Taking a Stance

I know this is controversial, but I’ve been losing sleep over the SCOTUS lately and I want to share my concern. And, honestly, I think it is about time that I came out.

I am pro-life. I am also pro-choice. I’ll go one step further: I am pro-abortion. It is a life saving medical procedure and it needs to be available and safe for myriad reasons.

Wait, what did you say? I can’t be pro-life and pro-abortion? It isn’t possible? There is only one way to be pro-life and that is to be absolutely certain that life begins at conception and that everything that happens after that is up to fate/God/etc.?

I disagree. Here is a list of ways that one can be pro-life that has nothing to do with insisting that unsafe (did you know that it is still possible to die of childbirth, and – in the U.S. – the chances of this are significantly higher for POC?), unwanted (did you know that contraception is not fail-proof?), and unaffordable (did you know that many women who seek abortions are already mothers and struggling financially to provide for their families?) pregnancies are brought to term. Just off the top of my head:

1) Check with your state on the backlog of rape kits waiting to be tested. Are there a significant number? A few years ago, Utah had nearly 3,000 kits on backlog. But then we passed a bill that prioritized and funded testing and now all that DNA is in a database. Neat!

2) Don’t get NIMBY when someone wants to put a homeless shelter or clinic in your area. Homeless adults usually aren’t cute and cuddly, but they are alive (for now)!

3) Donate to and volunteer for causes that help vulnerable people. Food banks, diaper drives, school supply drives, mental health and addiction support… there are millions of ways you can help struggling families in your community and around the world.

4) Support and vote for political candidates who will push for affordable housing, affordable health care, affordable childcare, parental leave, and other life affirming actions that will help struggling families. Even if it means that you will have to pay more taxes!

5) Pay your taxes!

6) Donate to and support your local Planned Parenthood. They are the only health care option for millions of men and women in the U.S. They provide many services in addition to providing access to contraception, such as cancer screenings! Cancer is NOT pro-life!

7) Be pro-contraception! The abortion rate is at an all-time low right now (and so is teen pregnancy, btw). That is a good thing! And that is due to the increased availability of health care (Thanks Obama!) and contraception. Even if your religion teaches that contraception is sinful, you can still support the rights of others to access it! Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies 90% of the time and can allow people to plan to have a family when they are ready and able. Insisting that contraception be hard to get or illegal because of your personal beliefs is basically insisting everyone on earth join YOUR religion and that is never going to happen. Find a new dream!

I think y’all get the point.

Are there women who have used abortion as birth control? I’m sure there are. And I’m not saying this is an easy issue. I think that anyone who has really thought about it has struggled with the implications. Which is why I want the decision to be up to the owner of the uterus. Not me. Or the state.

Once Roe is overturned (which is definitely going to happen, in case you hadn’t heard) the states will decide. Abortion will NOT go away; it will be legal in blue states and illegal in red states. Women with resources will still have choices. Women without resources will not. They will be the handmaids of the religious right in the U.S. of Gilead. Many will have unsafe illegal procedures and many will die. That is what happened for millennia and that is what will happen again.

Please. Be pro-life. Not just pro-birth.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

One response to “Taking a Stance

  1. Gina Weaver

    Preach, sista!

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