sex. And mistakes happen. Sometimes life throws a curve ball at you. But that doesn’t mean you should haven’t have choices when it does.
I don’t think the government should ban abortion. Otherwise, we are going to enter another dark era in medicine. As it is, healthcare in this country is already facing a crisis. Why add more fuel to the fire? Banning abortion will only force girls and their chosen health care provider to go underground. It didn’t work before, what makes you think banning abortion again will work this time round? Women should have the choice to have an abortion if they decide to have one. But they should also be supported if they decide to give the baby up for abortion. Or if they decide to keep the baby to be raised themselves.