Trigger warning: sexual assault, abortion.
It should be noted that what is expressed in the following article is the opinion of the author (Danika Moir).
On May 9 at Queens Park, there was a Pro-Life (also known as the March For Life) rally that called for the criminalization/restriction of legal abortion. Our editor, Danielle, and I attended the Pro-Choice counter-protest to show March For Life that they and their ideals are unwelcome.
There is something here I would like to make clear. To me, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. I am not saying we should kill babies, which seems to be how Pro-Lifers think. Pro-choice means the ability to regulate my own body without persecution. It means if a woman is raped, she has the right to decide whether or not she wants to carry that child to term. She should not be forced to live with a daily reminder of a traumatic experience. But it should not have to come to this scenario. If a woman does not want to carry a child, she should not have to.
According to the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, there is an average of 12,000 children and youth in care monthly. It is no secret that there are too many children without homes who spend their lives in the foster system bouncing from house to house. It is not a life they deserve, but by forcing a woman to carry a fetus to full term when she may not be able to care for the child, it is inevitable.
Pregnancies can be extremely dangerous for some women. They could die because their bodies cannot take the strain of a child. By barring a woman from terminating her pregnancy (which is not an easy decision by any means), her life is put at risk. She is being told that her life, a grown woman, is worth less than a bundle of cells in her uterus. Sometimes, termination is the most merciful thing that can be done for the mother and for the unborn child, especially if the fetus has been medically diagnosed with conditions that would make its life outside the womb short and painful. Criminalizing and limiting safe access to abortion is violence. You are not pro-life if you are allowing a woman to put herself at risk to carry a child, you are not pro-life if legislations you help push mean she has to get an unsafe abortion that could lead to the woman’s death.
Pro-Lifers preach that they are trying to protect the unborn child but never seem to consider the life of the child after it is born. Do not preach about being pro-life if you stand by while childcare, welfare, and education funds are being cut. It seems that some people care more about a child more when it is a ball of cells than after it is born. Too many children are in foster homes and orphanages already, and I don’t see many pro-lifers advocating for their care.
To be pro-choice does not mean you are pro-abortion. It means you believe a woman should have the autonomy to decide what happens to her body.
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