Op-ed: The real issue is choice

Readers, I feel a disclaimer is necessary: I will not be boring you with useless statistics and tangible proof. Good or bad, this editorial is all me.
It is not a topic I enjoy discussing. I do not fancy participating in the polarizing discussion that always seems to culminate in a heated, angry debate. When LSNews offered me the opportunity to present my beliefs in response to an opposing piece, I did not take the offer lightly. However, after intense deliberation and reflection, I accepted. When I first set out to write this piece, I struggled to find the right words to explain my position. To be honest, I am still wrestling with how to explain my side of the story, the pro-choice side, without sounding like a bitter and overly-liberal feminist. I narrowed my "why" down to two intertwined topics of morality.

It has come time to talk about the life and choice.

The exact point at which life begins is an unequivocal gray area. Before writing this article, I picked the brains of friends and family for their thoughts. Some believe that life begins with conception, others believe it begins with the second or third trimester, and still others believe that life begins at birth. In order to form opinions on the morality of abortion, it is crucial that an exact beginning of life is determined. However, as there are about 320 million American citizens, there are 320 million possible interpretations on the beginning life.

Who, as an American citizen has the right to define that for their neighbors?

If you are one who believes that life begins with conception and protest abortion because you feel you are saving lives, then I must say I respect you. However, although there is something to be said for whole-hearted devotion to a cause, I must disagree.

Everyday we make choices. We choose how to do our hair and what to wear. We choose to exercise or to not, we choose to abuse substances or to not, we choose to vaccinate or to not, we choose to carry a weapon or to not. In this era of choices, our bodies are ours to do with what we please. Except, not. As a woman, my right to make choices concerning my body has somehow landed in the hands of seemingly everyone’s but my own; as an American, I want to be in total control of my body.

As I have been asked many times, I ask myself now, “Why? Why pro-choice?”

I acknowledge that abortion is a highly charged emotional, political, and religious issue. My purpose is this article, however, was not to discuss abortion, at least not directly. I am not pro-choice because I am pro-abortion. I am pro-choice because I am exactly that: pro-choice. At the end of the day, I must justify my personal decisions with me, myself, and I. Not you, not Congress, not the Supreme Court, not anyone. In this land of freedom, in this era of choice, my body is my own to do with what I please.

Life is about choices, and I believe, I know, that I have the right to make my own. So go ahead. Fight for your guns and your wars and your walls. But please, leave my uterus out of it.

This op-ed represents the opinion of its listed author. It does not necessarily reflect the position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, the LSNews.org editorial board, or its advisor. Questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.

--Chelsea Hancock, Special to LSNews.org

Edited: BP

Related: Editorial: Abortion is legalized homicide

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