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I am Pro-Choice

Rusty - September 1, 2004

One of the clients of the design firm where I work is Planned Parenthood. Per my request, I don’t work on any PP project. That, however, doesn’t mean I don’t hear their ideas and thoughts that are put forth. Of those ideas, the concept of “Choice” is, of course, paramount. It is this idea that our principal pushes the most, that it’s not about abortion, it’s not about sex, it’s about the divine right of “Choice”.

I agree that our opportunity to have a Choice is the most important gift God has given us. According to Neal A. Maxwell, it’s the only thing that is truly ours. However, I find that Planned Parenthood conveniently overlooks Choice’s intimate spouse: Consequence. It is impossible for one to exist without the other. They want to have a “choice” after previous poor choices have been made. It’s like the guy in jail who demands his “right” to freedom. He lost that “right” the moment he knowingly broke the law. When girls choose to have sex, they know there is a chance they could get pregnant. They forfeit their future choices based on that choice.

Many, of course, will say, “what about rape/incest or mother’s health?” Those aren’t choices made by the female.

Planned Parenthood is right. It is about choice. But it’s about the choices that are made before the girl is late for her period, not after.


  1. I thought I’d add this funny convesation I had with a co-worker yesterday: My quasi-manager sent out an email to everyone in the studio that suggested that if we desired, we could leave work for a few hours (excused absense) to go and support anti-Bush rallies. This surprised me considering we almost NEVER talk politics in the office, even though it is clear which side of the stick everyone is on. So I approached her and asked if she would give me an excused absense to go support Bush at the Republican National Convention (not that I would support him…) and she immediately said no. So I asked her if she was restricting my choice.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 09.01.04 – 11:53 am | #

    She said that I still have a choice of either going or not going to support the anti-Bush cause. Immediately after she said it she realized how hypocritical it sounded and then she hesitated and acted very awkward and uncomfortable. So I said that it appeared she was setting up her agenda as the only choice, restricting my own choice. That was when she said, “okay, yeah, you can go. Should we organize the group to go?”

    I couldn’t care any less about the RNC, but I’m sure glad my company is so considerate of my right of Choice.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 09.01.04 – 11:53 am | #

    I’m mixed on Planned Parenthood. I despise their actions vis a vis abortion. Yet I think they provide a needed and necessary service of getting birth control out to people. While some of their service isn’t as significant now that many drugs are legal over the counter, they still do help young women learn their choices. Further they distribute free condoms to young couples, many who might not be able to afford them. I know many friends here in Provo who otherwise hate Planned Parenthood who benefitted from all these programs.

    I just wish they didn’t have those abortion issues. It really, really bothers me and makes me feel very queasy about supporting them in the least. If only there were organizations like Planned Parenthood that emphasized *not* getting an abortion. Yet I think the pro-life movement has failed by not providing competing clinics that do this. (Mainly because all too many passionate pro-life groups are also anti-birth control)
    Clark | Email | Homepage | 09.01.04 – 3:30 pm | #

    Cool story Rusty. I’m glad you helped your quasi-manager to see that she needs to be considerate of all her employees.

    I like this characterization of Choice and Consequence as spouses. Nice post.
    danithew | Email | Homepage | 09.01.04 – 8:49 pm | #

    That was a really profound post. Nicely done, like Daniel said, the choice and consequence description was great–and good job with your quasi-manager.
    Braden | Email | Homepage | 09.01.04 – 11:46 pm | #

    Correct me if I’m wrong but did all GUYS just comment on your Planned Parenthood entry? I think that’s funny. I’m a good LDS girl, never had sex.. the only “good” I see out of that organization is the affordable birth control they will aid me one day as I make a choice for a family.

    Otherwise, it’s a very sad place. Young girls, 12..13, getting abortions for whatever reason; mostly because they don’t say “no”.

    Planned Parenthood makes it really easy to have pre-marital sex without consequences.
    Nicole | Email | Homepage | 09.06.04 – 7:55 pm | #

    PP has also made it easy for minor girls to hide their affairs w/ adult men. PP will not report these, even though it is required by law.
    And, in the spirit of choice and consequences, can we have a shout-out for requiring child support. Holding males (I hesitate to use the term men for some of these) responsible for their offspring will surely encourage some level of restraint.
    Geoff Matthews | Email | Homepage | 09.08.04 – 12:14 pm | #

    Shout out.
    Adam Greenwood | Email | Homepage | 09.09.04 – 8:51 pm | #

    While I agree with your overall point that choice and consequences can not be separated, I think your post is somewhat simplistic. In the case of sex, women often bear 100% of the consequences while men often bear none. Further, women who are educated, wealthy, confident, will also be much more careful when engaging in sexual activity and will therefore be less likely to suffer “consequences”.
    Lisa | Email | Homepage | 09.10.04 – 10:42 am | #

    Add to that that women who have not been taught by loving moral parents about sex and its “consequences”, young women generally in very difficult situations, with very low opinions of themselves are the ones least likely to take care of themselves.

