Why it matters: the pro-choice movement

Ever wonder why every politician invariably weighs in on the pro-choice/pro-life debate? Why feminists are still—38 years after Roe v. Wade—defending  a woman’s right to plan the timing of her family?  (or her right to not have one?)

@nineteenpercent, via Feministing.com

Here ya go. Trust me, you want to watch this.

And just in case you want some more information…

Cristina Page’s 2006 book How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and The War on Sex is a great resource. Rather than strictly focusing on the abortion debate, Page exposes the finances of the biggest anti-abortion groups… and shows that they spend much more money on anti-conception than on anti-abortion.

The obvious question is why, if an individual or group is morally opposed to abortion, that individual or group wouldn’t just as ardently support universal access to contraception. The answer is that it isn’t abortion that is the true target, but sex. The anti-choice groups publically focus on the conservative-friendly, emotionally-charged issue of abortion, but privately fund groups that lobby for restriction of sex education in schools, restriction of access to contraception, restriction of funding for facilities that provide healthcare to women in need. 

It’s an obfuscation of the issue: equate abortion (complete with falsified information about fetus development and photo-shopped pictures) with sex education, with Planned Parenthood, with contraceptives, and those unfamiliar with the issue will believe it is all one and the same.

Explain the issue, illuminate the true agenda of the anti-choice movement—sex only within marriage—and only the most conservative of the righty’s will stay with it. 

And while I totally and completely support your right to decide when and where to have sex, I also totally and completely support my own right to decide when and where to have sex. And my right to decide to put off the baby-making until I’m good and ready. Until I’m able to support him, her or it. And I believe down to my bones that every woman should have that choice—the right to decide what her life holds and when her life holds it, the right not to make a mistake at age 16 that prevents her accomplishing that which she wishes at age 20. 

Basically, it’s all about the right to choose.

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