The Republican party has become synonymous with pro-life. Republicans have pushed anti-abortion legislation around the country. Red states have the strictest abortion laws; blue states have the most lenient. And the Trump administration has appointed three Supreme Court Justices that are against abortion.
For a while now, thinking about abortion in the U.S. only brought up emotions of fear and anger in me. I’ve been scared of the fate of Roe v. Wade, and angry at those who try to police women’s bodies and rob us of our right to choose.
Then I had a moment of clarity and thought, what if there are some things we can actually agree on?
The Importance Of Real Conversation
Since Trump’s victory in 2016, I have preached the importance of conversations between vastly different people. I believe that having a debate where people actually listen is the key to uniting such a divided and polarized country.
Yet, I don’t think I have truly acted on those beliefs in regards to abortion. Debates with pro-life supporters have always made me angry, and it makes it difficult for me to view the other person as compassionate or kind. It makes it impossible to see them as similar to me.
It was time for me to stop for a second, clear my head, and think of those who are pro-life as people rather than just their beliefs. And it made me realize something: we should really be agreeing on many policies.
Can We Agree On Anything?
I don’t believe life begins at conception, but some people do, and it is very difficult to have an argument about this. How do you draw a line and say, this is where life begins? The science of fetal development can certainly help guide us, but it is impossible to settle on a “right” answer.
While I am going to continue fighting to make abortions more accessible to women around the country, I realize that arguments surrounding abortion are not going to be resolved any time soon. So maybe we should also start looking at things we can agree upon too.
I don’t want women to lose control over their bodies or their the right to choose, and those who are pro-life want to prevent abortions. We pretend these beliefs are diametrically opposed, but they’re not. They overlap in one key area: helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Changing The Narrative
The Republican party wants to prevent abortions by making them illegal. The Democratic party wants women to have easy access to abortions, but they also want to prevent unwanted pregnancies through policies that teach sex education in schools, provide easy access to contraceptives, and give people better health care options. These measures are shown to reduce unwanted pregnancies, yet, pro-life supporters are strangely silent about them.
In fact, most Republicans and pro-life supporters are actively against these policies, and I have a very hard time comprehending why. The pro-life movement makes me feel angry because it sometimes seems like they only care about preventing abortions in the most heartless ways. It is time for them to change their narrative, and support more than just anti-abortion laws. It is time for them to support women and realize there are things we should agree upon.
Pro-choice and pro-life supporters may forever fight over abortion itself, but it is time for us to realize that while we are arguing, we can also agree. Your goal is to decrease the number of abortions in the U.S? That isn’t mine, but I welcome you to join me in fighting for measures that help women around the country.
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