As the United States turns into "The Handmaid's Tale's" Gilead right in front of our eyes, the fight against women's reproductive rights comes to the forefront again. Rape, incest, they don't care: Abortions are bad, and so are those who seek them and perform them.
But let's all align on one thing, shall we? Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody.
And here is the amazing thing... If you don't believe in abortion, you don't have to get one! No, really. The existence of safe, legal and accessible abortions does not require you to get one! How about that? It is almost like you are able to choose based on your belief system and your personal situation.
That is the great thing about being pro-choice... You can consider yourself "pro-life"... for you. You do not have to get an abortion. You can believe that you would never even consider an abortion. All of your pregnancies can lead to a baby. You have that right.
You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell the 11-year-old victim of incest who is still years away from even being able to legally consent to sex that she has to carry her relative's child to term.
You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a rape survivor that she has to carry the product of her trauma for 9 months.
You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a woman in an abusive relationship with no familial support has to bring a baby into a world where he or she cannot be provided for.
You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a woman who has no interest in being a mother that the rest of her life is no longer in her hands.
You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell an expectant mother who just found out her child will die once she is born that she has to endure that earth-shattering heartbreak.
Here's the thing: Some women in all of the above situations would keep their baby.
They'll comment below this post and say that their son or daughter is a light and their life and they are so glad they decided to keep their child.
Sure, I was young, but I made it work.
Yes, my child was conceived in trauma, but I didn't hold that against them.
Raising a child single with no support was so hard, but so worth it.
I never thought I wanted a child, but I can't see myself as anything but a mother.
The doctors told me that my baby wouldn't live, but now he's 18 and thriving.
And that is wonderful. It is beautiful. It takes love and strength to raise a child, let alone in any sort of adversity.
But that does not mean that the women who made the opposite decision are monsters or hate children.
It means that, based on their beliefs and their personal situations and the unique challenges that come with their own life, it was the best choice for them.
Being a child, I was not even near ready to have my own.
Carrying the child of my abuser is making it difficult for me to move past this.
I will not be able to provide this baby with the love and support that he or she deserves.
It is not fair to bring a child into the world that I do not want.
I would rather endure the heartbreak of terminating my pregnancy than the heartbreak of watching my child die in my arms.
And guess what? It takes strength to make these decisions, too. You do not live in the shoes or the head of anyone but yourself. You do not understand the complexity of this decision for anyone but yourself.
You do not get to make an extremely difficult and personal decision for anyone but yourself.
Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody has "terminating a pregnancy" on their list of life goals or milestones. In all situations, making the decision to terminate a pregnancy, for any reason, is an extremely difficult decision.
And you DO NOT have the right to tell a woman what is best for her or her life.
If you cannot fathom ever getting an abortion, great. You don't have to. Most people can't fathom it themselves, either. People do not want abortions. But having access to safe and legal abortions when the often scary and heartbreaking situation arises is crucial for all women. All women deserve to make their OWN choice.
Your choice can be no, absolutely not, there is no situation where you would get an abortion. And nobody will stop you from having that belief or not getting an abortion.
But your choice cannot be someone else's. Everyone deserves to have their own.