There’s Pro-Choice Movement Happening Amongst Pro-Lifers, & It’s Awesome!

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First, before we give props to the people we mentioned in the title, it is most appropriate to give MAJOR kudos to all the women, men, schools, and organizations who have been working tirelessly long before the RoevWade victory in 1973 to educate society on what a woman’s right to choose actually means.

It means better health choices, better life decisions, better family planning and a society that functions knowing each member is individually valued and allowed to make choices about their bodies without being demonized. Organizations such as NARAL Pro-choice America, Planned Parenthood and the many activists who speak up on public platforms every day deserve credit for a woman’s right to choose in America.

But let’s not be too hasty because the fight is far from over. There are elected officials today who continue on the warpath against women’s bodies saying their individual rights should in fact be taken away and regulated. It’s funny because Republicans often gripe about “big government” yet they fail to see they are doing just that. They vehemently argue science about when a fetus is a child, yet on the same token refuse to give up guns which kill more and more people in safe places in society every day in America such as shopping malls, movie theaters, schools and our homes.

There are abortion clinics being shut down in many states, forcing women to either spend money to travel out of state to get the medical care they need, or God forbid find an underground clinic that is not safe, risking her life. We’re not here to argue science about conception, or even religion, just the fact that no organization or group should dictate what an individual woman wants to do with her own life. Pro-lifers assume pro choice advocates are all baby killing heathens. Yet we are somehow supposed to stomach a stupid bill which says an abused woman needs to get permission from her rapist or abuser to get an abortion?!

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It’s no wonder key Republicans (led by Rene Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) pulled out of a major bill in a congress vote recently, which would see the ban on 20 week abortion. These women obviously got their hands on some vital information and it was enough to make them back out of a regrettable decision. Unfortunately, another bill got pushed through in its wake instead permanently banning federal funding of abortions, but it’s the small victories, especially amongst the conservatives, that we need to start including in the war on women.

“I never thought I would see the day that the Tea Party-led House of Representatives would wake up to the fact that their priorities — outright abortion bans — are way out of touch with the American people,” she said in a statement. “The GOP drafted a bill so extreme and so out of touch with the voters that even their own membership could not support,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America about the decision.

One of the biggest about-face we have seen in the pro-life v pro-choice war is from Congressman Tim Ryan. A Democrat from Ohio, Rep. Ryan was a strong supporter of the pro-life movement and cites his Catholic upbringing as a reason for this. In a brilliant blog post where he laid out his convictions and thoughts in stellar fashion, he explained why actually talking to women made him change his mind completely. Today, he considers himself a pro-choice advocate.

“I have sat with women from Ohio and across the nation and heard them talk about their varying experiences: abusive relationships, financial hardship, health scares, rape and incest. There are endless stories about women in troubling situations — the woman who became pregnant and has a violent spouse; the woman who lost her job and is unable to afford another child; or the underage girl worried she’ll be thrown out of her house if she reveals her pregnancy. Each of these women lived through difficult and personal situations with few options and no clear path to take. This is why there is no easy answer,” he writes.

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“While there are people of good conscience on both sides of this argument, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: the heavy hand of government must not make this decision for women and families. As my friend and colleague U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro says, “Nobody celebrates abortion.” No woman makes this decision lightly. Each and every American deserves the right to deal with these difficult situations in consultation with their families, close friends or religious advisers. No federal or state law banning abortion can honestly and fairly take into account the various circumstances that make each decision unique.”

“Where government does have the ability to play a significant role is in giving women and families the tools they need to prevent unintended pregnancies by expanding education and access to contraception. We must get past the ignorance, fear and — yes — discrimination against women that lead to restrictions on contraception and age-appropriate sex education.”

Whoa. Let’s just take a moment and reflect on those powerful words. No matter which side of the fence you are on, you cannot deny he has a damn good point.

