This is the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I’m supposed to discuss, I suppose, why I’m pro choice. I could, I suppose, share with you the many many stories of my clients who have terminated pregnancies that would otherwise tie them to a life of poverty or to 18 years with a man who is physically, emotionally, and financially abusive. I could talk about reproductive coercion and rape. I could tell you about incest, about what it’s like to ask a fourteen year old girl if her father is in fact the father of her two year old. I could tell you the sad tales of women who are unable to put their children up for adoption because the father, who intentionally “got them pregnant” so that she couldn’t leave him, won’t consent. I could tell you about the absolutely abysmal child support enforcement system and general welfare systems and unemployment systems that fundamentally fail women. I could wax poetic about the many many ways that the right and the left both come together and fail to support women, fail to support mothers. The lack of family leave, even unpaid, for hourly wage employees working at small businesses.
I choose not to. I choose to simply sit here and say that none of this matters. That of the myriad reasons why a woman might choose to terminate a pregnancy, that of all of the possible ways that this decision might come about, none of it matters. I am pro choice. Which means that fundamentally, every day of the week, month, and year, I believe that this choice lies with an individual and it does not matter to me at all why she might make it. I’m sick of having to reach for the worst case scenarios to make people understand why this matters. All you need to know, all you ever need to know, is that my body is my own. My decisions are my own. I do not now, nor will I ever, have the right to make a decision for anyone else. And you, and the government, and even my husband, do not have the right to make these decisions for me.