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It’s Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion

<iting this article, I’m a little afraid. I’ve always been sure of my beliefs, but I don’t want them to be misconstrued. However, the topic I will be discussing in this article is something I feel very strongly about, and I feel as if I lend a unique voice to this topic.

I want to start by saying that I am pro-choice, however this doesn’t mean that I’m a radical concerning the topic. When I was on Facebook the other day I came across the video of Emily Letts’ abortion. I didn’t have any problem with the video; it wasn’t graphic and it shed light on a topic that is still incredibly taboo. So you can image my disappointment when I read Letts’ interview in Cosmopolitan titled “Why I Filmed My Abortion.” A few things she said I agreed with. I liked how she discussed how, “our society breeds this guilt” about abortions, and how this guilty is toxic, but she also said some things that I found offensive. When discussing the procedure she said, “I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.” This entire statement made me so mad, and I can tell you exactly why that is.

First, I believe that women are entitled to feel anyway they want to concerning their own abortions, but since Letts’ is now becoming a face for the pro-choice movement, her story is being lauded as what should be the norm. Her “positive abortion story” in my opinion alienates those women like me who would have an abortion if they were to accidently get pregnant, but would have an incredibly difficult time making that decision. I think this goes against her point about stopping the guilt, but women have the right to feel however they want about their own abortions. Yes, if society is making you feel guilty that is a problem, but I would feel guilty for moral reasons. I would feel guilty because having to make the decision of terminating my pregnancy would put me in a difficult position. I would know that it would be the right decision for me, but it still wouldn’t be a positive experience. In the long-run I would know that I would be making the responsible decision for myself, but in the short-term dealing with the fact that I could have been a mother would be incredibly emotional.

Letts’ has the right to make her abortion story a positive one, but by doing so she is fueling right-wing evangelical extremism. The fact that she compares her abortion to childbirth will fuel the pro-life movement. While doing some more research about reactions to Letts’ video, I found that the pro-life movement is using her video to their advantage. In the article in the National Review Online titled, “I Still Want to See and Abortion Video” the author states, “if there were no title to the video and no sound, you could easily have concluded Letts was getting a bee sting removed from a very unfortunate area. For all of her talk about “sharing her story” and “removing the stigma,” Letts managed to whitewash the issue, as the Left is so good at doing, and produce a PG-rated, three-minute commercial for herself.” Now this statement made me very angry, but while watching this video I knew that it could be misconstrued in this way. I knew that pro-lifers would see her as being cavalier about the matter, and to be honest, I saw her as being cavalier about the matter as well. I’m sure that wasn’t her intention, but her video and her interviews about it afterwards were basically feeding into every stereotype pro-lifers have about pro-choicers; that they are lazy, use abortion as birth control, and are blasé about abortions. These are all incredibly unfair assumptions, but we have to understand that there are extremists in every debate and it does not do well to fuel their fire. It makes it seem that pro-choicers are pro-abortion, which isn’t what the pro-choice movement is about.

I understand that Emily Letts’ is an abortion counselor and that she has more expert knowledge than me about this subject. However, I believe in the moderate approach that Hillary Clinton advocates where abortion is “safe, legal, and very rare.” I believe that a moderate approach must be taken with such contentious issues such as abortion. I know that often moderation doesn’t cause progress, but abortion is an issue that will always have extremists. Thus, it should be dealt with delicately.

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