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#ShoutYourAbortion and Questions of Morality

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September 24, 2015

#ShoutYourAbortion

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately and paying attention to social media, I hope you’ve noticed the sad dilemma of threats from Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. Last week, by a 287-147 vote, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would defund what is said to be the nation’s largest reproductive health provider. Wednesday began the process of one of several planned hearings on the heels of undercover videos from anti-abortion activists who claim Planned Parenthood benefited from the sale of fetal tissue.

The hearing, which was entitled “Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider,” did not allow any representatives from Planned Parenthood to attend, which was called ‘political theater at its’ worst.’  The bill might die in the Senate and certainly get vetoed by President Obama, but it is certainly scary that a group of politicians can have power and control over a right that we are all entitled to concerning their bodies. But let’s explain what it is first.

Planned Parenthood is a reproductive healthcare organization that was founded in 1916 to provide an array of services like STI’s, pelvic exams, contraception, vasectomies, family planning, breast exams and many more. It has been a community hub for the reproductive justice well-being of women around the country for decades. A lot of false accusations, propaganda and deceptive media has been passed around and written about Planned Parenthood. Let’s be clear that the reason the House wants to defund Planned Parenthood is so everyone, but especially poor women, can’t have access to abortion, as we know that “nearly 80% [of patients seen at Planned Parenthood] had incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.”

Recently, while searching for news on Twitter, I ran across the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion. The hashtag was started by three women: Amelia Bonow, Lindy West and Kimberly Morrison. Amelia Bonow has done a wide array of press and interviews talking about the hashtag and how she posted on Facebook about the ways Planned Parenthood helped her and the positive affect abortion had on her body. Thus, the #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag was born. “The narrative of those that are working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about,” said Bonow. The hashtag is creating a dialogue about taking away the shame and stigma of a basic medical procedure and human right, because that is what it is. A HUMAN RIGHT.  

Fortunately, thanks to Twitter, it’s being shouted instead of whispered. While thousands of people are offering their own stories and poignant anecdotes of abortion (yes, even college women), Planned Parenthood and how it literally and figuratively saved their lives. But of course a lot of people are against the movement, bringing in alternative hashtags like #ShoutYourAdoption, talking about baby killing and, of course, the dreaded issues of morality and religion.

Stop. PUMP THE BRAKES. I’m a Christian. I won’t get into religious politics, but the whole pro-life vs. pro-choice argument is derisory and tired. Give it a rest. I understand people have very strong opinions and morals about whether it’s right to “kill” an unborn child or not, but the problem comes along when people try to turn their opinion into an actual fact. Using religion, protests and gross pictures of unborn fetuses in front of abortion clinics to scare patients out of making a sometimes decision is abuse and harassment.

Opinion: I think it’s wrong to kill an unborn child because God/my Creator/religious leader wrote it in this sacred text.

Fact: At its most basic level of understanding and logic, abortion is a medical procedure that rids you of a pregnancy (fetus, blood, cells and tissue, and few undeveloped organs) when you can’t take care of it or don’t want it, for various different reasons. The reason why this is a reproductive justice issue is that taking away a person’s right to do what they wants with their body is simply policing their body autonomy and violating their right to freedom. That’s what it boils down to. This is a gentle reminder that if a someone decides to have an abortion, IT IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS. You don’t know thier body or their story. A person decide to have abortion for various reasons: they aren’t ready, financially in a bad place, medical conditions, religious reasons, domestic abuse, and countless other reasons. Taking away a someone’s right to have that option is abuse. 

Bottom line is, no matter what reason someone decides to have this medical procedure done, it is imperative that they has access to this procedure at an affordable cost and at a safe clinic. Back in the early days when women didn’t have access to abortions, they did dangerous self-abortion using household foods, objects like coat hangers and having back alley abortions by inexperienced “doctors” which led to death and further complications. For that reason, no matter what, we won’t go back.

So remember: every person has the right to choose. Whether you like/support it or not, don’t take that right away from them. We’re not things to be fussed over, a sin, or something to be criticized under a microscope. We’re all human.

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