By Jay Hansen
Aristotle believed that for every one virtue, there are two opposing vices, and that the “virtue” was really a balance between the two. Courage, for example, was the virtue in the middle of the spectrum, while at one end you had cowardice, and the other recklessness. Similarly, thoughtfulness was the virtue in the middle of impulsiveness and indecisiveness. While not in terms of “vice” and “virtue,” the ideologies of pro-choice and pro-life are on a similar spectrum. Most people think of these two ideological stances as opposite ends of the spectrum, when in reality, pro-life is at one end, while pro-choice is in the center, not an end marker, and for one very important reason. Someone who is pro-choice is not automatically pro-abortion by any stretch of the imagination. This is a popular smear tactic by pro-lifers that holds no truth. I am pro-choice, but would never wish anyone in my life to be in a situation where they or a loved one might need one. When someone is pro-choice, they are just that; they support choice, they support more choices in any given situation, and they support the freedom of having more choices and options in life. Saying someone is pro-choice, then, is the same as saying they are pro-freedom. Being pro-life, however, means you are Anti-Abortion, regardless of the situation.
Philosophically speaking, I think it’s safe to say that all people are entitled to as much freedom, and as many rights, liberties, and opportunities as they can possibly have without violating the freedom or rights of other people. This is where the primary pro-life argument comes into play. Pro-lifers believe that an unborn child, be it a fetus, zygote, or sometimes even a fertilized egg, is a person, and thus, entitled to the protections and freedoms of being a human. In other words, they count as a person, and aborting an unborn “child” at any stage in development violates his or her right to life. Pro-lifers believe abortion murder, and they have all the right in the world to believe as such. When it comes to matters of the infinite, people are allowed to believe whatever they wish. “Matters of the infinite” are unanswerable questions, such as is there a God? What happens to us when we die? Do we have a soul? Do ghosts really exist? Do angels? Do demons? And so on, and so forth. Defining “life,” defining what makes a person a human being, and determining when something goes from not being a person to being a person has been the debate of both philosophers and scientists for thousands of years, with no clear answer. Claiming abortion should be outlawed because it kills people (the unborn child) is the logical fallacy of begging the question, because first pro-lifers must prove the “child” is in fact a human “life” before they can claim it’s murder, which of course involves proving something that has never been definitively proven in the history of mankind. On this alone, determining when life begins is largely a matter of the infinite, meaning there is no clear answer, people are entitled to their own beliefs on the matter, and no law or policy should ban people from believing that a fetus isn’t alive until the point of inarguablility (biological independence from the mother).
On that same token, however, no law, court order, or policy should ever “force” a woman to have an abortion if she opposes them. This goes back to what I meant when I said pro-choice is the center of the spectrum. Someone who is pro-choice supports the right of a woman or family to choose if an abortion is right given their current circumstances. Being pro-life means supporting the idea that women and families do not hold the right to choose, and that abortions are always wrong regardless of any extenuating circumstances. It is a one-size-fits-all policy on belief, and is, quite literally, big, intrusive government telling citizens what’s best for them, instead of giving them the freedom to choose for themselves. This principle – the belief that individuals should have the freedom and liberty to make choices of their own and not have the government dictate their lives for them – is actually one of the key principles of conservativism (a point which I will re-visit shortly).
Philosophy aside though, let’s take a look at some of the more concrete arguments pro-lifers try to use. Some people believe in souls, and that aborting a child at any point in development is murder based on that ideology. This is the best example of the kind of argument that should not be allowed in the abortion debate, as it clearly and directly relates to matters of the infinite. Not everyone believes in a soul, therefore, passing law or policy based on this argument is out of the question. Other people believe the moment an egg is fertilized, it is a human being, but they completely ignore the biological fact that the female human body naturally and regularly flushes out eggs, including sometimes fertilized ones. Many fertilized eggs never even attach to the uterine wall. On top of that, in vitro fertilization requires the combination of egg and sperm before implantation. According to this particular pro-life argument, the fertilized egg is a human being even though it’s not even inside the mother’s body yet at all. Already many have voiced concern over this type of legislation, stating that states life begins at fertilization, could effectively outlaw in vitro fertilization, or worse, legally punish medical doctors who attempt to implant a fertilized egg into a uterus unsuccessfully on charges of manslaughter or an equivalent charge of ending a life. So by this argument, on top of severe legal consequences for fertility doctors, every woman on the planet would be considered a mass-murderer because of uncontrollable biological fact, and the argument falls apart. So when it comes to abortion, “life,” whenever it begins, must be no sooner than the moment of attachment to the uterine wall, irrefutably.
