Until recently, i had honestly never really thought about why i was pro-choice. I just was. it kind of comes with the 'liberal starter kit.' i didn't really question it; it seemed synonymous in my mind with personal freedom. 'A woman should choose what she does with her own body.' That's the way i looked at it. I believed the stereotype about pro-lifers: religious zealots threatening violence upon abortion doctors and brandishing tasteless photos of dismembered fetuses.
'Her body, her choice' was my battle cry. However, I now realize that it is not only her body she is acting upon, but the body of another human being. the fact that life begins at conception is an irrefutable scientific one, and has nothing to do with religion. Besides which, by the time a pregnancy can be detected by the standard tests, the fetus already has a heartbeat. Whatever its level (or lack) of consciousness, its capacity to feel pain, or its dependent status on its own mother, the fetus is a human being, and it is NEVER okay to kill another human being, unless he or she is endangering your life or the life of another. Period. So, i do believe a woman has a choice, but that choice ends at conception.
This is only touching on the issue, but i just realized i didn't answer your question: 'how did you become pro-life?' well, to be quite frank it started with looking at photographs. We have a tendency to believe the 'blob of tissue' lie, when in fact a fetus is fully formed at ten or eleven weeks and from then on only grows in size. Even a six week old fetus has hands and feet and all the major human characteristics. It is not a 'bundle of cells' anymore than you or i are.
But i didn't want to be swayed by an emotional appeal (i.e., pictures of dead babies) so i did some research, mostly using medical textbooks and websites. And the only conclusion I could arrive at, based on the science, was that a fetus--even an embryo--is a living human being, however 'rudimentary,' and deserves 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' just as much the rest of us.
Like i said, this is only touching on the issue, but i hope that sort of answers your question. oh, and i consider myself a 'feminist' because I think one of the major underlying problems with society today--the problem that causes women to feel they have no other choice but to kill their unborn children--is that the institution of motherhood has gone from being a trap, as it often was up until the women's movement, to being a badge of shame, a sign that one is uneducated or unambitious or lacking in self-respect. I'm a feminist because i feel this issue is pressing.
Example: a college student gets pregnant. Her boyfriend says, 'i'll pay for an abortion, but i'm not paying child support.' First of all, when you have sex with someone, even if you are using birth control, you are engaging in an act that can lead to a baby. (My mom was using a condom when she became pregnant with my twin brothers.) So unless you are you willing to face that eventuality, don't have sex.
But back to our college student scenario: already this boyfriend has shirked his responsibility and placed a burden on the woman, which is acceptable nowadays because of the legality of abortion. (This brings up another issue, of how abortion reinforces the idea of women as objects to be used; interesting that one of the major contributors to the pro-choice movement is playboy.) Then, this girl looks around and realizes that childcare costs $6,000 a year, that there is none available on her campus even if she could afford it, and that her medical insurance doesn't include maternity leave. This supposedly empowering 'right to choose' abortion becomes an 'obligation to choose' abortion. She sees no other way.
So she goes to her local planned parenthood. they tell her it is a 'simple procedure' and 'she won't feel a thing' and 'no, it's not too far along' and the 'fetus can't feel pain' and it's 'just a blob of tissue.' They are careful not to allow her to view the ultrasound, and they DEFINITELY don't let her hear the heartbeat, which is already audible at eighteen days gestation. They don't tell her about the link between abortion and breast cancer, or that her 'empowering' choice may very well leave her with a lifetime of regret and guilt. Both the woman and the child are victims of the abortion industry.
So we need a society in which employers offer maternity leave and childcare assistance, where men, besides being 'forced' to pay child support, are educated--along with women--about the fact that condoms and birth control are not foolproof. We live in a culture of contraception, where a child is looked at as a 'mistake,' while in reality the mistake is sleeping with someone you don't want to have a child with. Sex leads to reproduction. It's a natural fact. That's what our bodies do, and that's why we have to go to such great lengths to avoid reproducing.
The fact that so many women kill their unborn children contributes to a culture of violence. A nation that allows abortion has an identity of aggression. In America, we don't have much of a history because we're an infant, as nations go. All we really have is the fact that we're the biggest and baddest and best. Liberals in general abhor this stance, and stand up for the oppressed and the weak, for criminals who are going to be executed and for civilians of 'enemy' countries, and yet when it comes to the most innocent of all human beings, the unborn, they buy into a 'might makes right' philosophy that allows one person--a mother--the power of life and death over her child. We shouldn't allow anyone to kill another simply because that person is dependent upon them.
Besides, we have laws in place now that allow a woman to drop her baby off at any fire department, emergency room or police station and leave it there, anonymously. And infants of all races--especially newborns--do not wait to get adopted. in fact, there are hundreds of thousands of couples on waiting lists dying to get their hands on babies, and every minute over a hundred more get scrambled and sucked out of their mothers' wombs, the one place on earth where they are supposed to be safe and warm and protected.
The right to life is the most basic right we have. It is first in line: 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' and this should apply to everyone, even our very youngest and most vulnerable, even our physically and mentally disabled. No woman should have the right to kill her child, just as no government should have the right to kill its innocent citizens, just as no war is worth the death of innocent civilians. Until we learn to respect all life, our country will know true peace or prosperity.