    So what we have, is not a universal application of choice leading to consequences.
    Lisa | Email | Homepage | 09.10.04 – 10:44 am | #

    Instead, those who are most vulnerable, most poor, most uneducated, least loved and respected, and those who are female suffering grave consequences, while the rest of us sit in judgment of their choices.

    I think any discussion of choice and consequence must acknowledge these inequities, otherwise it skirts much too close to simply being a biased condemnation.
    Lisa | Email | Homepage | 09.10.04 – 10:44 am | #

    Lisa, nice and incisive comments you offer there. I also was glad I could follow a link to a blog. I liked your tag-line: “angry activists with diapers to change.”

    What should be done, Lisa, to meet the problems you focus on? Do we support abortion rights as they exist today? Is there another approach you would support?
    danithew | Email | Homepage | 09.10.04 – 12:03 pm | #

    Yes, Lisa, thank you for your comments. I agree that it is a very simplistic post. I also agree that it is much more complicated than the simple, “you made the choice so you deserve the consequence.” However, when I talk about consequence I am not talking solely about the girl’s actions, but also the father’s. The sad reality is that, like you pointed out, the father can much easier walk away from the consequence and the girl is stuck with them. Your description of the reality of those getting pregnant is truly tragic. I second Danithew’s question, what approach would you support?

    I hope to not suggest that I am placing judgement or blame on the girls themselves. But rather I am trying to point out the flaw in Planned Parenthood’s philosophy. I agree with the previous comment by Clark, that they can provide other fine services, but their underlying philosophy frustrates me.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 09.10.04 – 12:43 pm | #

    You all have entirely too much faith in me. If I had the answers, I would be brilliant wouldn’t I?
    Lisa | Email | Homepage | 09.10.04 – 3:30 pm | #

    Ignorance does not preclude one from consequences. Inequality exists EVERYWHERE. The point is, any woman, regardless of her financial situation has the choice to give a child up for adoption – rarely costing them a dime during their pregnancy. There’s thousands of people and agencies willing to pay for medical care of expecting mothers.

    Every woman I know who’s had an abortion knew exactly how babies were made. But even if they didn’t, should their unborn children have been extinguished simply because the woman was poor or uneducated?
    Renee | Email | Homepage | 10.31.04 – 10:37 am | #

    Lisa is right about one thing – men do not bear the responsibility. But they should and not just when a child is actually born. I have a male friend who had no choice. He wanted to be a father, even a single father if he had to be.
    Instead, it was demanded that he pay for an abortion. He made a bad choice in getting a woman pregnant. But he had no choice in the consequences for that child. Talk about inequality.
    Renee | Email | Homepage | 10.31.04 – 10:38 am | #

    Comment by Comment Restore — November 28, 2005 @ 12:35 am

  2. To second Clark, In terms of preventative options (contraception) and sex ed, STD awareness – they really do a great job. Sadly, they seem to be the only ones doing that job for at risk women and women without a good family structure to teach it to them. If there were a moderate pro-life org. out there who did the same sans the abortion services they could really make a powerful case against PP. Until then…

    Also, I wonder when you consider the beginning of life and what kinds of rights that life has while still in the womb, b/c it seems to be purely a religious or philosophical question – hard to prove one way or the other. For example, there have been some ‘personhood’ bills being floated around – which pronounces life the moment an egg is fertilized. This would of course eliminate some methods of contraception and complicates (or oversimplifies) the line of prevention. If contraception is also viewed as the destroying of life (many believe this), well then… And broadly, I think the crux of the ‘pro-choice’ argument is the idea that as long as a fetus is connected to the mother, (and could *potentially* end her life) then she should have the right to terminate that fetus. Sounds pretty harsh, but if you really believe that that fetus is the same thing as a human being and especially if you believe that God is pulling all the strings, then why shouldn’t a woman have to give birth to her rapist’s child?

    As Paul Ryan says it: “the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”

    I guess the big ‘choice’ for me is the choice for a women to determined for herself when life begins. We ALL draw the line somewhere.

    Comment by CJ Douglass — November 8, 2012 @ 10:28 am

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