Once the child is fully planted and connected in the uterus is when most mildly sane arguments begin from the pro-life community. Keep in mind though, that so early on, the “child” is still a clump of cells fully dependant upon the mother and her energy, by definition making it a parasite. The cells cannot survive outside of the mother for a few minutes, possibly even seconds. It is a fully dependent life form, so considering it equal in the eyes of the law to a fully developed human being, entitled to the rights thereof, still isn’t quite within the realm of feasibility. Nonetheless, at this point, I frequently hear the argument from the pro-lifers that if “nature is allowed to take its course,” it will develop into a human eventually. First of all, the fact that it will become a human does not entitle it to the same rights as one. “If nature is allowed to take its course,” a six year old will eventually become an eighteen year old, but that does not entitle all six year olds to the rights of being an eighteen year old. Plus, in saying “it will (eventually) become a human,” you are indirectly admitting that, in its current state, it is not a human by acknowledging that nature must first “take its course” before it can be considered one. Keep in mind that often when “nature takes it course,” a female’s body can end up “killing” the unborn child either before the fertilized egg makes it to the uterus as aforementioned, or through miscarriage. Should any woman who miscarries, then, be guilty of manslaughter? State Republicans across the country seem to think so, but more on that later.
This brings me to my next point: consistency of ideology. Many pro-lifers have a somewhat fatal flaw in their arguments on actual law. A key pro-life argument is that all human life is precious, and created equal. That is why no one “child” should be aborted. Despite this argument, many pro-lifers believe that in cases of rape and incest, abortion should be allowed. According to this argument, though, if all life is created equal, why should the “child,” by a pro-lifer’s definition, be punished by death for the crimes of the father? This fallacy is Special Pleading, where they use the “created equal” argument to support their cause, yet ignore it when it deals them political damage since they would then have to argue women who are raped should be legally required to carry their rapist’s child full-term. This type of pro-lifer falls under the first sub-category of those that are pro-life: the Hypocritical Pro-Lifer. Clearly, these people do not believe that life begins at conception or early on in the pregnancy if they vouch for certain conditions where the “child” in question does not count as a human being to no crime, fault, or action of its own. The Hypocritical Pro-Lifer is possibly the worst of the classifications since, because of their incoherent argument and lack of logic, it’s impossible to tell their true intentions. It’s impossible to say if they really are concerned about life and ignorant of this hypocrisy, or are intentionally ignoring it for more nefarious reasons. The only time an abortion should even be considerable for a pro-lifer, logically, is when the life of the mother is in danger. In this tragic situation two lives would be lost if one is not ended, by the pro-lifer definition of “life.” Of course, for some national-level Republicans, even allowing abortions for women who would die without one is allowing too many, but again, I will speak on specific legislation and policy later.
On the other side of that argument is the second sub-category of pro-lifer; the True Pro-Lifer. These are the people who believe that abortions should never be allowed save for life-threatening situations. They believe rape victims should be forced to carry their rapist’s child. There are many people of this belief out there, and many of them are in the Tea Party. Most of the Republican hopefuls in 2012 ascribed to this ideology, including Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Santorum. Thanks to the Tea Party, as a matter of fact, many people of this belief ran for office in 2010 and even made it into Congress. Sharon Angle, for example, was the Tea Party Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada. While running, she said that when a woman is impregnated through rape, she should “make lemons out of lemonade” and have the child. Believe it or not, I mind these people less than the Hypocritical Pro-Lifers. At least with True Pro-Lifers, you have logical consistency in their belief that life starts early in a pregnancy and all life is created equal, despite the consequences. On top of that, thanks to their logical consistency, True Pro-Lifers reveal the actual core principles behind what it means to be pro-life. Unfiltered by doubletalk and political motivations, people get a good look of how detrimental to society, how illogical, and even cruel, pro-life policy and legislation can be. The only question is, though, are they really True Pro-lifers, or do they fall under the third sub-category of the pro-life movement?
