by Zelda Barnz

I am pro-choice and I am an adopted child. My birth mother planned on having an abortion, but because she bled throughout her first two trimesters, she assumed it was her period and didn’t realize she was pregnant until it was too late to abort the fetus. With no other alternative, she carried the baby to term and then placed me with my adoptive parents. 

I believe every woman should have access to safe and sanitary abortion clinics. I believe every woman and every AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) person should have the right to make that decision for themself. It breaks my heart to see the pro-life movement using adopted children to bolster their cause. I see pictures of children holding up signs that read “adopt, don’t abort” or “would you abort me?” -- children who aren’t old enough to make their own informed decisions about these topics. People often assume I’m pro-life because of my situation. I am pro-life in the sense that I support the lives of the AFAB people who are rape victims or experience accidental pregnancy. I am pro-life in the sense that I think gun control should be enforced so students feel safe in their classrooms and workers feel safe in their workplace. But I am pro-choice in the sense that I think women deserve freedom, the freedom to make the decision of whether to get an abortion for themselves, and should not be subjected to the conservative authority of white male legislators. 

People have asked, “Well, aren’t you glad you weren’t aborted?” 

That question doesn’t make sense to me. I grew from a fetus, that much is true. But that fetus wasn’t me. I am so much more than my physical body - I am built of a series of experiences and developments and personality. I wasn’t Zelda in the womb. I couldn’t speak or write or breathe on my own or eat on my own. I am not grateful every day for the circumstances that led to my not-abortion. I have other things to be thankful for -- my adoption, the fact that I was lucky enough to be raised by LGBT parents. I am grateful for my family and my home and most other aspects of my waking life. But the fact that I was nearly aborted, or that there was some intention of aborting me, does not affect my current life’s trajectory. I see no reason to feel shame or guilt in the context of getting an abortion -- but I understand why so many women feel that way. White cishet men have negatively influenced the societal views that surround a women’s issue. 

So this is a message from a young woman who, as pro-life people would see it, was nearly aborted. If you don’t support gun control, you are not pro-life. If the fetus you “save” was born and grew up to identify as queer or trans, would you still protect that child? Would you protect the children of color who are victims of police brutality? Do you fight for the rights of the children who die in ICE custody? 

Almost half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, but if conservatives care about saving fetuses, they’d support the clinics that contribute to healthier pregnancies. And if conservatives are worried about embryos, why don’t they protest the IVF clinics where usable embryos are disposed of on a daily basis? 

It’s because the abortion ban isn’t about saving children. It isn’t about saving lives at all. It’s about controlling women and the AFAB body.