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Dangerous Compassions

love life

love life

I’m definitely pro-life: I love life more than anything.  Care, parenting, inter-connection.  Nurturing in many forms.  Growth, learning, health on our own terms, well-being.

Life is a beautiful choice.  Freedom is important to the vibrancy of life.  To be thrown in jail for birth control choices, or just shamed, for being a sexual being, and needing to jettison a clump of cells that has the potential of growing into a person–being repressed is less lively.

I don’t feel responsible to maintain a hospitable environment for unwanted cells.  Probably you have encountered people.  Usually we’re larger than the size of a poppy seed, quarter, and golf ball, and we often do peopley things.

I’m not into killing people, for sure.  Nonviolence is part of my life’s work.  But shedding unwelcome clumps of cells is ok with me, especially if that right is part of respect for women and the lives of actual people, prioritized over the lives of potential people.

bothersome myth

An abortion myth that bothers me is “restricting abortion saves lives.”  Fetal life is not all that’s worth saving.  Many women die, for lack of safe, legal abortion.  Pro-lifers seem ok with that!  They want to save innocent babies, not the slutty ladies who had lustful pleasure.

Tsk tsk, slutty ladies such as myself.  The misogyny of abortion restricting is a sad part.  Reading about the Seamless Garment today, I’m sad to face the fact–to anti-abortionists, fetal life is more important than adult women life.

Babies are innocent and can’t talk yet.  Adults do wrong and are complicated.  So yes, save the innocent ones, because fully formed actual people are messy, imperfect, and too difficult to love.

Crazy people such as myself, addicts, sex workers, queer people, teenagers, criminals, homeless people, poor people, domestic violenced people, unemployed people, disabled and ill people–too complicated and difficult to love.  But babies are perfect.  Save babies, push them through foster care, and when they grow up to be crazy, addicts, sex workers, and so on, condemn and jail them.

This meme about conservative politics sums it up in another way.

love life

soul

Thinking about science and spirit–when’s this potential person a person?  Some people really believe a microscopic clump of cells has a soul–God bless them.  Others use religion as an excuse to oppress people like me, trying to control our lives, choices, families.

Yuck!  Misogynist, controlling haters should get a life.  Maybe if they had more fun and meaning on a day-to-day basis, the wouldn’t need to grip the lives of others so restrictively.

telling others what to do

I’ve held babies and know what they are, pretty well.  Microscopic clumps of cells are different, and embryos aren’t babies.  But a rigid rule is way easier than considering individuals, thinking carefully about the well-being of an actual woman, or trusting us to make our own choices.

Unless maybe they have devoted their entire life to supporting, raising, loving, and providing all the bodily and emotional needs to a bunch of unwanted kids, including funding their college educations, people have no place, telling distressed pregnant people not to abort.

How many unwanted kids have you adopted and seen through, from birth to college, anti-abortion persons?  Vastly most would say “none.”  So how can you can tell distressed pregnant people what to do, but not tell yourself to put your life where your values are, are take care of the unwanted people you want brought into the world?

anarchy

I’m an anarchist, which means I’m working to create a world where we all get what we need, not reliant on a state to control us into morality.  Freedoms are precious to me.  People who vote against freedom mystify me.

I remember hearing about votes to limit reproductive freedom, limit rights to marry based on gender, and whether weed is legal.  I was like–who the hell would vote to have less freedom?

Obviously, they’re not worried about who they might marry, or whether they would have an abortion, or need weed.  They’re limiting other people, not trusting them to do what they need to do.  Trying to shape culture oppressively, to force people to be more like themselves.

If you’re so insecure that you need everyone to be like you, maybe you should try neurofeedback, EMDR, volunteer work, radical mental health, ecstatic dance, therapy, or other modes of emotional healing.  Also you could try learning about the lives of people unlike you.

love

It might help you to learn about the lives of very poor young adults with housing insecurity and food insecurity.  You could also learn about the lives of teenage girls who are constantly sexually pursued by teenage boys and adult men.  Or you could learn about domestic violence, rape, incest, and a lot of people who might be more vulnerable than you and might seek abortions.

If you develop compassion toward these people who might need an abortion, or who might impregnate someone else who needs one, you might have a better idea of why people need freedom.  Your life is not representative of all lives.

Please find ways to help vulnerable people respectfully.  If you love me, you love someone who needed reproductive rights badly.  Today I’m safer and love life, happy with Ming, meaningful work, and lots of privilege.  But if I was raped again, like I was as a young person, I might need those rights personally.

Well, even if I’m not unwantedly pregnant, and even if I wasn’t fertile, I need those rights, because I need to live in a just culture, with freedom, and where women matter.

ideas

If you don’t like abortion, you could not have one.  Another idea is–you could not have sex with anyone you might impregnate.  A kink in your love life, maybe, but what’s more important?

If you have energy against abortion and would like to reduce its occurrence, another idea is: you could study what works in other cultures and try that.  Spoiler alert: in other cultures with less abortion, women have access to safe, legal abortion.

Maybe you could think of ways to help the world that are kind and actually work, rather than performing righteous superiority.  Probably you could think of ways I never thought of, with your particular strengths and resources.  Thank you for how you love life.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

3 replies on “love life”

Great thoughtful work Laura-Marie.
We have a pregnancyclininc here in ramona and every year they walk through town celebrating life. I met them once with a poster that read, don’t like abortion, promote contraceptives. Some of them were angered, telling me that the pill causes abortion, so I asked why then they don’t hand out condoms, orkin forces with planned parenthood? I asked them if it wasnt crazy to expect 8 billion people on this planet to abstain? They walked away.

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