The third and final type of Pro-Lifer isn’t really pro-life at all: the Anti-Woman Douchebag. I know, many people may cry cynicism at this comment, but with recent legislation attempts, many so-called Pro-Lifers in the Republican Party are going to lengths so severe in the name of preventing, or outlawing, abortion that there’s little other explanation for it. The “Personhood” movement firmly believes that life begins at fertilization, and many states have proposed constitutional amendments stating as much, completely ignoring the fact that such legislation is massively unconstitutional. Republicans seem to need to be reminded that abortion is still legal in this country (but hey, when you’ve got a President that won’t fight back why not?). Georgia State Republicans introduced and approved a bill that would essentially criminalize abortions and miscarriages. Under this law, if a woman has a miscarriage, she is immediately branded a suspect in a criminal case because she may have intended for it to happen, meaning she is a suspect for murder. In a very un-American guilty-until-proven-innocent fashion, the woman who suffered the miscarriage would have to go to court and, before a judge, and present proof that the miscarriage was not human-caused. This is simply nothing short of an outrage for obvious reasons. It’s unconstitutional, it violates a key ideal of our justice system, and treats any woman forced to suffer through the unthinkable tragedy of miscarriage no different than a criminal, because it in essence makes them criminals, simply because of a biological occurrence over which they had no control, and likely caused them tremendous physical and psychological trauma. Think I’m exaggerating? Think this is some hypothetical interpretation of the law? It’s not. Already in South Carolina over 300 women have been arrested because of this type of legislation after suffering miscarriages. Mississippi has also passed similar “fetal homicide” laws that directly charge women with murder who suffer a miscarriage, and recently introduced legislation (though thankfully it was defeated) that could have outlawed in vitro fertilization and birth control. In 2012, Republican Presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have also come out not just against abortion, but as members of the “personhood” movement which also would ban birth control and possibly in vitro fertilization. How could this legislation possibly be considered a good idea, let alone pro-life?
Not enough for you? I’ve got even worse examples, starting in South Dakota. A bill created and supported by state Republicans would expand the definition of justifiable homicide, or killing a person with good reason to do so, making it legal, to include killing anyone who sought to damage or terminate a fetus. It would then be considered “justifiable homicide” to kill an abortion doctor simply because he or she is an abortion doctor. Tell me, how is any bill that allows the killing of doctors “pro” life? Thankfully, this bill was dropped, but it doesn’t even end there, sadly. At the federal level in 2011, House Republicans considered including language in legislation that would redefine rape. According to their legislation, rape would only count as “rape” when it was done forcibly, excluding date-rape. This meant that a woman who was date raped, or raped through a means that did not involve violence, still could not get an abortion under the Hypocritical Pro-Lifer’s policies on it because, according to national Republicans, they weren’t raped at all. Later, the same national Republicans created and passed legislation that would allow hospitals to deny women abortions at their whim, even in circumstances where the life of the mother is in danger – immediate danger even. Had this legislation gone into law, as the national Republicans were working towards, if a woman came to a hospital, bleeding to death, and needed an abortion to save her life, the hospital could turn her away simply based on the individual ideology and beliefs of the hospital’s management. This bill would literally have allowed hospitals to deny emergency care to women (specifically women) and let them die on the street. I’ve already asked twice, but I have to ask again, how on Earth can such legislation, such policies, such politicians that would be brazen enough to even think of, let alone propose and in some cases even pass, legislation like this, be considered “pro” life? The simple answer is they’re not; they’re Anti-Women Douchebags that use so-called “pro life” legislation to restrict women’s freedom. I do not understand how anyone, be they pro-lifer or not, could vote for such heinous violations of not just women’s rights, but women’s freedom.
But I’m still not done with outrageous Republican legislation. Virginia passed legislation in 2011 that is essentially Jim Crow laws for abortion clinics. This is hardly news, as many states have done this. Specifically in Virginia, the new regulations will require all abortion clinics be subjected to the same as those of a hospital. They must have the staff of a hospital, cafeterias, hall and building sizing requirements, making very specific calls of how wide the hallways must be, and many other harsh over-regulations that will cause as many as seventeen of the twenty-one abortion clinics in the state to close. Many claim that these regulations are created with the best care possible for women in mind, but when Susan Hays, a local anti-abortion leader and one of the strongest supporters of the legislation, was asked about it, her exact quote was, “We support these regulations, and it’s the first push to stop the legalization of killing babies.” Obviously, this argument throws back to the ones I’ve already discussed in this piece. Since the leader of the movement openly admits it’s about “stopping the legalization of killing babies,” she’s lying when she says it’s for women’s health, and not outlawing abortion.
