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Can You Be a Mother and Be Pro-Choice?

I have almost always been firm in my belief in a woman’s right to choose.

I say almost, because I can remember being 9 or 10 and hearing my  sister and mom talk about abortions. Obviously, they were speaking in very basic terms, but my child’s brain couldn’t begin to understand why they would be okay with a woman ending her pregnancy. I was in the back seat of the car, and I remember being grateful that they couldn’t see the tears that were welling up my eyes. Obviously, once I got a bit older and perfected my critical thinking skills, my ideas began to change.

The uproar of the past few days over Susan G. Komen For The Cure’s decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood had me once again coming face to face with my beliefs about abortion. Not because I was questioning them, but because I found myself having to defend them. I found it troubling because Komen’s decision had absolutely nothing to do with Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide abortions, and the discussion was being turned away from the real issue at hand, their ability to provide women with breast cancer screenings.

As I was having a discussion about it with someone, they asked me how I can be a mother of three children and still believe that abortions are a good thing.

That question stopped me in my tracks.

I don’t believe that abortions are a “good thing.” I don’t like them, and I don’t celebrate that women have them. The fact that I am pro-choice doesn’t mean I am pro-abortion.

I made very specific decisions in my life to become a mother. It was something that I wanted, something that I was emotionally prepared for, and something that we felt we were financially able to handle. Thankfully, I never had to face the decision about whether or not to continue with an unplanned pregnancy. And if we’re being honest, I don’t know that I would have ever chosen to have an abortion. But those were my circumstances and my decisions. I am well aware that not everyone has the same circumstances and can make the same decisions for the same reasons.

I don’t think that being a mother and being pro-choice are mutually exclusive. The waters of the Roe v. Wade debate are muddy, and, for me, this is  not a black and white topic. I am a mother to my children, and my children alone. I was allowed to make the decisions that were right for me, why can’t other women be afforded that same right?

I’ve written more in depth about my thoughts on abortion on my personal site, MeghanGWine. You can read it here.

I realize that many of you will, and many of you won’t, agree with me on this issue. Keeping it respectful, I’d love to hear your side of the story in the comments.

Photo via iStockPhoto

Read more from Meghan on MeghanGWine and From Demo to Dream.

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