When people say “choice” the first thing we tend to think of is abortions. Me, I’m never going to get an abortion — unless the universe really hates me, that is. You see, when I was 23 I got my tubes tied so, unless I’m one of those less than 1% of women whose body naturally reverses the tubal, I’m not going to get pregnant which means I’ll never have to think about getting an abortion.
I grew up in a world where my right to bodily sovereignty was considered a basic right (though that way of thinking is slowly being eroded). Roe v. Wade pioneered the way for that kind of thinking, and so it’s in part responsible for my ability to get my tubes tied without kids, without a husband, and without being nearly post-menopausal. Roe v. Wade made it possible for me to never have to be faced with the decision to have an abortion.
So, yes, that decision gave countless women access to safe medical abortions, but that’s not all it did. It also was a major step in the direction of giving women control over their sexual lives and their bodies; it helped to give women access to birth control methods and family planning that otherwise would not have been available to them. It said that, yes, women do have the ability and right to make their own decisions regarding whether or not they want children.
When I think about “choice” I don’t just think about the abortion debate; I think about how thankful I am that I was allowed to make a choice that enriched my life. We need to create a society that allows more women to make such choices, not less.