Today is Blog for Choice day. While there is a question that has been put out by prochoicers for us to answer, the antis have come up with what they consider a clever "come back" in which they ask "What is choice?"
Well, why not answer that straight off the bat?
Definitions of choice on the Web:
* the act of choosing or selecting; "your choice of colors was unfortunate"; "you can take your pick"
When I say I support choice, that means I support each individual woman's ability to make a decision (after being informed of risks/benefits) about how she is going to responsibly care for her pregnancy.
When she first becomes pregnant, that usually means she is choosing between having an abortion and giving birth. If she chooses to have an abortion, then she gets to make a decision whether she wants to have a medical or a surgical abortion. She gets to choose the safest clinic setting for her (I would like to see there be no Hyde amendment forcing women into clinics like Gosnell's) and has someone she trusts to provide whatever she needs (driving, food, hugs, whatever).
If she chooses to carry to term, then she gets to make a decision about whether she wants to use a midwife or an OB/GYN. She chooses between a homebirth, hospital birth and birthing center. She chooses whether to have an all natural birth, whether to use an epidural, whether to be induced.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, if she has chosen to carry to term, she must make a decision about whether she wants to keep the infant after birth or give it up for adoption. If she chooses adoption, she gets to decide if she wants an open or closed adoption. She gets to choose which adoptive family her child will become a part of. If she chooses to raise the infant herself, she gets to choose her parenting style: will she breastfeed, co-sleep or babywear?
Of course, there are also choices to be made before a woman becomes pregnant. She has to choose what type of contraceptive (and I include abstinence among them) she wants to use, for instance.
As you can see, choice is about so many different things. But in the end, it really all comes down to supporting one thing: Trusting women to make the best decisions for themselves and their families when they're fully informed of all the risks and benefits associated with the possible options. This is Choice.