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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Would you date someone whose politics on reproductive choice conflicted with yours? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Would you date someone whose politics on reproductive choice conflicted with yours?
plain milyeh
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thanks for that detailed response to my question, heather. lots of good points.

i think i just have a problem with the way the term "pro-life" is used. i guess i just don't see choice and life as oppositey things where you have to pick one? personally, i'm in favour of both choice and life, most of the time. life is definitely better when i'm actually choosing to live it, as opposed to simply happening to not be dead. and when it comes right down to it, choosing quantity of life over quality is just...peculiar.

i guess when it comes right down to it, though, i would have a hard time dating somebody at either extreme on this issue, because i don't think there's ever an acceptable reason to pressure a woman into having an abortion, either.

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Heather
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I think you're perhaps mistaking what pro-choice means.

It means supportive of ALL reproductive choices. It doesn't mean pro-abortion, or in favor of abortion to the exclusion of anything else, and someone pressuring a woman into having an abortion would in fact, be acting in an anti-choice manner, and that is something very much NOT supported by the pro-choice platfrom as a political platform and concept.

(This is some of why "pro-life" isn't a particularly helpful phrase. from what I can gather historically-speaking, it was never meant to be, because in some respects, it was meant to present women's reproductive choice and the legistlation of same as if it were a bipolar issue that was merely those who oppose abortion and those who applaud it, which is fallacious. These issues aren't about that: it's about if a person does or does not support every women's right to make her own reproductive choices, of those we have available which are medically safe. Many pro-choice women are personally not in favor of abortion -- but that's irrelevant, because what they're supporting isn't abortion, or adoption or childbirth, but a woman's right to make her own choices for her own body, and recognizing that one women's personal feelings on HER choices should not legistlate what another women feels is best for her.)

As well, the pro-choice platform isn't about dictating any others women's choices, period: it's about working to create or protect every women's right to make her own reproductive choices.

[ 03-06-2007, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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plain milyeh
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i understand what both terms mean politically, i just get frustrated by the way the terms are (in my opinion) misused, in particular pro-life.

i know what pro-choice is *supposed* to be about, but that doesn't change the fact that i can name specific incidences where i think the "pro-choice" viewpoint has been skewed to actually damage women's autonomy, much as there are obvious cases where a "pro-life" stance has been damaging to life.

i'm definitely pro-choice, and i definitely think the times when that term is misused are far outweighed by the times i see "pro-life" being misused, but i'm pretty picky about the way words get used in general, especially when it is over something so serious.

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Heather
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I think we can safely assume, from the OP and this discussion, that this is simaply about dating someone whose ideas/politics on reproductive choice are in conflict with your own.

So, I don't think we really need to argue about the terminology people use here or get into that discussion, okay?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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summergoddess
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No, I would not date someone who was not supportive of my reproduction beliefs. I want to do what I wish to do. Simple as that.

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~Jules

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-Lauren-
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There's a vast difference between differing stances and what one would actually do in a situation themselves IMO. For example, both my sis and her bf were strongly opposed to parenting before she got pregnant; once it happened for real, their stance changed entirely, and they have a 9 month old. So, it can be sort of hard to predict.

Ultimately, though, a partner's input can and does influence one's choice, such as in cases they're not prepared financially/emotionally to parent, is emotionally upset by the thought of adoption etc, so I think being on somewhat the same page is important.

[ 03-07-2007, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]

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plain milyeh
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sorry if i was leading things off-topic. my point was just that i think there's a lot of difference in the ways different people use the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice", and as much as it annoys me when people convolute the meanings of these terms, my decision about dating somebody would have to be based on a detailed understanding of their *specific* views, not just what term they applied to themselves.
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Emmz89
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I think that a prospective partner's alignment on the issue of reproductive choice would, for me, hinge on how dedicated to the idea of being anti-abortion was for them, and, once that certain point is reached, to consider whether a sexual experience that resulted in a pregnancy would result in conflict between me and said prospective partner.

