BY MADELINE BLOOMQUIST
Photo courtesy of millicent-bystander on flickr; some rights reserved.
As far back as I can remember, my parents have been avid supporters of the pro-life movement and have emphasized the importance of respecting all life.
Gay and lesbian life. Disabled life. Other-than-white life. And, yes, pre-born life.
But not until the past year did I really form my own, individual opinion on abortion. It all started in the eighth grade, when I gave a speech on making abortion illegal and didn't garner the same applause as the death penalty kid. I started thinking, "Why -- exactly -- do I oppose abortion?" There were the obvious reasons, of course: a fetus can think, it can move, it can breathe, it's alive. It has the potential of Shakespeare or Gandhi.
It finally hit me when I saw a post on Facebook. There was a picture of a man on his knees praying, and his thought bubble said, "God, why haven't you given us the cure for AIDS?" God replied, "I did, but you aborted her."
It was in that moment that I realized the importance of holding all life sacred and understood that what I had been supporting all these years was actually the pinnacle of feminism: equality.
Last Thursday, I sat in fourth period, minding my own business and drawing unicorn doodles on my palm. While waiting for class to begin, the girl sitting next to me noticed my pro-life bracelet and asked to see it. After examining the bracelet, she turned to me and said, "Ugh, you're one of those pro-life girls, aren't you?" Stunned at the mocking way she addressed me, I just responded with "yes." But she didn't stop there. She leaned in to me and hissed, "Women have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies." "I agree with you," I replied, "but it's not her body. A woman's body is a vessel to protect a vulnerable but most-definitely alive human fetus. Its cells are multiplying and dividing, the very definition of life. It is a human organism, not a banana, balloon, or bicycle bell."
At this point, our conversation had sparked a flame of interest in our usually comatose classmates, and an audience was gathering around our desks. I thought I would be scared, feel pressure to please my peers, but I didn't. My parents raised me to walk my talk, no matter what beliefs I choose to live by.
Photo courtesy of Parker Michael Knight; some rights reserved.
So I continued. "Everyone has the right to determine their own destiny, and no one should be allowed to take that away from us." She then inquired, "What about rape? Why would someone want to have the baby after such a traumatic experience?" I replied, "The baby isn't the rapist. It isn't the baby's fault. In some countries, if a woman is raped they kill her. Either way, you are killing one person for the crimes of another."
Her reply? "Whatever."
This concluded our little debate.
A true feminist respects her body, mind, and soul. Aborting a fetus -- a sacred, pure part of you -- is not an act of feminism. It is a symbol of the ways in which society has failed women.
I hear a lot about bullying in school, about harming someone you perceive as weaker or less important than yourself to suit your own agenda. Abortion is the ultimate act of bullying.