I’m not going to waste much time talking about the legislation itself in Alabama. I’m not here to make a stance on whether or not one should be pro-life or pro-choice. I believe we are all entitled to our different opinions and we are required to respect one another regardless of what we might believe.
We are a beautiful nation composed of many different, diverse people. Blanket statement laws about what works for one group of people will not work for such a diverse nation. We must remember this. So regardless if you are pro-life or pro-choice, know that the opposite side of your beliefs works for other people and they need to be allowed to exercise that.
We cannot expect people to adhere to our religious or spiritual or beliefs if someone does not share them. Forcing them to do so would not be appropriate in any case as we all come from extremely unique and complicated walks of life.
I understand that reproductive rights conversations are incredibly sensitive. However, I believe that this is why compassion, understanding, and radical acceptance (i.e. we don’t have to like what we hear to be kind and respectful) must be in the forefront of our minds. We will get nowhere if we continue to throw ultimatums at one another.
My next point is that I don’t necessarily see this as a pro-life or pro-choice kind of issue with Alabama. I do see it as a power and control issue.
If we are truly worried about abortions, why isn’t more money being put into making abortions obsolete? PREVENTION is and always will be my primary focus in most discussions like this.
How do we prevent abortions regarding unwanted/unplanned pregnancies? With proper sexual education around how to prevent the need for an abortion in the first place.
Sex is still a very taboo subject in our society, and we need to move past this. While we might not want to think about our teenagers and high schoolers or anyone else having sex, the reality is that they’re going to regardless of what we like, dislike, or believe is right or wrong.
So, we might as well teach them to be safe. It is a very false assumption that talking about sex will make someone want to do it more. It’s similar to talking about suicide. Talking about suicide doesn’t make someone want to do it more. Chances are, if someone is going to self-harm or attempt suicide, they’ve already been thinking about it for a very long time.
My point is, we need to talk about this (not talk at each other. BIG difference). We need to have long, compassionate, patient conversations about sex and safe sex. And quite frankly, it needs to be coming from parents first and foremost. We can put sex education into schools and talk about proper use of condoms and conversations around sexual consent and so on, but parents are going to have to get over the awkwardness and push through these conversations to KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE AND PREVENT THEM FROM CONTRACTING STDS AND UNPLANNED PREGNANCIES BY USING THE APPROPRIATE PROTECTION.
Yes. It can be awkward to talk about sex, sexual hygiene, safe sex, safe sexual practices, consent, etc. But it doesn’t have to be! Educate yourselves! You might learn something fun along the way for yourselves! Ain’t nothing wrong with everyone benefiting from learning about healthy sexuality.
And this way, you don’t have to worry about other people telling your children something you disagree with. You’ve already opened the lines of communication for your kid(s) to come and talk to YOU! So YOU can talk about how abstinence is the gold standard BUT if they’re going to have sex THEY HAVE TO USE A CONDOM OR SOME OTHER BARRIER METHOD FOR MANY, MANY REASONS.
Part of why I am harping on this is because European countries that have strong sex education programs have the lowest rates of abortion as well. Abstinence programs do not work!!
Let’s just make abortions obsolete. Nobody likes them! Don’t think for a second that people enjoy abortions even when they’re medically necessary. Nobody likes abortions.
Let’s be pro life by making every pregnancy INTENTIONAL.
Let’s teach men that using condoms is RESPECTFUL TO WOMEN AND IS SIMPLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
Let’s teach men that if a child is born, THEY ARE AT LEAST 50% RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT CHILD’S UPBRINGING SINCE IT HAS 50% OF THEIR DNA. Because part of having sex is accepting that you might become pregnant (i.e. the royal you referring to YOU AND YOUR PARTNER, NOT JUST THE WOMAN. COUPLES GET PREGNANT, NOT INDIVIDUALS).
Let’s teach women that it’s okay to demand their sexual partner USES A BARRIER METHOD, even if they’re on the pill or something else, BECAUSE PREGNANCY IS NOT THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.
Let’s keep talking about how NO MEANS NO ALWAYS. IT DOES NOT MEAN ESCALATE THE SITUATION.
Let’s teach men that birth control IS AS MUCH THEIR RESPONSIBILITY AS IT IS THE WOMAN’S.
If we are truly pro-life, let’s advocate for money to be put into the foster care system if giving up a child for adoption is really what people want to do.
If we are going to make a woman carry a pregnancy to term, let’s create laws making it mandatory that the father must be emotionally, financially, physically present in that child’s life.
Let’s make the penalty for rape a serious penalty where people aren’t getting out on technicalities. If you make a woman pregnant against her will, you will do your time for that crime.
If we are going to be pro-life, let’s not make it so the mother’s life doesn’t end (emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.) in order to bring a child’s life into the world.
Because to me, pro-life means equality. It means life and all its privileges.
It means life at any age, whether it has already lived a little or a lot or is just being born. Don’t think for a second that there still isn’t shame around getting pregnant out of wedlock (i.e. side soap box is that pregnancy is also not always a great reason to get married although it has worked for many people).
Consider this. If it’s legal for fertility clinics to discard embryos that don’t get implanted (an embryo is a fertilized egg in development), keep in mind that most abortions happen during the embryonic state (around 90%).
This current topic doesn’t really seem about pro-life or pro-choice. It really seems about power and control over women. If we were gonna talk shop about pro-life, let’s make the need for abortions obsolete by preventing unplanned/unwanted pregnancies with some legitimate sexual education.
The fact is, abortions are traumatic regardless of your beliefs.
So, I don’t care if you’re pro-life or pro-choice.
PREVENTION (across all topics and disciplines) IS EVERYONE’S CONCERN.
Make legitimate and useful sexual education a mandatory priority for all socio-economic classes in the home and at school.
Let’s stop throwing shit at each other and actually have legitimate discussions where it’s okay to disagree and have respect for an opposing opinion.
If everyone had the same opinion, life would be incredibly boring and unproductive.
You need differences of opinion for true progress.
Stop silencing each other. Play nice. Listening to a different opinion with an open mind will not kill you (nor will considering it thoughtfully and why that person might hold the opinions they do).
Yes, I am legitimately angry at the lack of consideration and kindness around this situation regardless of what side you swear allegiance to.
While it is cliché, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Two wrongs do not make a right. They make two wrongs. They make more pain. They make more suffering. They make more frustration.
Use your coping skills and listen. Understand why you are triggered when someone has an opinion that is different from yours. That is the only way we are ever going to make progress. Agreeing to disagree is not a cop out. It is our greatest strength.
Go forth and make the world a better place.
(P.S. Making the world a better place is truly a difficult and great thing to do requiring the sacrifice of pride and ego and the pursuit of authentic, human connection)