Published: October 17, 2012
The right to control your own body is a bedrock value for me – male, female, gay, straight, sex workers, responsible drug users, etc. – but my hypothetical girlfriend's anti-abortion position would only be a deal breaker if she didn't support the right of other women to make their own choices.
Allow me to un-prettify that: If my hypothetical girlfriend believed that the state should have the power to force a woman to give birth against her will, if she wanted to see doctors thrown in prison for performing abortions, if she believed every miscarriage should be treated like potential homicide, that would be a deal breaker.
Your response to LIFE was horrible.
Flat-out lie and see what response you get? How about having a frank discussion to see how he really feels about abortion? I hope LIFE was smart enough to disregard your idiotic "advice."
You and everyone else who worried that LIFE might actually take my idiotic advice will be delighted to hear that she did not …
I was happy to see my letter in your column. After I wrote you, I had a long conversation with my boyfriend. When I asked what we should do if I was pregnant – something all sexually active couples should talk about – he said he would want me to give it up for adoption or keep it (with the help of child-support payments from him) but that I could have an abortion since "the letter of the law was on my side" (we live in Canada, for which I am eternally grateful). After a couple days of thinking about it, I reopened the discussion. You hit the nail on the head when you said this was about equality and respect. Even though he claimed he respected me, he admitted that he would ban abortion if he could, essentially arguing that I am less capable of understanding what pregnancy means and the effect it would have on my life than he is. I broke up with him. I'm writing to thank you for giving me the boost I needed and to calm the nerves of the commentators who really didn't like the lie-about-pregnancy suggestion.
Love Is Finding Errors
I'm glad your anti-choice boyfriend is now your anti-choice ex, LIFE, and your letter is a good reminder to everyone who reads my column or any other advice slinger's column: It's called "advice" not "binding arbitration" for a good reason. The people who ask me for advice are free to make up their own minds. And I actively encourage everyone whose letter appears in the column to lurk in the comments and see what you have to say. Because, you know, sometimes your advice is better than mine.
Finally, a word to all the anti-choice men out there who were so hurt that I told their girlfriends – imaginary in many instances – to dump them. If you oppose abortion because you believe that "sexual choices should have consequences," as more than one of you stated (was there a form letter circulating?), then you should be able to wrap your heads around this: Political choices have consequences, too. You can choose to be anti-choice, and women can choose not to date you.
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