Image via Debra Sweet on Flickr
The United States Supreme Court has struck down buffer zones at abortion clinics. Freedom of choice versus freedom of speech was up for debate, and both won?
You need to read about the experience my friend Aaron Gouveia had when he escorted his wife to the Brookline Clinic to have an abortion. His unborn child had many complications and doctors explained the choice facing his family was abort or deliver a stillborn. They chose to visit the clinic in the 11th week of her pregnancy.
While entering the clinic they were subjected to verbal assaults from Pro Life activists on the sidewalk. They were outside the buffer zone, but their loud voices rang clear in Aaron’s head, and still do to this day.
Along with the buffer zone regulations being under debate, once again it seems the option of choice is back up for debate. Bizarre, I thought we had settled this years ago with Roe v Wade.
Even in Canada where reproductive choice has been part of legislation since 1968, the debate has risen in the news cycle again after Justin Trudeau underlined that all Liberal MPs must vote along Pro Choice lines.
Despite the decades old laws passing, the stories continue to surface.
The Hobby Lobby decision from the SCOTUS this week puts the rights of closely held corporations ahead of their employees. 5 of the judges actually defined the corporations as ‘persons’ with more rights than the ‘people’ who work for them.
A NYT piece ponders what “Pro Life” really means, while a Mommyish author comes out on the side of non-parent approved birth control. During the last US election campaign, there were headlines following the likes of Mourdock, Romney, and Akin stirring this whole mess up again.
So, I find myself doing an inventory of how I feel on the issue of choice and it boils down to one thing: it’s none of my damn business.
If you are a man trying to control what a woman does with her body, you should not be allowed to call yourself that.
— Terry Bain (@terrybain) July 1, 2014
Pro-Life AND Pro-Choice At The Same Time
When it comes to pregnancy, whether a woman chooses to deliver or not is none of my business. Firstly, I’m a man and have no concept of what it’s like to have your body become host for another being. The fact so many men stand up to challenge the reproductive rights laws baffles me. Just like the people with dogs who tell us how to raise our kids, unless you have a womb you shouldn’t get a vote.
So you could say I am Pro Choice. By offering the fact I have no right to dictate reproductive rights I am, by default, indicating the choice should be up to the person facing that decision.
But there is a wrinkle in my conscience.
My wife is adopted. Her mother was still a high school teen in the summer of 1969 when she was conceived. That woman had a choice, and she chose to give her daughter life. She chose to not only give life to that baby, but give her the life she could not have provided for her.
My wife and I talk about that decision often. The decision to go through with a pregnancy and then hand the baby over to a new family. What courage that must take.
35 years later, my wife would find her in a similar position as the woman who had given birth to her. She would find herself unmarried, and pregnant. And, like her birth mother, she (we) chose life and Zacharie was born.
It is not my position to tell you how to choose, other than to support you have the right to choose. When Aaron and his wife made their choice and walked in to that clinic in Brookline, they should have been able to do so in peace. A shattering decision had been made, they didn’t need to have strangers screaming at them telling them they were wrong.