Abortion is Personal

And so is the political and ideological war against it

I’m getting sick of it.

Sick of measure after measure, new legal stipulation after stipulation passing, aimed at limiting access to abortion—locally and nationally—like this past week’s Foxx amendment, which ensures that no tax dollars will be spent to train health-care providers to perform abortions. Abortion, mind them, remains a legal and crucial medical procedure for women in spite of the Draconian regulations suddenly being placed on it left and right.

I feel this way, and I haven’t even come face-to-face with the need for one. As news story after discouraging news story passes, I keep wondering: When will they push so far that they just overturn Roe v. Wade, sending women back into the dark alleys and back to the uncertified, illegally performing “doctors” who’d become their only choice. We’ve come this far, but imagine: A world of only Kermit Gosnells. Is that what people really want?

A friend of mine—we’ll call her Rose—used to be on the other side of the argument. Like any good Catholic girl, she didn’t believe in abortion. Until, just as she neared her 17th birthday, the morning sickness kicked in. A hospital visit, and there it was: Her birth control had failed due to a drug interaction. She was pregnant.

“I was upset, my mom was upset and we had to tell my dad. He was really, really upset,” she recounts now, several years later. Neither she and the father (her former long-term boyfriend), nor her parents (both worked full-time) were in any way equipped to care for a baby. “It was hard, but I decided [an abortion] was the best thing.”

It took Rose a few years to reconcile her decision, to come to terms with the fact that, at first, she felt as though her parents made her believe it would have been impossible for her to have raised a child. But the decision was right: She’s in nursing school now, a longtime dream of hers that wouldn’t have come to fruition had she been saddled with a child and stuck with her controlling now-ex-boyfriend who treated her poorly.

“I look at my mom all the time and say thank you,” she says. “I was with [my ex] for six years, and if I ended up with someone like that, my life would be in ruins.”

Staunch pro-lifers will be quick to judge and condemn, as they always are, and quick to say she didn’t consider her “unborn child.” But she did—she knew that it wouldn’t be fair to bring a young person into a world where she knew the situation just wouldn’t work. And she was brave and strong and deserves praise for making such a hard decision, such a scary decision, such a grown-up decision, at such a young age. What she doesn’t deserve—and what nobody deserves—is people who don’t get it pushing laws against it and touting propaganda condemning it.

And so I challenge those who stand against it without understanding, those who make the laws without being there, those who spit fire at anything pro-choice without ever having had to choose: Put yourselves in her shoes. If abortion means the end of what would have been (or, to some, already was) a new life, the question is still valid: What makes that life any more important than the woman’s life, forever altered and maybe hindered by the decision to have an unplanned child? What about all the people Rose will help—the lives she’ll save when she becomes a nurse—that wouldn’t have been, had she chosen otherwise?