In lieu of the clear duplicity of the Virginia Republicans, I must highlight the massive hypocrisy of the far right on the issue of life, and point out that supporting “pro-life” legislation and measures is really anti-conservative. As I mentioned earlier, the primary base of ideology for conservativism is the rights of the individual, without government interference. Ever since Obama has been elected, not a day has gone by where Republican politicians, commentators, or even strict party loyalists, haven’t uttered the phrase “big government” and how it’s getting in the way of their personal rights and liberties. On top of that, one of the primary tenants the Republicans ran their 2010 election on was deregulation, and lowering the government’s role in our daily lives. Plus, during the health care debate, what did Americans hear over and over again from this nation’s right wing? “The government wants to get between you and your doctor.” When the issue of abortion is brought up, however, Republicans completely abandon these principles and go in the exact opposite direction. According to them, the government needs to regulate abortion clinics so harshly a vast majority of them are forced to close due to inability to comply. According to them, the government does hold right to get between doctors and patients, by telling women they have to see images of their unborn child, listen to the child’s heartbeat, and be subjected to berating and humiliating “meetings” with pro-life activists at “crisis pregnancy centers.” These centers, which receive federal funding and are run by anti-choice activists, spew false information about abortion and impersonate doctors and medical officials in highly unethical attempts to manipulate women into not having an abortion. A Republican that speaks negatively of government regulation and its over-involvement in our daily lives, or says anything to the effect of government getting between people and their doctors, but then turns around, often in the same interview, and states his firm pro-life ideology on how abortions should be outlawed, is either extremely ignorant of his own, massive logical fallacies and hypocrisy, or is lying, most likely to manipulate you, because those two political positions are in direct conflict with one another. Sadly, most of the time, they are successful in their manipulation. Regardless though, a Republican that wishes to reduce government regulation, yet supports this kind of pro-life legislation, is either massively ignorant or massively dishonest and manipulative. Either way, they are unfit to represent Americans.
I personally am not of the conservative ideology, and almost always support appropriate regulation for the sake of safety. Most things, to varying degrees, require some level of government regulation for safety, including abortion. That is precisely why we need to keep it legal. By keeping abortion legal, America can ensure that these medical procedures are done safely, sanitarily, and by a trained professional. This argument may be beating a dead horse to most people, but it’s a vitally important one. In 1966, before abortion was legalized, more women died from botched self-abortions than soldiers died in Vietnam that year. In the words of Drew Edmondson, former Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, abortions should be kept “legal, safe, and rare,” for the sake of women’s health in this nation, not to mention for the sake of life. In this respect at least, one could argue that keeping abortion legal is the side of this dichotomy that’s truly “pro life.”
Today there are now, on state-by-state average, 233 abortions for every 1,000 live births here in the United States. To some, this number may sound a bit shocking and disturbing, but this rate is actually the lowest it’s been since 1973. In 1973, abortion rates were higher than they are today. One might ask, what’s so significant about 1973? That was the year abortion was legalized in the Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade. So, since abortion was legalized, over all, we’ve seen a massive reduction in the number of abortions in this nation. Allow me to bluntly rephrase: since legalization, abortion rates have dropped.
Even putting those facts aside though, let’s look at the flipside of this argument. Pro-Lifers claim that this many abortions happening is a holocaust (despite the fact that they’ve dropped significantly since legalization). At the same time though, it can be used to show just how many women do happen to fall into circumstances where they choose to have one, or need one. So to that I must ask; would someone really seek to make it illegal again? Would Pro-Lifers force thousands of women to perform this medical procedure upon themselves, causing the deaths of so many more people than ever would have died under Pro-Choice policy and law, even if you consider unborn children “alive?” Women who truly feel the need to get an abortion will get an abortion one way or another. No law will ever stop that. I’m aware that the argument of “people are going to break the law anyway” is rarely a wise one, but given the mountains of arguments and evidence I’ve already put forth in this essay, the fact that there would be so many willing to break the law, in this case, is a valid argument, especially when highlighted by the number of deaths outlawing or restricting abortion would directly cause.
