Why supporting abortion is a pro-life position

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 5/7/2018, 10:58 a.m.
The Legislature in Iowa has passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Senate File 359, or the "heartbeat ...
Anti-Abortion Protestors

By Danielle Campoamor

(CNN) -- The Legislature in Iowa has passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Senate File 359, or the "heartbeat bill," will bar physicians from performing the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, when it is common for women not to know they are pregnant yet.

If you looked at my life on paper, you might very well wonder why this news is a big deal to me. I have a life in New York City, a 3-year-old son, a current, wanted, planned pregnancy, a rewarding relationship and my mental health. But I have these things because of the abortion I was legally, safely and affordably able to procure at age 23. To advocate for restricted access, to ban abortion services before women even know they are pregnant or to destroy access entirely is to endorse the unnecessary deaths of women across a country that claims to value all life. And I cannot enjoy my life while women are losing the right to live theirs.

In 2010, I walked into a Planned Parenthood in Washington state and had a safe, affordable and relatively easy abortion. I wasn't subjected to mandatory waiting periods, forced counseling or an abortion provider required to regurgitate state-mandated, inaccurate information. I didn't have to travel long distances, worry I was getting there too late in the pregnancy, find money to pay for child care or walk past angry or intrusive protesters. Instead, I went in pregnant and, a few hours later, came out with my future back in my control.

I was unaware at the time, but that future would eventually include life as a writer of a column dedicated entirely to abortion, lobbying elected officials on Capitol Hill and sharing my abortion story in front of thousands of people.

I had no idea that it would include another pregnancy, a difficult labor and delivery, and a healthy, beautiful baby boy. But it also brought me death threats, promises of eternal damnation, severed relationships with conservative or evangelical childhood friends and daily online attacks from anti-abortion zealots; all "consequences" of my choice to procure and advocate for abortion care. And since that day in 2010 I have watched in anger as the constitutionally protected right to an abortion has been attacked and trampled across the country. I have heard our vice president promise I would see the demolition of Roe v. Wade in my lifetime and interviewed women who've been lied to by so-called crisis pregnancy centers, to the point they were tricked into carrying their unplanned pregnancies to term.

State Sen. Rick Bertrand, an Iowa Republican, said during a debate on Senate File 359 that it would be a "vehicle that will ultimately provide change and the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade," because the measure is likely to be challenged in court and potentially appealed by either side to the US Supreme Court. Proponents of the bill are proudly proclaiming that there is no hidden agenda: The bill is not meant to protect life but to engineer public policy that could lead to a national ban on abortion.