5 Ways Having Children Strengthened My Pro-Choice Views

How having children strengthened my pro-choice viewsHow having children strengthened my pro-choice viewsOnce upon a time, I was a single female who also happened to be a huge pro-choice advocate. My views were heavily shaped by the views of my mother and my late sister. Their stories, their experiences, and their openness about reproductive rights and freedoms started at a young age. Right when I hit puberty, in fact. It taught me a lot, and it helped me to form my own opinions on such a tender subject, which we are always seeing front and center in the mainstream news.

But then I became a mother and reproductive rights became more personal and important to me with each pregnancy that I experienced. Then I birthed a daughter and it made my views on the subject of reproductive freedom as a whole, much more staunch and strong.

It took me all this Susan G. Komen mumbo jumbo to snap me back into my views. Not just because I think abortion should be legal, but because I think reproductive rights are some of the most important rights for all women. Including my daughter, who has not even had her first birthday. Here are some of the reasons I continue to sit down on the pro-choice side, especially after having children of my own.

Pregnancy Pregnancy
1. Pregnancy
While pregnancy may be a complete walk in the park for some women, for others it is complete hell. I reflect back on my first and third pregnancy. One was considered high-risk and the other scared the living crap out of me.

Was I prepared for complications, an amnio, and the possibility of something as serious as stillbirth? Not at all. The more I reflect on it, the more I know that NO woman should ever have to be forced to go through what I did. I couldn't wish it upon my worse enemy!

Related: 6 things I wish I knew before getting pregnant

2. Childbirth
I wish I could say that I had these beautiful storybook births that were something out of The Business of Being Born. Unfortunately, I had scary surgical births that still upset me when I think of all the details.

As I said with pregnancy, I wouldn't want to force someone else to go through the pain of childbirth. Not just because of the birth aspect! There's also the matter of informed consent issues, as well as the use of reproductive medicine in the United States today.

Birth Control Options Birth Control Options
3. Birth Control Options
It seems like every time I turn around, birth control is on the chopping block. Whether it is the insurance companies or Congress trying to jeopardize its use. I would hate for my daughter to grow up in a world where women have to go broke to protect themselves, or completely skip it and risk an unplanned pregnancy, because someone else wants to make choices about their health.

Foster Care and Adoption Foster Care and Adoption
4. Foster Care and Adoption
Before I had kids, I had a job working with children who had been removed from dangerous situations in their homes. My heart broke repeatedly. I grew tired of hearing how great adoption is, when so many kids remain in such desperate need of homes. Why bring more children into this bad situation? Granted, adoption is an amazing gift - I hope that some day my husband and I have an opportunity to adopt - but I just don't think it is a cure-all for unwanted/unplanned pregnancies.

Related: I had an abortion ... and I'm not ashamed to share my experience

5. Laws
I don't think the current laws we have regarding reproductive rights are sufficient. Nor do I think we should be limiting medical choices based on other people's beliefs. Leave the choice between a woman and her provider, just like birth options!

- By Danielle Elwood

For 2 more ways having children strengthened this mom's pro-choice views, visit Babble


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