I’m also not naive. I’m well aware of the allegation that there are women out there that will abuse their “right to choose,” and use abortion as a means of birth control. This seems to largely be a myth, given that half of all women who get abortions were using contraceptives during intercourse, meaning they were not relying on abortion for birth control. But even still, just because someone abuses a freedom does not mean we get rid of that freedom. For example, here in America, we have freedom of speech and of the press, but just because political commentators go out every night and use harsh, violent speech, or just because one church in Kansas abuses their freedom of speech to spread hatred and desecrate the funerals of soldiers, we have not gotten rid of that all-important freedom. Why should we eliminate the freedom of speech simply because of one extremist group or individual abuses it? The right to choose falls under this exact same question; just because there are a small minority women that do abuse their right to have an abortion, why would we take it away for all women? For most women, an abortion is a tragic, worst-case scenario that no one hopes to ever face – a topic I will soon address.
With all that information, I finally arrive at my final points. All of this talk of life and death, and politicians simply not caring either way, or sometimes even supporting more death-than-life-leaning legislation, is the final, ultimate truth about most pro-life politicians and policy makers in this nation; they just don’t care. A professor I had in college once shared a story with us about a trip to Russia. There, he met a young Russian woman who had recently gotten an abortion. At the time, my professor was disgusted at the idea of abortions, but the young woman told her story from an angle most people don’t consider in America. She knew, as a mother with no job, that having another child, whether she kept it or gave it up to a foster home, would simply create another person for which the already highly strained social system of their nation would have to care and raise, either by way of her receiving welfare to raise it or the cost of putting another child in care of the state. She had an abortion to prevent further burdening of society. Republicans in our country always complain about the supposed “welfare state,” yet their stance on abortion and sometimes even birth control is completely contradictory to that stance. Even if outlawing abortion acted as a disincentive for getting an abortion, which the evidence does not support, it would put a massive strain on the “welfare state” and social safety nets like Social Security, which the Republicans insist should be defunded, cut, or done away with entirely. This is why I claim pro-life politicians just don’t care. They seek to “protect the lives of the unborn,” even if it means stripping women of rights and freedom, while at the same time proposing massive cuts if not elimination of social safety nets and entitlement programs that many more people would depend on if not for abortions and birth control. So basically, in alignment with current conservative ideology, pre-born, a child is fine and will be protected, but after birth, conservative politicians care nothing of “protecting life.” It is this massive inconsistency of logic that leads to so much skepticism of and cynicism regarding just how interested pro-lifers really are in protecting actual life, if so many of them also want to end programs that provide food, water, safety, shelter, and so many other basic necessities of it.
Politicians don’t care about an individual’s circumstances. They don’t care about the financial cost of carrying a baby full term, let alone raising a child. They don’t care about the physical, emotional, and psychological tolls taken on a woman during pregnancy. They don’t care about the cost to the social system of having another child by an unprepared mother. Most importantly, they just don’t care about how hard it is to get an abortion. Most women who get abortions wish they didn’t have to have one, but the particular circumstances in their particular lives called for it. It’s almost always tragic when one must occur, and yet Republicans and even some pro-life Democrats are doing all they can to make it even harder financially and emotionally. In many states, women have to make two separate doctors appointments to have an abortion, at least, with specific waiting time between each appointment. On top of that, there is a rapidly growing problem with shortages in abortion clinics due to ultra-harsh regulation and restrictive laws. In Oklahoma, there are only two clinics in the whole state, meaning women could have to drive for hours and hours to get their first appointment, drive back home, wait the legally required amount of time (usually several days), then drive back out to the clinic again for the actual procedure. Some states, including Oklahoma require women to view sonograms of their children before having an abortion, adding yet another medical procedure and appointment women must have before they can have an abortion. Keep in mind, all women seeking an abortion in states with such legislation must undergo this kind of mandatory sonogram, with no exceptions for those who were raped or whose lives are in danger, forcing them to undergo psychological torture before receiving what is sometimes a medically required abortion. Such treatment of women is beyond psychologically abusive, and a cruel form of segregation by class. All that driving time and associated transportation cost, all those medical appointments and mandatory procedures, all of it costs money that women from the lower class likely can’t afford. The offensiveness of this segregation pales in comparison, however, to the abuse women suffer at the hands of these, and many more pieces of, pro-life legislation. Some women are legally required to attend meetings at the aforementioned, unethical “crisis pregnancy centers,” run and funded by pro-lifers that do everything in their power to convince women that what they’re doing is wrong, or that they themselves are wrong for considering it. Oklahoma even passed a mandatory survey women must fill out before getting an abortion that gets listed in a public database of information. Their names are anonymous, but with the questions asked it is still extremely easy to determine a woman’s identity when dealing with the smaller towns of the state. All of it acts as a way for the government to complicate the process, and ultimately to manipulate women into not having an abortion, regardless of how badly they may need it. Even if a woman needs it to live, pro-life politicians don’t care. Women in risk of death are subjected to nearly all of these same abusive and oppressive laws as any other woman seeking an abortion for any other reason.
This, plus the clear anti-women sentiment in most pro-life legislation and policy, is the primary reason the pro-life stance, when it comes to laws and policy, is wrong. All of this over regulation of abortions, all of this mind-boggling complication to intimidate women into not having an abortion, even if the mother needs it to live, raises an important question. Whenever a woman needs an abortion, even when her life is in danger, she will be subjected to all of the cruelty discussed in this essay on behalf of conservative law makers and legislation. Why, then, should a woman get pregnant at all? Why should she take the risk of complications in her pregnancy if she will face such horrible discrimination when her life is on the line? The answer to that question is the underlying truth for too many politicians, I fear, that claim to be pro-life; they don’t want women getting pregnant. They don’t want women even open to the chance of getting pregnant. Of course, that would mean they don’t want women having sex. That’s the reason, it would seem, why the “punishments” for trying to get an abortion are so harsh; ultra-conservatives within the pro-life movement want to use banning abortion as a disincentive for women to have sex at all. In our society, if a man has pre-marital sex and accidentally gets a woman pregnant, he is physically capable of walking away, claiming the child isn’t his, and washing his hands of the situation. There’s no real consequences or “punishment” for him. If a woman has pre-marital sex, however, and accidentally ends up pregnant, she has two options; carry the baby full term, likely having to raise it on her own; or have an abortion, where she is severely punished and reprimanded by this ultra-right-wing, pro-life legislation, if she is able to get one at all. Why? Because she got pregnant. Why? Because she had sex. There’s no punishment for men that even comes close to what women have to face for accidental pregnancy. In the end of the day, that’s what a great deal of pro-life legislation seems to boil down to; making disincentives for women having sex, to prevent women from having sex, from taking that risk, and, ultimately, to control women. Throughout history, whenever a person or organization has sought to control people, they have done so through attempting to suppress or control human sexuality (thinking back to the sexual suppression of the religions and churches in their earlier years, and even today). Now, ultra-right-wingers seek to control women via these exact same means, in the guise of being “pro-life,” when really their own logic and policies prove they are anything but.
In this essay, I have put forth every major argument I have heard on the abortion issue in this nation. I am pro-choice, and believe women should hold right to choose what is best for their personal circumstances, not the federal or state governments. I am pro-choice, so I support the freedom for all people to make their own decisions in life. As Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks has said, being pro-choice is not just an abortion thing. Pro-choice means you support choices; you support freedom for individuals whenever you can. My initial analogy at the beginning of this paper was about an ideological spectrum, where I placed Pro-Life policy at the far end of the spectrum where the government allowed no abortions, and Pro-Choice policy in the center, where people are allowed to choose for themselves if they want an abortion or not. I put Pro-choice in the position of Aristotle’s virtue for one very important reason – both other sides of the spectrum are oppressive of people’s rights. Just as at one end you’ve got pro-life, where the government says a woman cannot have an abortion, there is an opposite end that does not have a name in this nation, and pro-choice sits between these two ends. At the end opposing pro-life is the ideology that the government can force women to have abortions. It may sound outlandish to Americans, but it’s sadly not so farfetched. China, in the past, has used abortion as a means of population control when facing an overpopulation crisis the likes of which this world has never seen and women were “forced” to have abortions to keep the population low. On a similar, albeit fictional note, one episode of the TV show Boston Legal proposed a hypothetical situation where there could be “court-ordered abortions,” particularly dealing with instances of male rape. A true pro-choicer, such as myself, would be equally opposed to any of these laws or policies as they would any piece of pro-life legislation, because it strips people of their right to choose. This is why pro-choice and pro-life are not black and white opposites. Pro-life is at one end of the spectrum, while government-ordered abortions are at the other end, and pro-choice lies comfortably in between. It is the “virtue” between two vices. Supporting and voting for pro-choice candidates and legislation is supporting freedom for all women in America, and a vote for freedom for anyone is a vote for freedom for everyone.