Few things inspire more action and anger than the subject of abortion. Although
Roe v. Wade has made sure abortion is legally protected since 1973, that hasn’t stopped folks from expressing their objection to the Supreme Court ruling. Since then, there have been countless bills created and laws passed that have changed the way states approach abortion. This has caused strife among communities, families, friends, and moms who hold differing opinions on the subject. Although it sometimes feels impossible to find common ground, you’d be surprised at just how many things pro-choice and pro-life moms have in common.
Full disclosure: I’m pro-choice. I’m ridiculously, fervently,
passionately pro-choice. I’ve helped out friends facing unwanted pregnancies by informing them about their options. I’ve helped said friends find good health clinics nearby that provide safe and legal abortions at an affordable cost. I’ve emotionally supported friends after their abortions. I’ve had an abortion of my own, and spoken about it publicly and without apology.
I also have pro-life friends. Friends who, despite our difference of opinion, I know to be kind-hearted people who just want to help other people out at the end of the day. They are intelligent and rational people who hope for a time when unintended pregnancies and abortion are a thing of the past. And hey, who wouldn’t want to live in a world where we didn’t have to worry about such things, right? I’m telling you, we all have more in common than you might initially think.
They’re Both Extremely Passionate
Say what you will about either side, abortion sparks a passion unlike almost any other topic. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, it seems as though you are completely set on your position and prepared to argue about it with anyone who crosses you.
Considering that thousands of
pro-choice folks volunteer at clinics on a weekly basis to keep abortion-seekers and abortion-providers safe, and considering that pro-life folks protest outside these clinics weekly as well, it’s clear passion is key in this fight. They’re Not Afraid To Speak Their Mind
You know how they say you shouldn’t talk about politics or religion at the dinner table? Well for some, the abortion argument is heavily rooted in both. As a result, it brings out the loud in even the quietest person who’s set on their position. Regardless of who believes what to be right, people who are either pro-choice or pro-life are rarely afraid to speak out because they understand how important it is not to stay silent.
They Both Want What (They Feel) Is Best For Pregnant People
Many folks who take a position on abortion do so because they feel they want what’s best for the pregnant person. Of course, they have differing opinions on the matter. I’m pro-choice because I think that anyone who becomes pregnant should be able to carry to term or have an abortion, or, at the very least, be able to make that decision for themselves.
Pro-life folks tend to be religious (although this generalization isn't always accurate and isn't the determining factor on whether or not someone is pro-life) and so feel that by preventing the abortion, they’re also “saving” a pregnant person — from “eternal damnation,” a lifetime of regret, or even risks to the pregnant person’s health, all of which are mostly false. They Both Care About Children
Hear me out, because I know some of y’all are already rolling your eyes. A pro-choice person wants to make sure a pregnant person doesn’t have an unwanted child they might be unable to care for, they might mistreat or abandon, or who they feel they'll be unable to connect with (especially in cases of rape).
A pro-choice person believes only
wanted pregnancies should come to term so that children who are born are loved and cared for. A pro-life person believes all pregnancies deserve a shot at becoming babies, and that unwanted pregnancies should be given away to be cared for by responsible adoptive parents. In the end, however, there is a common thread we can all recognize: We all care about children. They Both Agree That Pregnant Folks Should Act Responsibly
Pro-choice advocates believe
abortion is a responsible option for a pregnant person who does not want to carry to term. Pro-life people feel that it’s a pregnant person’s responsibility to carry to term because they got pregnant in the first place. The difference here is what these individuals define as “responsible," but a sense of responsibility is present on both sides of the abortion aisle. They Both (Usually) Recognize Rape Is A Horrible Thing
While this is not the case for all (an Oklahoma lawmaker recently described a
pregnancy from rape or incest as "beauty from ashes"), many pro-lifers are OK with abortion in instances of rape and incest. These people acknowledge just how terrible rape can be. Pro-choice folks unanimously agree abortion should always be an option in cases of rape (and anything else, really).
So, again, while not everyone believes a woman shouldn't be forced to carry a pregnancy that was the result of rape or incest, this is usually a topic pro-choice and pro-life advocates can agree on.
They Both Know Pregnant Women Need Support
Because we’re all moms, we fully recognize that support is essential during pregnancy. Now, I truly believe that many pro-life people feel that places like
“crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) do in fact support pregnant women. According to NARAL, in at least 12 states, CPCs receive direct state funding to mislead women. So, do they provide the kind of unbiased support one might be looking for? Not quite. Many of them have been revealed to give out misinformation in an attempt to scare women into carrying an unwanted pregnancy. As for pro-choice moms, they also feel that they are supporting pregnant persons by offering them abortions when needed, as well as birth control and education to prevent future unwanted pregnancies. Perhaps pro-life folks could open up legitimate clinics with licensed health professionals who don’t provide abortions, but do work toward supporting pregnant women and mothers by providing birth control and STD and other health screenings ( much like Planned Parenthood does). Additionally, these places should offer services that connect pregnant persons to adoption agencies (should they want to give up their future child), and financial resources like Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), free or affordable child care, and job placement for moms who want to have their baby but consider abortion for financial reasons. They Both Want To Reduce The Abortion Rate
I don’t care how much propaganda is spread,
no one really likes to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood and other clinics are not trying to force pregnant people to have abortions. That's not a thing. Pro-choice people aren’t marching pregnant people to abortion clinics against their will. Pro-choice people want to see the abortion rate go down, because we know what a difficult experience it can be.
Pro-life people obviously also want to end abortion, usually by outlawing it. It's worth mentioning, of course, that outlawing abortion will not end abortions. Prior to
Roe v. Wade, an estimated 5,000 American women died from botched abortions every year, according to NARAL. Fortunately, some pro-life folks do understand that the key to reducing the rates of unplanned pregnancies lies in education and access to birth control. In fact, the U.S. abortion rate has continued to decrease year after year, according to the Associated Press, thanks to factual education and access to a wide variety contraception. If more anti-choice folks would work toward ending abstinence-only education, improving access to birth control, and working in general to reduce things like rape culture, misogyny, and poverty, we would all be able to work together toward bringing abortion rates down.