Getting to Choice

When I was young, the word "choice" was a euphemism for "anti-life." I specifically remember being told that the pro-choice movement was about destruction, and appending the word "choice" to it was a corrupt strategy to spin something reprehensible into something good.

I’ve come pretty far from those conservative roots.  For me now the word "choice" means not just the right to reproductive choice, but the right that we all should have to make the choices that allow us to be the people we are; the freedom to be on the outside who we are on the inside.

To me this is the point of anti-oppressive work – of which sexual health work is a huge part – to create a world where people have the freedom to be who they are. That means that on top of having your basic needs secured, you can also love the people you want to love, dress in a way that most expresses who you are, do the kind of work that you feel happiest doing, and make the reproductive choices that you know are best for you.  It’s a world where people get to be the people they are, if they’re only given the space to be those people.

The one advantage of coming from conservative roots and growing up to be an anti-racist feminist radical, is that I still get where conservative folks are coming from, as much as I may disagree with aspects of conservative belief – like the attempt to take away people’s right to choose. I honestly do believe that we should respect all the different life choices that people can make, from the most traditional, to the most marginalised. I support any life choice; except the one that tries to take other people’s choices away.

Now that’s destructive.

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