Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frustrating comments

There are so many frustrating comments flung back and forth between the pro-choice and anti-choice movement.

Part of the reason I love my work at CAF is, we cut out that crap (at least, most of the time ;) ). On our show, we just cut off the anti-choice callers. We don't engage too much with the "other side." We're too busy protecting and helping the women that call us in their desperate, vulnerable moments and who are willing to contact us to help them empower themselves and improve their lives.

Recently, while reading the comments of an article in the Washington Post about a medical student's weighing of whether or not to become an abortion doctor, I wasn't surprised about the slinging of insults, facts, and fantasy back and forth between people. Quite frankly, both sides annoyed me. But the most ridiculous argument was:

"By that line of reasoning, shall we wonder why pro-choicers only start caring about children when they leave the womb?"

(in response to "[anti-choicers] only care about fetuses, not children")

Some judgmental pro-choice people might follow that line of thinking, but no reproductive justice activist (of which I am) would ever not care about the health of a pregnancy. Us reproductive justice activists care about the first environment (the womb) and fight for reproductive health and environmental health (a major reason women and reproductive organs are unhealthy). We are often the ones fighting for more (FREE) pre-natal care, access to alternative birthing means*, better food in neighborhoods, etc. etc. From what I've read, states with the most liberal abortion laws often have the healthiest children and most programs that improve the lives of families, especially women and children.

At CAF, we place a series of follow-up calls with the women who use our services. Sometimes women decide to go through with their pregnancies or are forced too because they were too far along (both outcomes have many reasons behind them). We offer to send them an informational package with many resources (helpline numbers, programs, informational brochures)- on parenting, pre-natal health, birthing options, breastfeeding, newborn and infant care, support groups and more.

I care about and fight for the rights of women and children. The only difference for me, however, is I don't consider a pregnancy a child unless the woman does. I am sensitive enough to use whatever language the woman and/or would-be mother wants to use to pull myself up to her level. Because I'm not in her situation. This is a sensitivity- nay, a conviction- anti-choice people seem to lack.

*Doulas, for instance, consistently improve parental-newborn bonding and with all parties'- mother(s), child(ren), father(s), etc.- overall health and satisfaction with the birth.

No comments: