Sunday, August 12, 2012

If You're Not Pro-Choice, You're Not a Feminist, aka What Pro-Choice Actually Means

[TW forced pregnancy, denial of bodily and sexual autonomy, death, abuse, descriptions of violence, abortion, rape, incest]

I'll repeat myself. If you're not pro-choice, you're not a feminist. True story.

Pro-choice does NOT mean pro-abortion. 

Pro-choice means pro-making contraception (that, NO, you are NOT paying for, you ignorant asshole) cheaper and easier to obtain, so that abortion isn't fucking necessary in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Of course, it's easy to understand how contraception can be considered evil in a society that teaches us that we're not "real women" unless we become mothers. The real evil comes in the form of people who, rather than allowing us freedom of choice, rather than trusting us to make our own decisions about our bodies and our lives, rather than admitting that just because we have uteri doesn't mean that we all want and/or have to become mothers, would rather force us into motherhood, regardless of whether or not we want to be there, because they feel that's where we belong. It's all about controlling women's bodies and lives; if that weren't true, then they wouldn't be fighting to make trans-vaginal ultrasounds a necessity in order for women to have abortions; they wouldn't force waiting periods on us so that we can go home and think about what we're doing, nor would they force us to look at the ultrasound images so that we'll have some glorious revelation about what we're doing (believe me, women seeking an abortion know what pregnancy means: it's why they want an abortion, and 72 hours isn't going to change that); CPCs (Crisis Pregnancy Centers), whose sole purpose is to lie to us and try and emotionally blackmail us and shame us into keeping a pregnancy that we don't want to keep, wouldn't exist.

It means pro-not forcing women to carry a pregnancy to term that she does not want to carry to term, whether that pregnancy came from consensual sex or from rape or incest. If she wants to carry to term, that is HER CHOICE, and nobody is going to force her to abort the pregnancy if she does decide to carry to term. HOWEVER, if she DOES NOT WANT to continue the pregnancy, she should have the choice to end the pregnancy on her own terms, because let's face it, if she's seeking an abortion, she likely didn't get pregnant on her own terms. Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy for 40 weeks and endure childbirth is not teaching her the lesson you think it's teaching her; it's not going to teach her to keep her slutty fucking legs closed. It is, however, going to teach her that, the next time she's raped by her abusive partner and is forcibly impregnated in the process, the next time her birth control that her doctor swore up and down would protect her fails, the next time the condom breaks and the pharmacist refuses to give her Plan B and she can't afford the bus trip to the pharmacy in the next town over, the safest place for her to go is a back-alley abortion clinic, the internet black market, or a closet.

On that note, pro-choice also means pro-not forcing women to attempt to self-abort and kill themselves in the process, and instead giving them legal and medically safe options so that they don't DIE. Abortions are going to happen whether or not you approve of them, and whether or not you allow them to remain legal. Making abortion illegal does not save children; it kills women. Listen up, you alleged pro-lifers! WOMEN ARE ALIVE. We are not just uteri on legs, human incubators, or however else you choose to de-humanize us. We are alive. And when you force us into the back-alleys for unlicensed medical practitioners to butcher, when you force us to drink industrial strength vinegar out of desperation, when you force us to use the wire hanger that once held up our prom dress in a frantic attempt to self-abort, causing us to pull out our own intestines, puncture our wombs, give ourselves sepsis, cause us to bleed out, and end our own lives, you are not saving babies; YOU ARE KILLING US.

So I say again, if you are not pro-choice, if you are not willing to treat women like adults, and instead want to treat us like children who need to be told what to do because we can't possibly know what pregnancy means or what abortion is; if you are not willing to give us the benefit of the doubt and trust us to make the best decisions we can for our bodies and our lives; if you would rather watch us die than watch us exercise our right to prevent a pregnancy and end it if our efforts fail, then you are not a feminist.