by Cameron Michels, Community Organizer at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
I am pro-choice. I was pro-choice even before I entirely knew what that term meant. My mom volunteered with Planned Parenthood when I was in junior high and I thought that the buttons looked really cool. Also she is my mom, so I thought anything she did was really cool (and still do). In college I naturally joined the pro-choice group on campus and legitimately started paying attention to why this movement matters. It became clear to me quite quickly that pro-choice is a term that signifies a level of respect for women that is all too rare in our society. This term and those that embrace it believe that women are in fact capable of making important personal decisions. Laws restricting access to abortion are patronizing at best and misogynistic at worst. As a woman, I see no other way to think about this issue.
The ability for a woman to control if and when she wants to have children should be a fundamental right. I have believed this on a political and philosophical level for a while now, but it was not until this past summer when I really understood its connotations on a personal level. One of my good friends found out that she was pregnant and knew that she was not prepared to have a child at this point in her life. She felt she could not tell her parents, so she turned to me for help. I was able to procure funds and she was able to have an abortion. The procedure was safe and she knew that she made the right choice. I don’t want to think about where my friend would be if abortion was illegal in this country, but I cannot help it.
I am pro-choice because I believe that women like my mother, my friend, and I deserve to make decisions about our own bodies. I am pro-choice because we deserve to live in a society that trusts and respects us to make those decisions. I am pro-choice.