Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Defining 'choice'

So I guess I should start by explaining how much I love language. I love the way our tenuous, slippery thoughts can be distilled and made communicable by the tangible, recognizable shapes we've all agreed to call 'letters' and 'words'. I love language because it's a work in progress. It's always changing and adapting to the cultures and societies that are changing just as quickly. It's amazing, really. Language is an incredibly beautiful, magical tool, which is why it pains me so much when we tether it to our silly, reductive, binary ways of seeing the world. What does 'choice' actually mean, at this point?

As Kelsey pointed out, the Global Gag Rule is definitely still in effect , and many college students, already strapped for cash, now can't afford increasingly expensive birth control. Basically, reproductive rights are still only rights for an increasingly small and privileged segment of the world population. In a perfect world, the concept of 'choice' would also apply to sex education, the types of available birth control and the prices of birth control. We've accepted a limited definition of 'choice' for far too long.

I hate the rhetoric surrounding Roe v. Wade, even some of the stuff that comes from the pro-choice camp. For me, the metaphorical message of Roe v. Wade is the simple idea that women can be trusted to make decisions regarding their own bodies. I have never had an abortion and, although I have thought long and hard about it, I have no idea what I might do if I got pregnant now, way before I'm ready for it. I do know that if I get pregnant before I am ready to raise a child I hope to be living in a society that supports my choices, regardless of the decision I make.

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