Blogging for Choice.

So what stake does a middle-aged peri-menopausal lesbian have in reproductive rights and the entire pro-choice issue?

Easy: I am a woman. I believe, no, I know, for a fact that I am the best person to trust when it comes to choosing what is right for me, for my body, for my health, for my life and for my future. And as that is true for me, I know it is true for other women. It’s right, it’s just, it’s fair, and further, it’s common sense.

This is not to say that I think these decisions are best made in a vacuum, without the input of trusted medical partners, and of course, family and friends. Personally, I usually need and seek out that input. But it’s my right, and the right of every woman, if they choose, to make her own decisions without that input, too.

And certainly without the input of complete strangers with their own agendas, be they ethical, religious/spiritual, or political. Be they individuals or groups, private or corporate or government. No one, no group, should have the right to make those choices for me or for any woman.

So, beyond the generalization about women’s bodies/women’s health, and on to abortion, choice and reproductive rights. No, I’ve never had an abortion, but I’m not a “gold star lesbian” – I used to (in another galaxy far, far away) have sex with men and I did have to contemplate an abortion, briefly, years ago, as has pretty much every other woman I know. I wasn’t pregnant, so I didn’t have to figure out my final choice. In all honesty, I don’t know how I would have chosen then or for that matter, now.

But what I chose wasn’t the issue. The issue was (is) that it was my choice, no one else’s.

Enough about me. On to every other woman I know. Honestly, truthfully, I can’t even count the number of people I know that have had an abortion. Too many. Many of my family, friends, and acquaintances (across the age spectrum and of various sexual orientations) I know for a fact, have chosen to terminate pregnancies. Others have chosen in the end to give birth, either keeping the child or relinquishing it for adoption. Other women I have known have had the choices (both termination and birth) made for them by spouses or parents against their own will.

My point is, as all women on all sides of the issue know, extrapolating from their own circles, this is a universal issue that touches all women. We have all had to make the various choices (contraception, abortion, fertility treatments, etc) ourselves or we know someone who has.

The issue is never going away, no matter which “side” wins or loses. Our own experiences, and our larger history tell us that irrefutably.

History and experience also tells us that when religion and politics proscribe personal behavior, choices, and morality, be it via doctrine or law, things always end badly.

And of course, men more often than not dominate those religious, political, medical and cultural institutions that invade our lives and attempt to proscribe personal behavior. Usually, these are white men of privilege.

Again, I know because of my own experience, the collective experience of women, and history in general, that men, especially white men of privilege simply do not have the wherewithal to make truly informed choices about women’s bodies, health, sexual and reproductive behavior.

Now, as we know all too well, this has never stopped them from doing so, which brings us back the lessons of experience and history. We have more than enough evidence to illustrate that men, especially white men of privilege, should not be making these choices for women, especially as these issues disproportionally impact economically disadvantaged women of color.

I realize I’m over-simplifying, that there are many facets within these issues I’ve not touched on. However, I believe that at the core of it all is a simple fact.

Outside individuals and institutions, do not have the right of making these choices.

For anybody.

For any women.

For any body.

For any woman.

Woman’s body=woman’s choice.

And that’s why this middle-aged, peri-menopausal lesbian is pro-choice.