I first became aware of abortion around the same time I became aware of many things related to sex and sexuality – during puberty. At the time, abortion represented survival to me. As a little brown girl from the Bronx, I knew what the statistics said about girls like me and our chances of “success.” If I knew one thing, I knew this: I was not going to come home and tell my mother that I was pregnant.
Reproductive choice is our right and also our responsibility, an awesome responsibility. But in an even more profound sense, choice is the human condition. It defines us as humans, and we are in turn defined by the choices we make. Choice is the basis of morality after all, and it is sacrifice as much as it is freedom.
There will always be a part of me that is fond of “choice,” such as the part of me that believes in the reproductive justice movement. But the part of me that must endure seeing my sisters denied access, or scrutinized for using the resources they do have, knows that choice is only for a few.
In the ideal, the concept of choice for American women would be the inalienable right to the full array of life opportunities and the right to bodily autonomy.
On the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when I envision a world where women and men have true freedom of choice, I see a society that believes that a woman is smart and capable enough to decide what is best for herself and her family.
The term “choice” has had many critics from within the movement often referred to as, ahem, “pro-choice.”
Here are the reasons why choice is important to me. Alphabetically.