The pro-life and pro-choice movements have always been contentious — now, with a President in office who’s firmly pro-life, it’s picking up once again.
He may be planning to defund Planned Parenthood, and has already signed an action regarding funding for abortions — while surrounded by men, none of whom have any idea what it is to be a woman or mother.
That, among other reasons, is why millions of men, women, and children united in major cities across the world on January 21 for Women’s Marches, a little over 24 hours after he was sworn into office.
Here’s the thing — my personal choice is pro-life. I believe that a child is a child from the moment of conception.
However, I marched with 400,000 other people in New York City for the Women’s March as well. I’m a woman, I plan to be a mother, and I fully understand why millions of women want the freedom to govern their own bodies. The government shouldn’t have control over any of our reproductive choices, not even abortion.
Institutions like Planned Parenthood have been painted as some kind of abortion factory, when in reality they provide valuable health and reproductive services — including sex education — to individuals and families who may not be able to afford it or have access otherwise.
Knowing firsthand what it is to live in a low-income community and all that comes with it — utilizing a clinic because it’s a more affordable option than a private doctor, for example — I can firmly attest to how important resources like Planned Parenthood are.
I think pro-choice critics should also take into account the varied situations women encounter when deciding to have an abortion. Some have survived sexual assault, and make the decision not to have a child conceived under those circumstances. Others are informed before the pregnancy is full-term that their lives or in danger, or even the baby’s.
As difficult as the choice may be in any and all circumstances, it remains just that: a choice.
If you ask me, pro-life and pro-choice movements shouldn’t be at odds, especially when it comes to women. Supporting and uplifting one another should absolutely translate to reproductive health, too. We all want to have control of that, don’t we?
That being said, I choose to support my pro-choice sisters, even if the personal beliefs I hold for my own body and unborn child don’t align with theirs.
Bradleigh is a co-founder and content curator for The Sirens Rise with a BA in Media Studies. Her favorite things to do are listen to music, get lost in a book, write for hours, and eat way more chocolate than one human being ever should.