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Why I’m pro-abortion
The writer is co-director of Charlotte Reproductive Action Network.
The pro-choice movement began in the 1960s to oppose abortion restrictions and increase access to abortion. Women were portrayed as prisoners to their husbands’ and children’s care-taking and “choice” was presented as the liberator. Choice was freedom.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a historical decision to protect the choice to have an abortion. Yet, almost 50 years later, some can choose better than others. As more states pass arbitrary restrictions to limit access to abortion, choice has become complicated.
Abortion is not a choice when you live over 200 miles from the nearest clinic. Abortion is not a choice when you cannot afford to pay for your healthcare.
Abortion is necessary to save lives. Other times, abortion is an act of compassion to end suffering.
Is abortion a choice when you receive a heartbreaking medical diagnosis? Is abortion a choice when you are desperately trying to escape an abusive relationship with your two young children? Sometimes abortion is the result of an unwanted pregnancy. Other times, it is a necessary procedure to terminate a wanted pregnancy.
Next summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will hand down another decision on abortion rights. In anticipation, many are declaring that being “pro-choice” is not “pro-abortion,” as if to choose abortion is beneath them. In doing so, they advance the narrative that abortion should be rare, with the proper label of shame and only offered to those with the proper story.
I am pro-abortion. I have not always held this position. Through education and radical empathy, we can grow and evolve. One of the most responsible things we can do is seek diverse perspectives on topics we feel strongly about. There is always more to learn. We might even find ourselves with a new perspective.
Abortion is not a dirty word. Abortion is freedom. Abortion is equality. Abortion saves lives. I am pro-abortion and you should be, too.
Sarah Haley, Charlotte
An act of selfless compassion
After a year of political and social upheaval, I wasn’t sure where Charlotte was headed. We’re on track to hit a homicide record. We have racial and economic disparities. Affordable housing doesn’t exist. At the core of all that is trust.
How do we begin building trust again in Charlotte? An act of compassion I recently witnessed tells me the foundation for that trust is already there.
On May 27, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were responding to an active shooter call. It was 4 p.m. and I was stuck in traffic on South Tryon Street. A CMPD SUV sped by in the oncoming lane and crossed into the intersection. It was followed by a white officer on a dirt bike. He crossed the median without slowing down. When he came down on the other side his front tire dipped, jerking the handlebars. He over-corrected and crashed.
A Black man two cars ahead of mine bolted from his vehicle. Two other doors flew open and a Black woman and a Latina woman were calling 911. Four CMPD SUVs raced up the median.
After a few minutes traffic began moving again. I glanced over as I drove by. The officer was flat on his back, someone shading him with an umbrella. I drove away with a pang of regret.
I have no regret about not jumping out of my truck or dialing 911. I regret not saying “Thank you.” I regret not telling the man who bolted from his car that I was impressed. When that bike went down, he didn’t see a white officer, he saw someone injured and ran to help. That selfless act of compassion restored my trust in Charlotte.
Systemic racism, police brutality and economic disparities have come to light across the nation. Charlotte is no different. But witnessing Charlotte come to life and protect one of its own, despite the color of his skin or the clothes on his back, can’t help but make me feel this city is headed in the right direction. If we approach each other with this level of compassion, we can, and will, build trust in Charlotte.
Frederick Wood II, Charlotte