What a Pro-Choice Woman Really Looks Like

Canada, Montreal, Portrait of young woman
Canada, Montreal, Portrait of young woman

There seems to be a carefully crafted, extremely marketable, but ultimately fictitious, idea of what a pro-choice woman looks like. A woman who believes in the ability of her fellow sex and who fight for the right for women to have control over their own bodies.

A woman who, perhaps, has found herself in stirrups, staring at the ceiling and waiting for it all to be over; cold, sad and in uncomfortable pain.

She's believed to be promiscuous to the point of unhealthy, considered "gross" or "unclean" or "dangerous" by those who do not make the same life choices or sexual decisions she does.

She has a blatant disregard for human life, to the point of indifference. She doesn't care about death or loss or pain or hurt. She's somehow oblivious to human feeling or basic emotion.

She is irresponsible, unable to take on an ounce of liability for her actions.

She is lazy and wants the easy way out of any difficult burden or unwanted circumstance.

And while this picture, so carefully and successfully painted, makes it easier for others to condemn complete strangers or condone a particularly difficult moment in another human's life;

This picture is false.

This picture does not adequately describe or appropriately paint the women of the pro-choice movement.

A pro-choice woman is confident in her decisions, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. She knows that you will never be her, or face the unique challenges she has and will face. When the world tells her she isn't capable of making specific decisions, she whispers, "Yes, I am."

A pro-choice woman is a mother, who has carried life and given birth and done both on her own terms. She has made a conscious, thought-out and well-calculated decision regarding her body and the way she wishes to use it.

A pro-choice woman is thoughtful, weighing all her options and looking inward to decide what she can and cannot handle. She is self-aware and, even when it is painful, has the courage to admit that she will not always succeed.

A pro-choice woman is a survivor. She has been the victim of sexual assault or rape, left with the psychical anguish and scientific consequences of a man's unbridled rage and want. She knows what it is like to have her body treated like a toy and, later, like an incubator. She is strong enough to say no to both.

A pro-choice woman is forgiving, realizing that scrutinizing the past cannot, and will not, change it. She is understanding while others refuse to be, empathetic toward people and the situations they sometimes find themselves in. She doesn't judge, she simply supports.

A pro-choice woman is anguished, for often times the choice she fights so valiantly to make, is a difficult one. She doesn't scoff at the verdict she inevitably reaches, or the necessary outcome that follows. It weighs on her, and that pressure is often intensified by those who want to push their own agendas and beliefs and opinions on her as well.

A pro-choice woman is strong, for she will weather the storm of verbal assault in order to gain ownership of and over her body. An ownership she, and she alone, deserves. She will stand, often silent and reserved, as others call her a murderer or a sinner or worse.

A pro-choice woman is passionate about her health and determined to take care of her body. She understands the stress and potential danger and elaborate issues her body can face in specific circumstances, and does her absolute best to be in control of her body's state, functions and continued preservation.

A pro-choice woman is misunderstood, for rarely do people take the time to listen to her unique story. Rather than look at the situation, the reasons why she believes what she believes and the reason why she decides what she decides, she is type-casted as an egocentric narcissist, thrown aside as a sub-human of little interest or impact.

A pro-choice woman is a woman you already know.

She's your mother, your daughter, your sister and your friend. She's your wife or your girlfriend or your casual lover. She's your niece or your aunt or your second cousin once removed.

She is your confidant and your companion, a person you love and respect.

She is someone you see regularly or, due to life and its callous necessities, every once in a while.

You say hello to her or greet her with a hug or lay next to her every night, thankful for her presence in your life.

And she is afraid of you.

She is afraid because she knows you think pro-choice women are promiscuous or unclean or selfish or lazy or irresponsible or indifferent.

She's afraid, because you have a specific picture in your mind of what a pro-choice woman is.

And that picture is wrong.