In the spirit of Blog for Choice Day, blogged so brilliantly by LizardBreath, why I am pro-choice:

I’m as far removed from any personal situation that would involve a practical application of pro-choice opinion as possible; I’m a gay man. Just ain’t no way never that I’m going to wind up rolling snake eyes on a pregnancy test. Despite that, choice is my #1 measure of a politician. If a politician is pro-choice then I feel pretty comfortable hearing the rest of what they have to say. If they are pro-life to the point of working to undo choice, I am pretty certain that I will be disinterested in supporting them regardless of any other plank in their platform.

Why? For a very simple, practical reason: a person cannot coherently deny women control over their own genitals for their mechanical purpose, the one such people would argue is the purpose given them by God, and at the same time respect my right to use mine for pleasure, satisfaction, emotional health or expression.

If they won’t let you control whether you give birth, they won’t let you control whether you can have fun, too.

In truth, my philosophy is (a little) more serious than that, but it’s not hard to boil it down to that (seemingly) flip point. It’s not really all that flip, though, is it? Sexual expression is arguably the most basic expression of who we are. Control over that is the most basic kind of freedom we can expect in a free society. Ditch respect for a woman’s right to control her own body and her own right to use those mechanics to express herself and you have ditched respect for any form of personhood.

There are other reasons, if I’m completely honest. Some of them are practical and seem cold and calculating: that a woman who is already among us and contributing to society is a safer bet than any baby. Some of them are subjective, anecdotal, refuted by counterexample: that in the handful of instances I know of, the lives of the women I know who have had abortions were improved by that choice.

To be completely straight with you, though, I think the debate over reproductive freedom is overdue for some honest talk about practical concerns. The right wing has been so effective at turning this into a vapors-inducing moral firestorm that even we on the left feel some obligation to dress it up in moral talk. Fuck that. Let’s throw the cold water of pragmatism in the face of all those who insist that we justify ourselves to them. In a way it makes me wish I could sit around and invent practical, amoral reasons of my own. I don’t even know what they’d be. I just wish they were out there to counterbalance all those people who don’t grasp that their moral quandry isn’t welcome on my doorstep.

If I try to dig down to the philosophical core, though, it’s just that: if they won’t let a woman use her junk how she wants, they won’t let me use mine how I want. Period. Anything else is a slippery slope.