Yesterday as I was driving I saw one of those Prolife bill boards. A cute little baby greeted me with a simple tag line and the Prolife logo at the bottom. For two seconds I was happy, then I thought of the negative connotation that these bill boards have. I thought of the many times I have listened to Democracy Now and winced at the term “anti-choice”. I am no more anti-choice than a person who is pro-choice is anti-baby. Kind of a funny thought. What would it look like to be anti-baby?
Before I chose my side on the picket line, I always struggled with the argument fought out between the two camps around abortion and reproductive rights. I remember commenting to a classmate in college that I didn’t choose sides because I felt we really needed to put our energies toward fixing a broken system. I was troubled that a father had no say or rights over a baby that was half his DNA. And that young girls could get an abortion without parental approval or notification. I understand that for some having parents involved would mean involving abusers or cause undue hardship. Regardless of this knowledge I was deeply troubled by all of these outlier circumstances that weren’t given attention.
Yesterday that troubled feeling was reignited. I feel these terms aren’t useful. All they succeed in doing is dividing individuals who have the same care and passion around the same issue.
I understand that when it comes to the big issue these two camps disagree. However, this disagreement stems from the way they see the issue. As I observe coverage of these issues I see people standing in separate houses in separate rooms screaming at each other. They aren’t even in the same room.
You cannot have a true debate or dialogue if the parties are standing on different foundations.
Doing away with these terms may muddy the waters. But maybe through that mud a bigger picture might come to view. A picture where discussion between differing viewpoints is possible. Where two people who see abortion differently can talk to each other rather than yell at each other from different rooms.
Maybe then many women, girls and unborn children could be protected and have rights that took care of them.