Until a year and a half ago, I was ambivalently pro-choice. I subscribed to the idea that if you truly want to encourage female empowerment and support limited government, promoting safe, legal, and rare abortions was the logical and philosophically consistent conclusion.
However, due to the undeniable realities of what abortion actually is, I could never say that this conclusion was morally sound, so I took the easy way out and stayed above the fray, choosing to not touch the issue.
That choice became increasingly difficult when I enrolled as a student at one of the most left-leaning universities in the country: UCLA. Abortion and a “woman’s right to choose” were daily topics of passionate conversation, and I soon realized that the people I was surrounded by didn’t believe that legal abortion should be rare, as I had assumed. They were actively and unapologetically pro-abortion.
Young women on campus preached that abortion itself was an act of empowerment. My sorority sisters chose to use abortion as a casual form of birth control. Professors and students alike presented weak, biologically incorrect arguments on the dispensability of fetuses.
Everywhere I turned, I was faced with the fact that the pro-choice movement was not about limiting government and promoting individual choice. Instead, I saw that it was fueled by a false sense of empowerment and a blatant disregard for personal responsibility, and it was this realization that sparked the three-pronged process of dismantling my already vulnerable conviction.
To begin, if there is anything that I value as much as individual freedom, it’s accountability. I hold myself to immeasurably high standards with an almost radical kind of responsibility for my life. Given this, I realized that there was no way I could logically hold these values while simultaneously excusing irresponsible sexual behavior that would lead to the murder of unborn children.
Supporting this conclusion is the fact that over 96% of abortions take place due to social or economic reasons — also known as out of convenience.
Second of all, I was awakened to the fact that in all my attempts to support the individual rights of pregnant women, I had blatantly ignored the rights of another individual: the unborn child. How could I argue that I was pro-choice on the basis of liberty if my conclusion was infringing upon not just the rights, but the very existence of another individual? And more importantly, an individual with no representation who played no role in creating the situation?
Finally, I learned that abortion was considered for my own life. Stuck in an unhappy marriage on the path to divorce, my father concluded that abortion should be the solution to the unplanned, unwanted pregnancy that was me. Despite an unknown marital future, my mother fought back.
However, it didn’t end with that. My father’s demands were the catalyst for my mom searching her own convictions and changing her long-held libertarian, pro-choice stance. With me, the issue become personal, and she delved deeper into the moral questions surrounding abortion.
As selfish as it might sound, learning that someone believed my own life could be disposable was the coup de grâce for my transition.
Obviously, leaving behind my pro-choice convictions — as weak as they were — did not happen overnight. This is a nuanced, complex issue that should be approached with empathy and from the perspective of thoughtful, moral reflection.
The harsh reality of abortion, the murder of an unborn child, should not keep people from approaching the subject of unwanted pregnancies with grace, support, and solutions for women who find themselves in difficult situations.
This is an issue of morality, not a cheap political game.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.