Sunday, December 17, 2017

Open Space: Anti-choice shames women into motherhood

October 1, 2015 by Rebecca Davies, contributing writer

I hovered over an ominous white stick last weekend: something so small and simple; something that could change the course of my life in a moment. As I watched a faded pink line appear, I wondered if I had the strength to walk past protestors shaming my choices over my own body. (By the way, my test turned out to be negative… or positive, depending on how you see it.)

A Christian, anti-choice organization called 40 Days for Life are returning to the island to set up for over five weeks across the street from the local Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic. Their goal is to end abortion, and they aim to do it through prayer and fasting.

People who use the Bible as an excuse to be anti-choice do so with the belief that an embryo, a fleck of a being, is still human. Abortion is murder, they say; murder is sin. Perhaps they forget that not everyone believes in the idea of sin, or that not everyone believes that a fetus is the same as a child. Their beliefs do not rule my bodily autonomy, and my choice is none of their business.

I get it: they’re doing what they see as saving people and children. But this group’s antics are far from Christian. I counter-protested with the group Pro-Choice Victoria in the spring, when 40 Days for Life were protesting here, and I can tell you that being prayed at and told to “save my soul” while a man videotapes us from across the street just doesn’t convey the compassion I think religion is supposed to promote.

Sex only for the production of children turns people with uteri into machines and shames us for experiencing pleasure: patriarchy at its best.

Women’s clinics provide more than just abortions: they offer contraception, support, sex education, and other necessities unique to women’s healthŃactual concrete services that reduce unexpected pregnancies. Pray all you want, but it’s not going to teach a teenager how to use a condom.

Don’t get me wrong: I love children and think motherhood is a beautiful role. I just don’t want to bring children into this world that I cannot care for. The foster-care systems are over-worked, and unless babies can live off Mr. Noodles, my student budget can’t afford it.

What anti-choicers don’t seem to understand is that sometimes abortion is the only choice.

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