A close female friend of mine is the epitome of a single issue voter. Even though she mostly identifies with the principles associated with the Democratic Party, she has religiously become a Republican straight ticket voter over the last few election cycles.
Her weapon of choice? Abortion.
No matter how viable a Democratic candidate may be, if they’re open to abortion ... No deal. Even if voting Republican finds her voting against her best interests, she will sacrifice her own well-being in a quest to save an unborn child.
She always marvels at how I, as an independent voter and thinker, could ever vote blue. Especially knowing that “the political party of the Devil supports the murder epidemic of defenseless children.” Her words.
That being said, anyone willing to take a stand on social issues by way of voting deserves kudos. I believe that as a woman, she is far better equipped to make decisions involving abortion. And I, as a man, shouldn’t even be in a position to tell women what to do with their own bodies. I respect her way of doing things.
I just wish she respected mine.
You see, I believe not one person on Earth is pro-abortion. Conversations on this topic usually involve the gnashing of teeth and the elevation of voices.
I just believe people fight for or simply believe that women should have the freedom to have them. There’s a difference.
A world in which abortion doesn’t need to exist would be a beautiful thing. But in my opinion, a person who assumes that world is within reach is a person not steeped in reality. Accidents happen. Sexual violence is a real thing. And taking a firm ideological stand on a topic with so many moving parts is dangerous.
As as African-American, I’m fully aware that we represent 12 percent of the population and 35 percent of all abortions in America. It’s a shameful situation.
But I’m still not in a position to force my belief system on women who are making the toughest decision of their lives. And my unwillingness to force their hand in keeping their child doesn’t mean that I support her decision to abort.
According to a recent poll conducted by Vox, an American news and opinion website, “32 percent of respondents identified as pro-choice, 26 percent as pro-life, 21 percent as neither, and 18 percent as both.
That means, 39 percent of the public did not identify as pro-choice or pro-life. People, like me, who probably understand that the subject of abortion can’t be mired in absolutes. Not if you claim to be about American freedoms and liberties.
Yes, I could get political and reference how pro-lifers in this country fight aggressively for the unborn, yet are silent when politicians stifle social services and resources to support that same child once he/she is born. All while supporting and enforcing the death penalty and denying the very existence of climate change.
I could also reference how a certain political party in this country turns a blind eye to the fact that the implementation of Obamacare has driven abortions down to their lowest levels in 45 years. Lower than pre-Roe v. Wade figures. Turns out giving free contraception to the populace proved to be beneficial after all. Interesting.
My friend will always believe that abortion should be illegal. Even in situations involving rape and incest, she’s totally comfortable with mandating that women carry that baby to term, regardless of the circumstances. Even with the real possibility of back alley-style abortions involving coat hangers and other methods returning.
However, she’s appalled by Americans being mandated to carry health coverage and insurance companies being mandated to cover contraception without co-pays. Therein lies the conundrum.
I will choose life every single time. I’m personally a pro-life person. But I will also fight for a woman to have the choice to choose what she wants to do with her own body. Therefore, I’m also a pro-choice person.
“Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” — Coretta Scott King
Freedom of choice. Nothing is more American than that.