I am fairly used to being the most extreme liberal around, and am fully pro-choice, but I am currently in the midst of a long-term, committed relationship with none other than a conservative. While he says he finds abortion "disgusting," he is actually pro-choice because he is more Libertarian than anything else and is willing to let anyone do pretty much anything. And we have actually had the conversation in which he has admitted that if we had sex and I became pregnant, he would suggest abortion because we both do NOT want a kid right now and he would not want me to have to go through pregnacy just to give it up for adoption.

Funnily enough, the massive differences between our political views (at least in relation to economic and political philosophy) is a source of humor instead of contention for us. He calls me a flaming hippy communist, and I get to call him a heartless conservative bastard. (This is joking, I promise!) We like to make fun of each other (all in jest), and things have worked out surprisingly well. So, because his dislike for abortion is NOT his calling in life (as it is for some anti-abortion people), we have really had no problem with it and our political differences in other areas only help to bring us together.

....I guess what I'm trying to say is, you'd be surprised how someone with very different views can be very compatible! Just keep in mind that he's not HARDCORE for any one thing--and in others, that might become a source of contention if you don't agree with that. I like to make sure of the levels of dedication to an ideal before I determine how I feel about that person's viewpoint.

[ 03-08-2007, 10:29 PM: Message edited by: Emmz89 ]

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bluefreak44
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I don't think I could date someone who was pro-choice (although I don't think my husband would appreciate me dating at all, lol).

But that's because I'm pro-life, so if I were to become pregnant, I would want to carry the pregnancy anyway, regardless of his opinion. The ultimate choice WOULD be up to me, because I would chose to keep the pregnancy.

I would just feel uncomfortable if I found out I was pregnant and my husband suggested (since we're not particularly financially stable at the time--I'm a semester away from graduation so still in college) abortion as an option. It's just something that's that important to me (as it seems to be to those who are pro-choice as well).

I also feel conflicted over the terms pro-life and anti-choice. Anti-choice just makes it seem like I think women should have no say; we should all be barefoot and pregnant and all that jazz. But when I call myself pro-life, others get offended. So I just don't know what to call myself. If I explained my stance in every single post where this came up, I'd have to type at least a paragraph every time.

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dailicious
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Bluefreak, part of the reason the term "anti-choice" is sometimes seen is because there ARE those who believe that every pregnancy should be carried to term, and that a woman has no other choice except to do this and raise the child herself; and sadly, there are still those who believe women really don't have much other purpose in life except for rearing children.

No one is really pro-abortion; those who are pro-choice just feel that at the current time it needs to remain a legal, accessible option. All women should have the choice and option to carry a pregnancy to term, raise the child, give the child up for adoption, or to abort if this is the best option for them at the time.

I'd like to believe that any man who was pro-choice, were you to become pregnant, would follow suit of being pro-choice and ask YOU what you want to do with your pregnancy and support YOU in that decision you made for your body. Or even if he asked about the possibility of abortion, if you were to tell him, "Abortion is something I do not feel comfortable with or wish to consider for myself." he'd drop it there, because again, it your choice and your body and your pregnancy, not his! [Smile]

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Heather
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quote:
The ultimate choice WOULD be up to me, because I would chose to keep the pregnancy.
FYI, you've just described the barest bones of what pro-choice is here. Part of the whole platfrom of respectaing a WOMAN'S right to choose is no one -- not her partner, not anyone -- second-guessing her choice or lobbying for anything other than her choice. It's about exactly this: partners, parents, doctors, communities, everyone, giving that woman an unalienable right to autonomy over the whole of her body, including her reproductive system.

Pro-life and anti-choice both, to boil them down as barely as I can for you, mean any given person or org think women should not have that right, and that they, as anyone BUT that one pregnant woman, making her own choices, should have a right to make it for her, or to force her to make the choice THEY want her to.

So, again, some of determining this for yourself is realizing that these platforms aren't about what YOU would want for YOURself: rather, about what you want for ALL women.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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I probably couldn't date someone with different political or religious beliefs than me (I'm an atheist and very liberal) simply because if the relationship were to get serious, we would end up arguing too much I think. I definitely couldn't date a guy that was racist or sexist. Big NO.
The way that I realized my boyfriend's level of commitment to me was when he said that should the need arise, he would pay for an abortion. I never felt such great relief as when he told me that. He's said before that he wants to have kids though, but years from now when we both have our degrees and steady jobs.

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