A Change to Pro-Choice

By The Elm - Nov 08,2013@4:35 pm

By Casey Kerins
Staff Writer

As a teenager, I was always heavily involved in youth group and our events. Often times, I would find myself rallying together to feed the poor, bring prayer back in schools, and other causes I knew hardly anything about. One of these causes was for the pro-life movement. I would eagerly participate in any sort of fundraisers or awareness campaigns, from passing around baked goods on National Pro-life Cupcake Day, to miraculously keeping quiet on the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity. I was passionate about the millions of unborn babies who have been silenced forever, and zealously ate my cupcake and prayed God would have mercy on America.

But like I said, I have had a tendency to rally behind causes I knew little about, clinging to the few facts I knew: Abortion is murder, because babies die. My pristine logic would go unquestioned for many, many years, and it was not until very recently my ideals were turned upside down.

It took a long time for me to thoroughly understand the complex issue on abortion and leave my simple-minded views behind me. There are so many variables we never talked about in church- for the sake of avoiding touchy subjects, or maybe for the sake of being right. I never thought about cases of rape. I never thought about instances in which the mother and child’s life are put at risk. I looked at the world as black and white for years.

The first step towards this change is actually attributed to a girl in my high school. It was pretty common for girls to get abortions, and even more common for everyone to hear about it, whisper “what a slut” to themselves, and move on with their lives. But this girl made a different decision. She kept her baby as a sophomore, and decided against “the easy way out.” What did she get? A “congratulations” from her peers? Words of kindness and adoration from the pro-life squad? No- she earned the title of “the class tramp.”

It’s almost backwards for this to be true; abortion was looked at so harshly, but the alternative was even worse. We talked about her, God, did we talk. We punished her for doing the very thing we advocated for. All we did was talk. Her? She acted, she did things.

It was not until I truly looked inward that I began to change. I had to place myself in a position I never intended to be in, but one which thousands of women face every day: If I had my life in front of me, with endless opportunities, could I give that up for an error in judgement? Would I seriously be willing to risk my future for something so expensive, both figuratively and literally? Could I be her? And, more importantly, could I seriously judge others who couldn’t?

As I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture, that was all I saw: judgment. Protestors outside of abortion clinics, humiliating the women who walk in and out. Young girls’ personal decisions being the topic of discussion during lunch. I did not want to be like that, and wrestled with this predicament of who I’ve been and what I had believed my entire life.

The culmination of my struggle with the question of abortion was on June 25, 2013. Many recall the 11-hour filibuster led by Wendy Davis, who stood her ground in a room full of men to argue against closing down the majority of clinics in Texas. What I saw was real. For the first time in years, I saw sincerity in a person. She truly wanted to help people, and was prepared to spend 11 hours of her time, nonstop, to prove it. There was clarity in her words; she recognized the value in understanding over judgment. Through Davis, I had discovered something I could stand for, something to believe in.

Making the switch from pro-life to pro-choice was a difficult one, especially within the conservative environment I live in. However, it was truly the right thing to do. I can never make up for the terrible things I have said, and the hypocritical standards I lived under, but I can strive to be a better person, well-informed, and understanding. Whether you are pro-life, pro-choice, or something in between, I’m sure you have your reasons. Just make sure they are the right ones.

The Elm

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