Sunday, September 07, 2008

Pro-Choice Women Have Babies, Too

All the talk about Bristol Palin's pregnancy and Sarah Palin's decision to give birth to a Down's Syndrome child got me thinking -

It really is none of our business.

What is our business, however, is the fact that while mentioning the subject has been declared off-limits, Sarah Palin is still being held up as some sort of absolute saint for having made the choices she's made. Those voters who are strongly in Sarah Palin's camp seem to feel that only those who agree 100% with their and their candidate's strong position on abortion would ever dare have the courage to have reacted in the same manner.

In other words, they are as cynical as we.

No one seems willing to entertain the thought that even without overturning Roe Vs Wade, that even without strong family support, that even without strong Christian beliefs that a (dare I say it) Pro-Choice woman might have, if left to her own devices, chosen the same path as Sarah and Bristol have chosen.

Pro-Choice does not necessarily mean Pro-Abortion. It means exactly what it says - CHOICE. It means, in effect, I can do what I choose and you, you can do what you choose. It means there are people who understand circumstances, who understand agony, who understand the possibility of being backed into a corner and it means, most of all, they will not judge you, they will only judge themselves. It means they understand that the world is not black and white - that it is various shades of gray and it means they are uncomfortable imposing their morality upon others.

I know this because I was Sarah Palin's daughter once upon a time. I, too, faced a teenaged pregnancy. A friend of mine, she was Sarah Palin once upon a time. She, too, gave birth to a special needs child. We both knew what was going on, we both knew what our options were, we both, without a moment's hesitation, chose to give birth. We've both lived with our decisions for a very long time and we're both 100% convinced that we did the right thing - for ourselves and for our children. We do not, however, feel that because it was right for us that it is right for everyone. No one should have that right. No one should have that power.

What they should have is the education necessary to make an informed decision. What they should have is the support of their family and their community and their government to help them carry out that decision - regardless of what it may be.

And that, that's what Sarah Palin in denyied them when she voted for abstinance-only sexual education programs in her school system. That's what she denies them when she states that she favors abortion only in the event that the mother's life is endangered by giving birth. That's what she denied them when she reduced funding for special needs children in her school system. And these are some of the things she would like to change for the rest of us - she's just not being as vocal about it yet.

Sarah Palin does not give women credit for being capable of carrying out the most important of decisions on their own. She will, if given the chance, do her darnest to remove the decision making process at all, to narrow their option to one, to back them into that corner, to remove their education and to place their life and their future and the lives and futures of their children in the hands of the state. Either that, or she will force them back into the same dirty, infection-ridden, humiliating back alley that Roe V Wade took them out of.

I don't care where you go - I don't care what path you take or what choice you make -I will make the same assumption about you that I wish people to make about me - that you are an intelligent woman who knows her own life and her own capabilites far better than anyone who is not you can ever know. I will support you as a fellow human being regardless of your decision because I remember, with gratitude, a time when someone supported me in mine - but I have neither the ego nor the desire to force you into anything or to strip you of every option but one.

Pro-Choice supporters are not simply in favor of abortion, regardless of what Sarah and her ilk would have us believe. They are in favor of options - and education. They, unlike many of the Pro-Life supporters, are willing to trust women to do the right things for themselves and by themselves, without state-supported mandates, without government-imposed morality and, most of all, without fear.

And that means having your child as well as aborting your child.

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