Reproductive Rights

While I was raised solidly in the anti-abortion movement, I am today solidly pro-choice. My transformation took place for three main reasons:

First, I think women should be able to choose when and if to have children, and that means supporting their right to birth control and abortion. And indeed, the more we encourage contraceptive use and comprehensive sex education, the fewer abortions will be needed. Even then, of course, contraception sometimes fails, fetuses sometimes have severe abnormalities, and women sometimes find their lives threatened even by wanted pregnancies.

Second, I do not believe that the zygote is a fetus or “person” with moral or legal rights. Determining what is and is not a “person” is obviously complicated, and I’ll admit that late-term abortions can seem morally troubling. However, I don’t believe in the existence of a divine “soul” implanted at conception or any other stage, and I most definitely don’t think a first or second trimester fetus has even a breath of claim to personhood or rights.

Third, I see birth as a firm dividing line because until then the fetus inhabits a woman’s body. A woman’s body is private property – it’s hers. She shouldn’t be forced to let another being live in it. Once that other being is out of her body, that’s when it gets rights. Until then, any rights it is given would be taking away from the woman’s rights over her own body. And to me, that matters.

For everything I’ve posted on reproductive rights, see posts categorized under birth control and abortion.


Key Posts on Reproductive Rights

The War on Contraception

My Rights as a Pregnant Woman or the Lack Thereof

“When You Do the Thing That Makes Babies…”

Losing Faith in the Pro-Life Movement, and Followup Posts

How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement

A Response to Objections on my Pro-Life Movement Post

More On Laws And Abortion: A Response to Bad Catholic

If You Don’t Want a Baby, Just Don’t Have Sex?

Okay Then, Let’s Talk about Natural Family Planning

 A Paradigm Shift: My “Aha” Moment on Abortion

On Married Women and Separating Sex from Procreation

The Battle over Contraception in the “Pro-Life” Movement

What If Abortion Were Illegal?

On the Death of Savita Hallapanavar:

Savita Hallapanavar: When “Pro-Life” Means Death

“Pro-Lifers” Play Fast and Loose with the “Life of the Mother” Exemption

“Abortion Never Saves a Woman’s Life” #Savita

Could Savita’s Death Have Happened in the U.S.?


Resources on Reproductive Rights

Why I Am Pro-Life, from the New York Times

Politically Coerced by Faith, from Emily Has Books

For Moderately-Conservative Family and Friends at the 11th Hour, on Huffington Post

The “Biblical View” That’s Younger Than the Happy Meal, on The Slacktivist

How Evangelicals Decided That Life Begins at Conception, on Huffington Post

Fetal Personhood and Criminalizing Abortion: A Prosecutor’s Perspective, on The Dead Authors’ Club

No 5K for the Biggest Killer, on the Slacktivist

Life Begins at Conception. That’s Not the Point., on RH Reality Check

What’s the Typical Effectiveness Rate for Abstinence? on Scarleteen

Anti-Birth-Control or Anti-Woman? on Who I Am Without You

Let’s Get Real about Abortions, by David Frum on CNN

The Bible Tells Us When a Fetus Becomes a Living Being, on The Christian Left

What Happens When There Is No Abortion Law, by Dr. Jen Gunter

What Happens to Women Denied Abortion? on io9