Pro-Choice in Kentucky
January 22, 2012 3 Comments
I am pro-choice. I am a resident of Kentucky.
Being pro-choice in a state that is widely regarded as a lost cause is not easy.
Kentucky isn’t a lost cause. Considering it one is losing half the battle.
Pro-choice Kentuckians are perpetually on the defensive–trying to stop restrictive legislation, stop funding from being cut, stop anti-choicers from harassing patients outside of clinics, stop the hatred and vitriol directed toward reproductive rights, and the people who believe in them.
Simply being openly pro-choice in Kentucky is activism. After all, anti-choicers have long held the pulpit here, painting caricatures of baby-hating, cold, anti-life, anti-woman “pro-choicers.” I am none of those things–by being openly pro-choice, I am showing everyone around me that those caricatures are lies. I’m opening the door.
I talk about being pro-choice. People ask questions; I answer them. I give my friends, classmates, acquaintances, and neighbors a different perspective–describing reproductive rights by framing it in a way that’s relevant, in language that they will respond to. For instance, I often say that abortion is a form of self-defense–it is an action women may take in order to protect their bodies from the multitude of harms that may come from pregnancy. I say that only I can decide what happens to my body–nobody can use it without my permission, just like no one may break into my home even if they need shelter.
I write to my representatives–even the infamous Mitch McConnell. He doesn’t agree with me, and he won’t vote the way I want him to, but I still write. He needs to know that I exist, that I care, and that his ideology is abhorrent to me. I will oppose them. In other words, I’m watching. I’m voting. Think about that.
I write and reply to pro-choicers outside of Kentucky–I appeal, I plead, I rant, and I call for support. Stop dismissing Kentucky. Help us. Rally with us. Support pro-choice Kentuckians in our fight. It’s not hopeless. We help you–it’s time to help us. Don’t wait for some really abhorrent, anti-choice legislation to jump in. Let’s work together to keep it from ever getting to that point. Let’s change minds. Let’s change budgets. Let’s change laws.
I am a feminist. I am pro-choice. I am a Kentuckian.