Why I support the Reproductive Rights Coalition

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Abortion is complicated. There are so many reasons that can bring a woman to an abortion clinic and those reasons are no one’s business but hers. In the time I have spent as a clinic escort or defender, I have talked to families who very much want a child, but feel that they are
overwhelmed with other life events. I have talked to couples who were told that the child
wouldn’t live until birth. I have talked to very young women coming to the clinic and women
who already have children to care for. What I have seen is that abortion is complicated – just as
people’s lives are complicated.

I believe that women should have freedom to make choices about their lives. Women should be
able to decide whether they want to finish high school and if they want to go to college. Women should have the chance to find work that they enjoy and find meaningful. And women should to be able to decide for themselves, when, how and with whom they wish to have children. Obviously, life is unpredictable for everyone, to some extent. But in our country we make women’s lives even more unpredictable. Lack of insurance and financial resources prevent many women from having access to the most effective forms of birth control. In many communities we don’t provide adequate sex education. And one out of every six women is raped at some point in her life. All of these problems make it unsurprising that almost half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned pregnancies.

I do not believe that a woman should be forced to have a child she does not want or feel able to care for. Even under the best of circumstances, motherhood is hard work, and the maternal
mortality rate is higher in our country than in any other developed country. How is it right to
force a woman to unwillingly accept the risk of dying to give birth to a child she does not want
or cannot care for? Raising a child takes a great deal of physical and emotional energy, as well
as significant financial resources, but our country does little to help low-income families with
housing, food or child care.  How is it right to force a woman to give birth to children we are
unwilling to help her care for?  

I believe that imposing motherhood on a woman who does not welcome it is wrong for the future child as well. How is it right to force a child to be born an unwanted burden rather than a
joyfully anticipated gift? Women with unplanned pregnancies are far less likely to receive
adequate prenatal care. Research has shown that children who result from unplanned
pregnancies have higher rates of low birth weight, are more likely to have developmental delays and are more likely to enter the foster care system -- which brings a higher risk of teen
pregnancy, delinquency and prison. In this context, how is it right to force a woman to bring an
unwanted child into this world when we as a country aren’t willing to do all we can to provide
that child with what it needs to have a happy and successful life?

I believe that the right to physical autonomy is a fundamental human right. Access to safe and
legal abortions is a necessary part of that right. And that is why I volunteer with the
Reproductive Rights Coalition.

- Brooke Adams