Bullish Life: If You’re Pro-Choice, How Do You Make a Good Choice?


Jennifer Dziura writes career and life advice weekly on TheGloss. Here is an archive, and here is an archive of Bullish columns from our sister site TheGrindstone.

I have often turned to your column for a healthy dose of common sense. I am writing to you because I think I am a strong, career-minded young woman and I want to make a good choice about my future.
I am in my twenties, and after working for a few years, I went back to school in 2011 and did post-grad studies in a highly competitive creative field. I have been working in that field for about a year, assembling a portfolio and generally trying to get my career off the ground. It is going well.
Over the weekend, I took a few pregnancy tests that turned out positive and on Monday, my doctor confirmed that I am almost 6 weeks pregnant. I am not currently in a relationship with the father. I was put on a new pill 3 months ago and we had been using condoms.
I have told the father. He is doing his best to be supportive but is overall very surprised and finds the whole situation surreal. I am aware that the reality of this potential being is forming with every passing moment but I am also trying not to rush through it. One site I came across suggested that I make a pros and cons list for each scenario. It is attached. I know that no one can tell me what to do in this scenario but I would appreciate any words of guidance that you can give me now. Thank you.

You know, anti-choice people often presume that pro-choice people just love having abortions. As though abortions are really fun and we can’t wait to have more in order to spite our opponents’ beliefs.

This, of course, is not true.

But on the other hand, the pro-choice side is so often put on the defensive (today, Texas — another day, another state) that all our energy is expended defending the right to abortion. Little energy is left for the “choice” part. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean that exercising that right is automatically the best decision for you.

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    • JennyWren

      This is a great response to a complicated question. My only contribution would be to say that whatever decision you make, don’t let anyone else guilt you over it. Private lives are complicated and frequently don’t neatly align with our ideological or political convictions; sometimes we can’t know for years whether the consequences of a decision will be good or bad, but that doesn’t make them of themselves a good or bad decision. Make the best decision you can for you at this moment, and then trust yourself.

    • Slap you with truth

      Pfffft…pro-”choice” means that you would consider murdering someone who is merely inconvenient to you whether you actually do it or not. That is what makes you a monster: you entertain the option and refuse to condemn the practice. Even if you never have an abortion, you are no different than those German civilians who turned their backs while the SS threw Jew babies into the crematorium. Just because they didn’t do their own throwing doesn’t make them innocent. Their silence has condemned them. Your silence condemns you. The screams of the innocent will echo forever in your personal and eternal hell. Maybe you should reconsider.

      • A-none

        Go fuck yourself, “Slap you with truth”!

        “There is a concept called body autonomy. Its generally considered a human right. Bodily autonomy means a person has control over who or what uses their body, for what, and for how long. Its why you can’t be forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs. Even if you are dead. Even if you’d save or improve 20 lives. It’s why someone can’t touch you, have sex with you, or use your body in any way without your continuous consent.

        A fetus is using someone’s body parts. Therefore under bodily autonomy, it is there by permission, not by right. It needs a persons continuous consent. If they deny and withdraw their consent, the pregnant person has the right to remove them from that moment. A fetus is equal in this regard because if I need someone else’s body parts to live, they can also legally deny me their use.

        By saying a fetus has a right to someone’s body parts until it’s born, despite the pregnant person’s wishes, you are doing two things.

        1. Granting a fetus more rights to other people’s bodies than any born person.

        2. Awarding a pregnant person less rights to their body than a corpse.”

    • Judy

      Extremely thoughtful, smart, response, Jen. I loved this.

    • ashley

      Thank you for reaching out. Please check out http://www.ramahinternational.org http://www.theradiancefoundation.org http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org
      On Amazon.com there are some useful books ‘Unplanned’ by Abby Johnson, ‘Abandoned’ by Monica Migliorino Miller and ‘The Hand of God’ by Dr. Bernard Nathanson
      I hope I have gotten this info to you in time. These resources are not perfect, but they do explain what for so long I did not understand and had not been told at home, at school, or in the media ~ that abortion kills a human being, our own child. It is not just a mass of cells. It is a human being. This truth is so horrific that many people are in complete denial.
      I am thinking of you and sending you love, light, insight, hope, and strength at this time.
      Very best wishes.

      • Jennifer Dziura

        This is an article for pro-choice readers (hence the title). You’re on the wrong website. Also: women aren’t stupid. We’re pretty clear about what abortion is.

        I appreciate your civil tone of voice, but I doubt the writer wants a “9-12 week abortion bible study” (as per your first link).

      • ashley

        If you have not gotten the abortion, please do not. I am in no way encouraging abortion by mentioning that I had them, and have friends who had them.
        My two abortions were the most serious mistakes of my life. I killed my own children. I truly do not think people realize that reality.
        The choice to kill your own child is not empowering in any way. It is devastating.

      • ashley

        Jen I realize this issue has been made into a religious and political debate, when actually it is simply a biological truth.

        The consequences of killing your own child are profound.

        This fact has been ignored by those who promote abortion as being an acceptable solution to unplanned pregnancy. It really is not.

        Fortunately adoptions are now done in the open with the birth mother calling the shots, picking the family, and with full access to her child’s journey through life. This is also fortunate for infertile couples and people longing to raise a child. With this solution nobody dies, and everybody can thrive.

        Jen I know you care a lot about people. I am not questioning this. So please don’t be upset with me for posting. I just don’t want the person who wrote in to suffer the consequences of this serious mistake as I and my friends have, for it is not without significant consequence.

    • ashley

      If you have already had the procedure, I have had two, and I have helped friends have them before I understood certain things. There is healing and hope after an abortion as well. There are even healing groups offered.
      Sorry if I put up too much information. It is very hard to talk/write about these things. And also forgiveness is very important. I did not want to further upset you in any way, as we certainly need complete support after this, and not more stress.
      My best friend had two abortions and now is married with two children. Think positively about your dreams for the future. May they all come true. You will get through this, as all women do, and be stronger for having come through it. Please ignore my suggestions for resources because they were based on the assumption that you were still trying to decide what to do. I have no doubt you made the absolute best decision you could with the available information at the time. Please make sure to get enough food and rest and emotional support at this time. Everything can be resolved with love. All the best for the future.
      ps I did not mean to discount the heartfelt advice of the other writers on this post. I know everyone was doing their utmost to be helpful. I have helped friends get abortions because at that time we did think it was best. We are all trying to find the best ways to support one another and finding our own way at the same time.

    • LynnKell

      Jen, my respect for you has just grown a couple mount Everest…. Your views are as objective as can be when talking about such a complicated topic and while being pro-choice, you are still neutral.

      Dear women who wrote to Jen: whatever your decision was, I want to let you know that I wish you luck and send you good vibes. I’m just some random stranger commenting on a blog, but I want you to know there is people out there who have your back. I wish you peace of mind and a happy life.