Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mini-Rant: Pro-Choice is Everyone's Business

Given the underhanded assault on women's reproductive rights raging in this country right now, I felt like I wanted to post something about the issue.

For my entire thinking life, I have been pro-choice.  However, after I came out in college, I began to feel that my opinion on the subject was simply irrelevant. If asked, I said: "It's an issue for women to decide." I mean, I could understand a heterosexual man being concerned with the issue. And lesbians, as women, could justifiably find the issue important. But as a gay man I had no skin in the game, I thought, so why should I be entitled to any opinion on the subject? This 'enlightened' view only lasted a few weeks.

I was rudely snapped out of it while watching the news with a very close female friend. At the time, Republicans and Christian extremists were trying to erode women's reproductive rights. My friend was very concerned, and especially disgusted at the idea that these people expected rape victims to carry their attacker's child to term. I don't remember what she said that spurred the question but I asked her: "If abortion were outlawed and you needed to have one, what could you do?" Without hesitation, she looked me right in the eye and said: "I would get one."

I realized at that moment reproductive rights is not a issue of gender politics, it's an issue of health care access and it affects everyone. Anyone who has a mother, sister, daughter, friend, niece, whatever that they care about has to care about reproductive rights as a result. We all have skin in the game, and no one can sit on the fence. So I came back to being pro-choice all the way position. No exceptions.

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