I want you to know that my thoughts and opinions do not represent the places, organizations, or events I work at, volunteer with, or am involved with in any way. They are my own.
What’s on my mind lately has been the topic of abortion. Frankly, it seems like that’s on the mind of everyone lately. With the United States (some of them at least) choosing to criminalize abortion, it has really become an even more divisive topic of late.
I’ve always been on the fence of this issue, trying to balance my love of life, my Christianity, and human rights in general. I’ve never known how to deal with this topic, and for too many years I just refused to discuss it, because I realized that I would likely be condemned if I admitted that I had doubts or questions about abortion being “wrong”. I was surrounded by other Christians who wouldn’t accept this issue as being discussable at all.
Then one day, I heard someone I knew berating women for choices they knew nothing about, and I knew that I had to speak up. I had never actually witnessed someone I knew speak like this before, even though I knew that I was probably in the minority. I decided to speak up with what I believed.
I said, “I believe in the sanctity of human life, but I also believe that a woman has a right to her own body.”
The response? “No they don’t. If you believe that, then you’re a baby murderer too.”
That is fundamentally wrong. There’s no logic, there’s no reason, and it shows a clear lack of understanding as far as I am concerned. I exited that conversation the only way I knew how. I turned around and walked away.
I will never forget this interaction with someone I knew, and as this topic continues to be discussed time and time again, I can only hope that nobody I know actually still thinks like that. I can accept that people have different opinions, but I cannot and will not accept that there are those in this world who will deny women’s rights at all costs.
6 years later, and I still am working through how to publicly say what I believe.
I’m not for abortion, and I’m not against abortion. It’s not something I would choose, but the point is that it’s not my right to choose that in the first place. I’m not a woman, and will never be faced with this decision no matter what happens to me, and therefore I have no right to decide anything.
I think it’s something that has and will always exist in this world, and so we may as well make sure that there’s safe access available to these resources. As history has shown us, when there isn’t safe medical access to abortion, things get ugly pretty quickly. If a woman makes the choice, I think she has the right to be in a medically sound environment with people who know how to properly perform the procedure.
I think it’s appalling that there are people who actively try to take these rights away from women. There are so many factors that go into having an abortion, that other people don’t see because they are too privileged. I recognize that not even I can fully understand it, because like I said, it’s not something I can even comprehend.
I’m not a marginalized young woman in a poor economic and repressed environment.
I’m not a woman who is going to have her entire life and career destroyed because birth control failed.
I am not a victim of rape, being forced to make the decision of what to do with a baby that I didn’t have any say in making.
I’m not a woman who is forced to abort due to medical complications, leaving her emotionally destroyed because she actually WANTED to have the baby.
So what am I?
I am a man who can stand up and say that I believe a woman has a right to her own body, a right to choose when she is ready to have a child, and a right to medically safe, legal access to abortion, regardless of the reason.
Stop the religious and patriarchal oppression of women’s rights.
We’ve come too far for this to remain an issue.