Assumption Junction, what's your function?*

During a relatively recent visit with some family members, the discussion turned to reproductive rights. I didn't shy away from my own beliefs on the topic and our house guest (who generally seemed to agree with me) came away surprised. Granted this person does not know me very well, being a member of the family for a short time before we moved across the country over six years ago (and, uh, not on Facebook or Twitter). But what they said was that they "never would have thought" that I'd be pro-choice/autonomy/access "because (vague waving of hands at our house) the four children...and all."

So you know, the "and all" is a reference to the fact that I was pregnant with our first child when I was nineteen.

But it's an interesting assumption, isn't it? In this particular case, the guest admitted (to my questioning raised eyebrows) they assumed that I'd be more like my sister-in-law who also has four children--and is anti-choice. Not that my sister-in-law and I are a lot alike in other ways or had been especially close: our common denominator in this case is the fact that we have four children.

When I became pregnant at nineteen, there were a lot of thoughts that went through my head (the very first, I recall, being "HOLY SHIT") but almost none were about abortion. While I had many textbook stereotypical reasons to choose abortion (being very young, broke, in college AND working full time as a waitress), it was never an option I considered as a viable one for me then. You see, it wasn't until I had children and was actively parenting that abortion became an option that I might consider in a non-emergent situation. Namely because I value my current children and I value myself & my contribution to their lives.

Greater than 60% of people who have abortions already have children. This belies the canard that anti-choicers attempt to sell: that people who have abortions and/or people who advocate for autonomy & access to abortion care do so because we do not "value life" or that the sort of person who might have an abortion "hates children". No. It's because we care about the existing, current lives of people and many of us actually like children (irrespective of actually having any personally).

* Because it's totally in your head now.

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