• Janice Selbie

FROM ANTI-CHOICE TO PRO-REPRODUCTIVE SOVEREIGNTY


*Actual picture of me as a self-righteous, anti-choice, religious ignoramus*


As a Christian woman, I considered myself 100% "PRO-LIFE." I went so far as to protest abortions being offered at the local hospital where I worked and felt proud to be standing on the side of righteousness with my young teen daughter and other members of her youth group, condeming the "slaughter of the innocents."



Coming from a privileged position as a married Caucasian Christian woman, I rejected the notion that women should have a say in their own reproductive abilities. While I wholeheartedly embraced capital punishment as biblical justice, I also felt that "no human should have the right to kill another" by way of abortion.

Naiive, conflicted, brainwashed by religion, and blind to reality all accurately describe the person I was then.

10 YEARS LATER:

I had divorced my husband, divorced my religion, and done a complete reversal regarding abortion. Why?

  • BECAUSE ABORTION IS HEALTHCARE.

  • Because women deserve the choice of whether to have their lives upended by pregnancy.

  • Because it is deplorable to force a female to give birth to a human she does not want and often cannot afford.

  • Because bodily autonomy is the most basic of all.

  • and because I despise the thought of black market babies being sold through Christian adoption agencies.


Let's pause there for a moment.


Christians are quick to shout that "Adoption is the best option" when it comes to unwanted pregnancy, regardless of how the pregnancy came about.

It is long past time to consider the child forced into an unwelcome situation, placed in a family of (often rabidly religious) strangers. Christians view adoption as a way to expand God's Kingdom which, to me, echoes the situation of enslaved African people who had no choice but to live with their purchasers and embrace Christianity... or else.


Often denied access to information about their own history, even including significant medical information,

adoptees are expected to "just be thankful to be rescued by such loving parents."

What's wrong with adoption? It turns out, some babies are simply taken from their birth mothers due to poverty. Others, especially from developing or third world nations, are kidnapped and sold to adoptive parents who don't know that the child already had a loving family.


Christians have been greatly encouraged to adopt as a "compassionate" option to abortion.

But what is life like for those who look decidedly different from their adoptive families? What is it like to know that your birth mother gave you away - and you are not permitted to mourn the loss of your own history? We must also ask:

What is it like to feel rejected by your family of origin and then rejected again by your adoptive Christian family when you no longer adhere to their religious beliefs?

I know this is a prickly and uncomfortable topic, but it is one that must be discussed - especially in a time when Christians are actively forcing females to give birth, regardless of their own desire or circumstance. I recommend this article as a starting point for learning more: https://newrepublic.com/article/127311/trouble-christian-adoption-movement as well as the book The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption (both by Kathryn Joyce). This topic will be discussed in depth next year at CORT2023 (Conference on Religious Trauma).


Now, as a more mature human capable of empathy and freed from religious tyranny, I stand with those who support female reproductive sovereignty.



Some females require abortions to save their own life. Some do not want to be forced to carry on with an unviable pregnancy. Some females have been raped, by strangers or family, and they do not want to prolong their trauma by being reminded of it every single minute of the next 9 months. Some women do not want the financial burden of a raising a child on their own. Some women do not want their lives and careers sidelined by a pregnancy. Whatever their reason,

ALL WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN REPRODUCTIVE CARE!


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