I’m going to talk about abortion. I know, it’s a word weighted with emotion, but I am approaching the subject from a different angle that I know you will benefit from no matter where you stand on the matter. I implore you to hear me out.
Two enormous misconceptions exist on the subject of abortion, and they are the reason for the seemingly unbridgeable divide between pro-life and pro-choice. No one will ever “win” that argument because we’re focused on polar outcomes.
The misconceptions are as follows:
- Making abortion illegal stops abortion
- Pro-choice means pro-abortion. (No woman wants to have an abortion. Nor does any woman want another woman to go through one)
If we can’t get past these misconceptions, the fight will never cease. That is a sad notion to me because we are so much stronger together.
Current narrative: The chasm between pro-life and pro-choice can never be closed. FALSE. Why? Because we’re smarter than that. We just need to get past the burning desire to prove our side is right and the other side is wrong.
How? We have to face the following hard truth:
FACT: abortion has always happened and will continue to happen, no matter what, forever and ever. Period. Even if it’s illegal, IT WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN. You can’t change this fact. I can’t change this fact. No amount of shocking images or protests or bible verses or legislation can change this fact. Women will never stop taking reproductive rights into their own hands. Ever.
Now, in keeping with that fact, both sides should be able to agree on this one common denominator: abortions are an unavoidable, unfortunate reality. I am deliberately avoiding words like “immoral” and “punishable” that imply criminality because those labels are based on belief systems which are unprovable and unquantifiable. We must stick to facts, not opinions. Facts, not beliefs.
You see, we (and by we, I mean men and women) have been doing it all wrong. We made it about right/wrong; us/them; winner/loser. Seems to be a popular theme as of late and it’s clearly ineffective, so let’s ditch that approach.
Instead, let us all work together with the mutual agreement that abortion is an unavoidable, unfortunate reality that we want to minimize. Notice I didn’t say make obsolete, because that is impossible and unrealistic given the FACT stated above.
Here’s another FACT: Anti-abortion legislation raises abortion rates and raises the frequency of unsafe abortions taking place that can result in injury or death for women.
The abortion rates LOWER when abortion is LEGAL. Let that sink in. The reason this is true is because with that same legislation comes funding for organizations that provide, yes, abortions, but more importantly: education, resources, and affordable birth control. With the current legislation (abortion is legal, yo, but maybe not for long), abortion rates are at an all time low. Don’t take my word for it, look here.
Okay, so now we’ve gone from two misconceptions to two FACTS:
- Abortion is an unavoidable, unfortunate reality because it has always and will always occur regardless of laws
- Abortion rates lower with pro-choice legislation because of access to reproductive education, resources, affordable birth control, and safe procedures
You see where I’m going with this?
If we provide sex/reproductive education, resources, and access to affordable birth control to lessen the occurrence of abortions…then both sides get what they want: Pro-lifers keep numbers low (lower than they’d be if it was made illegal) and pro-choicers keep the right to choose.
“Except the fetus!” screams pro-lifers. I hear you. But remember, abortions will never stop. We can’t control that fact, but we can control the legislation that keeps them at a minimum. We ALL want that.
The legality of abortions should NOT be a stance on whether or not it is immoral. That decision is up to each individual. Don’t believe in it? Don’t get one. No one is forcing beliefs on you.
Legal abortion is the knowledge and understanding that it is going to occur no matter what, but if we do everything possible to minimize the occurrence, then at least when abortion is opted for, it’ll be done in a way that doesn’t risk the safety and health of the women in our lives.
I promise you, if we can stop shaming, judging, and blaming each other, stop arguing over beliefs/opinions rather than coming together on facts, and if we can face hard truths about the perpetual reality of abortion… successful, satisfying solutions to this age-old feud will result.
*If you agree, show your support by sharing. If you don’t and you got this far, thanks for reading! I hope this opens dialogue between you and your friends or family, or at the very least, I hope it got you to think. I chose to close comments because extremists be cray and I refuse to give over my space to negativity.