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Why I Am Pro-Choice

I was small, small enough that my parents were still zipping my coat and tying my shoes. The signs were bigger than me and we stood out on the sidewalk in the cold in front of a hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania.

I remember my father lifting me up to put money in the parking meter. Sometimes we ate hotdogs afterward with our fellow marchers and house church members.

I remember complaining sometimes about our weekly march.

I didn’t know what abortion was, but I knew what babies were because we always had babies in our house. We loved babies, ours and others.

We loved them so much, I thought, we were willing to stand on the street corners and sidewalks around the hospital holding grotesque and provacative signs in front of shocked patients.

Holding signs in silent protest of abortion isn’t cool.

It stopped being cool around the same time fundamentalism took a steep decline and social justice, ironically, took a steep climb.

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This week, I read a tweet from R.C. Sproul Jr., “I believe in a baby’s right to choose.”

Maybe our signs said some variation of that, but mostly our tactics were intimidation, either through guilt or manipulation.

Get dirty if you have to, the lives of the most innocent are at stake. Our intentions were good.

But the simplicity of Sproul’s tweet sticks to me this week in particular.

He has taken the pro-choicer’s entire argument and given it to them in decadent fullness.

Of course we believe in the right to choose, we believe in it all the way back to the beginning, the conception, the fusing together of cells and formation of the brain, the movement of the heart, the limbs and the lungs.

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No one is arguing for the abortion of 3- and 4-year-olds, but 3- and 4-year-olds have similar decision making abilities as infants. Of course there is a small gap of maturity, but a child who cannot zip her coat or tie her shoes, whose father has to lift her to put his money in a meter to park a car she can’t drive—how limited is her ability to choose?

We cannot know how any child’s life will turn out, but shouldn’t we give them the basic right to choose? Or, less even, the ability to learn to make choices?

Every choice—for better or worse—my parents made for me as a young child resulted in growth and maturity, raising me into a responsible adult who makes wise choices of her own now.

One choice I make is to not hold signs in front of hospitals. I think there is a better way. But if I have children someday, I hope they find an even better way. I hope my children will look back to my generation and my parents’ generation and see the Holocaust of abortion will have lasted 40 years longer than it could have.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my generation, the one who has lost 55 million of our brothers and sisters, will be a holistically pro-choice generation.

We will be the generation who chooses life.