Betty Yang, Guest Blogger (’15, Boston University School of Medicine, Medical Students for Choice)
This post is part of Blog for Choice 2013, launched by Boston Students for Sexual and Reproductive Justice (BSSRJ).
The term “pro-life” sounds like it should have a nice sentiment. It conjures up the pursuit of health and wellness, the prevention of disease, ambitions not unlike the themes of the Hippocratic Oath. As a future physician, though, the words “pro-life” evoke a very different, less wholesome feeling.
I feel scared. Scared for the women in the world who don’t have access to safe abortions and resort to alternative means. Scared for the girl who is shamed into a life she is not prepared for. And most personally, scared for what might happen to me or my family when I stand up for my beliefs and become an abortion provider. The history of violence against abortion providers and their communities is long and world-wide. There have been countless death threats, physical assaults, kidnappings, and even cold-blooded murders, all in the name of having a “right to life”. Do these abortion clinic security guards, receptionists, and physicians not also have a right to life? Are their futures worth any less than that of an embryo that has never “seen” the light of day?
Wanting all living things to live is a beautiful thought. And, according to my definition of life—which takes into consideration the life of a woman unprepared to care for, or to birth and subsequently give up a child, and the life of a doctor who stands up for a woman’s right to choose, and a definition which excludes bodies of life that cannot independently live without a supplemental blood, immune, and digestive system—I am of the same opinion. But to believe bombing, or suffocating, or shooting others based on their beliefs, all under the guise of an “Army of God” is where the title “pro-life” falls apart.
Thanks to Roe v. Wade, I am lawfully able to provide women a reproductive choice, but until the anti-abortion, “pro-life” culture of violence abates, I will not be able to do so without fearing for my life and the lives of those I love.