Not Pro-Choice, Nor Pro-Life

There’s way too much rhetoric out there about this topic already, and I think most people who’ve formed their opinions on it are set and not willing to consider the public facts, stories, etc., available to them (though I hope that’s not the case). But education is our best weapon when it comes to making informed decisions on what we do or do not support.

I’m not pro-choice. But I’m not pro-life either. I’m not either of these because I feel like they boil down an issue to the bare minimum and position both sides as positive, when neither side is really positive if you think about it with a wide-angle view.

I’m not pro-choice because I don’t think abortion is a choice someone makes because they want to make it. No one is excited to have an abortion. It’s not Plan A when it comes to birth control tactics. It’s not a spa treatment or other luxury in which we partake on a relaxing weekend.

I’m not pro-life because that implies I support enacting legislation dictating someone’s personal health decisions based on my personal faith. I don’t believe I have a say in whether a woman or a couple makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy because they’re in financial strife, they’re homeless, they’re teenagers, they’re struggling with their physical or mental health, etc. I also believe that if one truly wants to call him/herself “pro-life,” they need to be actively supporting legislation and services that aid single mothers, young mothers, young families, homeless mothers/fathers, foster care systems, and child-care systems.

Both the pro-choice and pro-life terms are hypocritical. Both terms imply we are using abortion as our only form of birth control and it’s a choice we make like what we’re going to have for breakfast.

I am, however, pro-Planned Parenthood and pro-health clinic. I’m pro-Planned Parenthood because just 3 percent of the services they provide are abortions and the rest (97%) of what they do is provide healthcare for women and men who need it and can’t afford or don’t have insurance to visit a traditional doctor’s office.

Reproductive rights encompass so much more than having the choice to have an abortion. Reproductive health includes breast exams and referrals to screening facilities when necessary, vasectomies, pap smears, STD screenings and treatment or prevention, birth control, prostate, colon and testicular cancer screenings, and male infertility screenings. All of these are services Planned Parenthood provides. They also refer patients to adoption service providers and counselors.

So when you vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood, you’re voting to de-fund an organization that does so much more than provide abortions. When you protest the right to choose, you’re protesting against a man or woman walking into a Planned Parenthood to get checked for reproductive cancer or infertility because, remember, 97% of what Planned Parenthood provides are services other than abortions. You’re protesting someone being proactive in securing their reproductive health. You’re lumping an entire organization and the people it helps into a protest against 3 percent.

Maybe there are other things you might want to consider getting up-in-arms about instead of a 3 percent. Did you know child trafficking and human trafficking (selling humans for the purpose of exploitation) are real issues globally and in the United States?

This post is not meant to instigate a pro-or-anti abortion argument. This post is meant to encourage education and dispel myths while helping readers understand what Planned Parenthood and reproductive health clinics actually do. I would not personally get an abortion because I do not believe it aligns with my faith. I believe life is a precious gift and that God personally creates each of us. However, I do not think creating legislation based on faith aligns with my faith, either.

The Post-Truth Era

Like it or not, we’re in the post-truth era. Fake news is rampant and we need to do our due diligence to ensure what we’re seeing and hearing is factual so we can make informed decisions. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discern truth and fact even with due diligence. Did you know that video about Planned Parenthood selling fetus parts has been proven inaccurate because fetuses can be donated (with patient consent) to researchers and the recipients (the researchers) can choose to reimburse the expense to the healthcare facility for preservation, transportation, etc.? There have also been state-specific investigations that have proven Planned Parenthood is complicit with the laws against selling fetus parts.

Did you know partial-birth abortion is a political, not medical, term? And that dilation and extraction, to which partial-birth abortion refers, is a rare procedure conducted when the fetus has a fatal defect and will not survive or the mother is at risk herself?

Advertisements