The Real Loss from the Pro-Life Movement
By Adriana Chavez (Concerned Activist)
There are many reasons someone may choose to have an abortion. Some women may terminate a planned pregnancy after a prenatal diagnosis, for their own health and safety, or because their pregnancy was a result of sexual assault. But like many pro-choice advocates, I am growing tired of defending the right to an abortion to people. Having an abortion because you don’t want a baby is as valid a reason as having an abortion because you were raped. It is your choice to have a baby; not your parents, not your partner’s, and certainly not the government’s. There is a reason the term is “pro-choice” and not “pro-abortion”. It’s not that every woman should have an abortion- but rather that the decision to have an abortion or to not have an abortion should be the sole choice of the person who is pregnant.
To many, Planned Parenthood is seen simply as the Big Bad who causes abortions. But in fact, Planned Parenthood prevents more abortions than it performs. Over 80% of the work Planned Parenthood does is help to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing birth control and other services. This means that by donating to Planned Parenthood, you are actually preventing unplanned pregnancies which may have resulted in abortion. In addition to this, Planned Parenthood also provides breast exams, pap smears, cancer screenings, and STI tests/treatments. This makes their total abortion services at only 3% of the work Planned Parenthood provide. By donating to and supporting Planned Parenthood you are actually preventing pregnancies that may have resulted in termination.
No one should ever be vilified or attacked for making the right medical choice for themselves. We all have heard about the protests around Planned Parenthood and other reproductive service clinics. There are countless cases of anti-abortion violence, in comparison to 0 cases of pro-choice violence. These protests going on across the country spark not only a feeling of anger within in me, but also a lingering feeling of sadness; a sense of loss. When I hear of the hundreds of protesters outside various reproductive health service clinics, chanting for the rights of babies, holding up signs, I can’t help but wonder, what would happen, if these people, so passionate, and so motivated- just refocused that passion to a different cause.
Rather than focusing on other people’s pregnancies, why are we not working harder to help the children already in this world? 15 million children are currently living in poverty. When do they get their voice? The American foster care system is in shambles. As of 2015, 62,000 children are waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. And a study by John Hopkins University shows that children in foster care are 28 times more likely to experience sexual abuse. When do these children get their voice? Are 6 week old fetuses more important to advocate for?
There is so much good we can do in our lifetimes- so many people we can help. If only we use our time trying to help the people of this world, instead of focusing on the medical decisions of others. We need to start being realistic about what happens when abortion is illegalized, and who we hurt when abortion if vilified.
*Here are some ways author Adriana Chavez suggests you can get involved: Children's Defense Fund, Donate to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), Donate to Planned Parenthood, AdoptUSKids