Choice is inclusive, not exclusive

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Amy Dahl is a Choice Out Loud intern for NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota.

I have learned so much during my short amount of time as an intern with NARAL. At events and tables I’m called a “whore,” told I’m “going to hell,” and told I’m a “baby killer” and people will not join our cause because they “like babies.”

Well guess what?! I like babies too! Love them in fact. I wanted 26: one for every letter of the alphabet–13 of my own and 13 adopted. I want a huge family someday. Choice does not mean anti-life.

Choice means INCLUSIVE. NOT EXCLUSIVE. Choice means having the right to information and the right to access information; choice is the right to deeply think and process all the information you have. It is choosing to take a stance. It is being on the welcoming end of the spectrum: having an open mind.

America IS choice. Humans NEED choice.

Our founding fathers (and mothers) ;) FOUGHT for our choice–our ability to choose!
Personal lives and decisions are private. Decisions should be made AT THE TIME, for the BEST health option for all: the child AND the mother. (Health does not just mean physical–but mental and emotional and so much more….)

My father is a pastor. But he and my mother raised me to be allowed to think for myself…..to CHOOSE what I believe….what a blessing! I was given access to information and answers to all my questions, without a sway to the “correct decision/direction.” Mirroring your parents beliefs is NOT what I would define as choice. Just “because it’s what they believed” doesn’t make it what YOU should also believe.

When I was younger I didn’t want to kiss anyone until the day of my wedding. I didn’t drink till I was 21 for fear of something bad happening. But growing up I was not well educated on sex. I never had “the talk” with my parents. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I learned how exactly and what it was, and I learned when I was raped.

Never having talked about sex openly I had no idea what to do. I was devastated and scared and alone (I thought). A girl from school who found out took me to Planned Parenthood (and Walmart since that was what we had access to at the time) to be tested for pregnancy and STDs. As I left Planned Parenthood, people were holding “pro-life” signs, yelling at me, and “praying for my soul.” They were condemning me.

But the people who were pro-choice welcomed me; held my hand through a confusing and tough time. Thankfully, I was not pregnant so I did not have to make a decision about what to do with my life and future, but knowing I had options was such a relief. That option–to HAVE options–should NOT be taken away from women.

Pro-Choice is NOT JUST about abortion. Over 1.5 million women use birth control for reasons besides contraception. I know this firsthand. I take birth control for endometriosis (excruciating pain, and so much more, during periods which ends with me writhing in pain on the floor). Due to these reasons, women should have access to much needed healthcare–FREE healthcare. Instead of worrying about whether or not I can afford my next month’s medication or if I can go to work in this much pain, I should be able to worry about problems bigger than me: how can I help the world today?!

Thanks to many pro-life people and stupid Bill O’Reiley, there’s a common misconception that women need birth control so that we “can be whores.” NOT TRUE! Ignorant. Pro-Choice is about better sex education and awareness! I wish we had had that when I was younger. It should not be an awkward, taboo thing (not necessarily flaunted either) but not hidden! We need to PREPARE our future generations. EMPOWER our youth (boys AND girls)!

CHOICE is: knowledge. welcoming love. respect. wanting the best. freedom.

Choice is NON-NEGOTIABLE! It’s a human right.

3 thoughts on “Choice is inclusive, not exclusive

  1. Thanks for sharing. Sorry you were punished for the crime of being a 16 year old girl. I hope abortion protesters will see themselves here and re-consider their choices.

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