“My body, my choice” doesn’t come close to covering it
This is a post concerning reproductive rights and abortion and I’m pro-choice. You’ve been politely forewarned.
The problem with the statement “My body, my choice,” is that it only scrapes the surface of why we all desperately need full control over our own reproductive decisions. When I think about myself facing an unwanted pregnancy and needing an abortion, I don’t think “Well, it’s my body at stake here,” I think “My life at stake.”
My life. Not just my body, but my whole entire life including my body, my mind, my future, my emotional well-being, my financial stability, my relationship, my health, my family, my career, my dreams, my ability to help those around me, the decisions that I make, and everything I will ever do or be from this moment until the moment I die.
Parenthood is one of the single most life-altering things that can happen to a person. Anyone who tells you different is lying to you. Parenthood changes your life on a fundamental, irrevocable level. Pregnancy changes your life. And it is for precisely that reason that I don’t think anyone else has the right to decide for me what I am going to do with my life. That includes intercourse, pregnancy, and parenthood. If I don’t have the ability to decide those things for myself, then my life and my freedom is not my own. The ability to make our own life-changing decisions is what makes us inherently free. And if you want to take that ability away from someone, then you cannot claim to have their best interests at heart, and you certainly cannot claim to be a feminist.
If I were to become pregnant, and I didn’t have any choice but to follow the pregnancy through to delivery, it wouldn’t simply affect my body. It would change my life. It would change my fiance’s life. It would change everything about me. And that’s why I need control over that situation.
“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” And that includes the life-altering decision to become pregnant or a parent. So no, it’s not just “My body, my choice.” It’s “My life, my choice.”