Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A pro-choicer explains why she left the “pro-life” movement

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Abortion: My Mind, My Body, My Choice

I’m not usually into such “coming out” stories, but Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism has penned a fascinating and truly enlightening account explaining how her belief in the sanctity of life and her desire to prevent abortions – along with an open mind – actually drove her away from her previously cherished “pro-life” movement and turned her into a pro-birth-control, pro-choice activist. It’s a moderately lengthy read, but a damned good one. Hell, even I learned a few things, which always makes me happy.

Here’s just a taste:

The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about punishing women for having sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions. That’s why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It’s not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

Ironically, only yesterday I argued that this conclusion about most “pro-lifers” being driven by veiled sex-shaming was an overreach, and that anti-choicers simply lack the openness towards new ideas and information to recognize the contradictions inherent to their positions on abortion and birth control. The more obvious answer now is some sort of combination of the two, though I suppose I can’t ever know what really goes on in their minds. Frankly, the idea of punishing women for having sex by restricting their medical and economic well-being is so incongruous to me that I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

Then again, maybe it’s a good thing I’m unable to empathize with thinking that sloppy. I’m just happy that Libby Anne saw the better of it, and hopeful that her exposé will help others come around as well.

(via Friendly Atheist)