Every year the bill and Melinda gates foundation releases its annual report and it contains vital information on how women in third world countries fare when it comes to maternal health. Having access to basic necessities such as a family planning clinic, birth control, education about reproduction and the social right to marry and reproduce when they choose, affects a woman’s financial outcome in leaps and bounds, and in turn her community.

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Maternal health is one of their big focuses as their research over many years and a number of different countries has shown when women have access to key healthcare their lives are improved drastically.

“In countries around the world, more and more mothers are giving birth in health care facilities instead of at home,” states the report. By continuing to make sure that the caregivers at those facilities are well-supplied and well-trained, we can take advantage of this global trend and make childbirth much safer for women around the world. In addition, maternal mortality will drop as more women get access to contraceptives and information about spacing their pregnancies safely. As that number goes up, the number of mothers dying will go down.”

Here in America having contraception may not necessarily mean the difference between life and death, but it is about choice. And the Gates Foundation gives you an idea of just how serious this issue is elsewhere. We have a duty as Americans, as men and women living in the Western hemisphere, to do a better job when it comes to women’s rights. We should be the leaders setting examples for the rest of the world, but it seems that even poverty-stricken countries are able to progress in the right direction.

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Why is there such an urgency and ferocity for republicans to go after women’s reproductive rights constantly? There are far more pressing things to worry about such as education, immigration, taxes, voting in the right people after Obama’s term is done, the housing market, social security and the economy.

For those who remain firmly in the pro-life camp, this is not in any way bashing your beliefs or convictions. What we are trying to say is that everyone’s choices when it comes to individual healthcare and family planning decisions should remain individual, private and respected, including yours. Let’s stop this culture of bashing each other and forcing our own beliefs on others, and turning it into a politicized agenda, when it should never have been in the first place.

We hope these examples from other pro-lifers specifically in government positions to pro-choice will continue, because at the moment shutting down clinics and restricting access is not making America great nor is it enabling us to progress. It sends a loud and embarrassing message to the world that we are going backward.

Not sure about you guys but if we were other country’s leaders, we’d look at the how the USA treats its citizens according to its laws and would turn away in shame at the abysmal state of women’s rights here. And on that note, we need maternity leave to finally become a reality here. As citizens of this nation we are sick and tired of being the only industrialized nation in the world that basically forces a woman to choose between a career and family, when every other nation in the world which has maternity leave shows incredible economic growth and stimulation because the burden doesn’t just fall on 50% of the population to keep it running. The infographic below gives you a a little more insight into this.

It’s time for all Government officials to listen to the people, and follow what Congressman Tim Ryan did. Let’s take our cues from society and take women’s reproductive rights off the table. Banning something like abortion clinics doesn’t actually stop people from having abortions. We need to be educated, sensitive and more moderate about this issue.

Here’s to the pro-choice progress happening today!

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3 Comments

  1. I am a feminist, and I am pro-life. While it is essential for a woman to choose what happens to her body, the choice to abort a child affects TWO bodies. This changes things. Our government has jurisdiction over other acts which result in the termination of a life, so it is not unreasonable to consider what their role should be in this issue.

    Something I appreciate about GirlTalkHQ is that many of your articles intentionally acknowledge of more than one side while discussing an issue. It would be really interesting to see a more holistic perspective on this one.

    Sadly, there are women who call themselves feminists while tearing down other women whose opinions differ, and I have taken a lot of heat from women for my stance on abortion. I have also witnessed mass-bullying of other pro-life feminists. Why do we do this to each other? We are not enemies. I would love to see all feminists, whatever their views on an issue, make a point of listening to each other and supporting each other where we can. In this way, I offer grace and love and empathy to those of my friends who have chosen to abort their children. I hope that I will be treated with respect and consideration in this forum. Thanks for reading.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts Diana, and we appreciate you acknowledging that we aim to be fair and balanced in our approach of topics. If you are interested in sharing a guest blog post about your views on being a pro-life feminist, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d be happy to read it.

  2. Pingback: Bill Nye The Science Guy On Women's Repro Rights & Why It's Time To Move On!

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