This post isn’t about being pro-choice or pro-life, or pro-abortion or anti-choice if you use the rhetoric of the opposing side. It’s about a really disturbing pattern I’ve seen recently in various discussions, both online and off, regarding abortion rights. I am genuinely disturbed and uncomfortable when people say that their reason for being pro-choice is “What about poor women? What about disabled/mentally ill women*?” etc.
If your reasons for being pro-choice are founded in classism, ableism, racism, or any other -ism, then we’re not making any fucking progress at all. If your logic is “abortions need to be safe and legal because otherwise women popping out babies to get the DPB is going to become an even bigger problem” or “Disabled women or women with mental health problems just can’t cope with having kids, so abortions need to be available to them”—I don’t say this often, but you are fucking doing it wrong. If your reason for wanting safe and legal abortion is so that the women you don’t think should be having kids can have them, and you’re going to then turn around and shame those who do have kids even though you deem them too young, too poor, not capable, etc. etc.—then sorry, the other side’s rhetoric is way more accurate. That’s not pro-choice, that’s pro-abortion.
Pro-choice is more than access to abortions. It’s also access to effective and affordable birth control. It’s allowing a pregnant person to choose, for themselves, the fate of their own bodies and lives without indulging in slut-shaming and bigotry. It’s working towards better support for women who choose to keep and raise a child, no matter what. Reproductive rights are exactly that: the right to reproduce, or the right not to reproduce—and knowing that whatever your decision, you will be supported. If not by the government (yet), then at least by the people who are supposed to be fighting for everyone’s reproductive rights.
*It’s worth noting that abortion is not solely a woman’s issue and not everyone who bears a uterus is a woman — however, in this rhetoric people will almost always use “women” exclusively, so that’s what I’ve used here.