By Carson Wright
On Monday morning, I stepped out onto the Dallas Hall Lawn and couldn’t believe my eyes. Thousands of crosses. An incredible sight. What for?
I took a closer look and read the signs accompanying them — and learned that this was a pro-life demonstration. The instant I learned this, I knew I wanted to respond. Not with an attack, but with an honest counterargument.[pullquote align=”full” cite=”OPINION: Shame should not be part of pro-life dialogue” link=”http://www.smudailycampus.com/opinion/shame-should-not-be-a-part-of-the-pro-life-dialogue” color=”#034174″ size=”14″][/pullquote]
So, I filmed my counterargument and posted it online that night. The next day, it had over 20,000 views. Wednesday, 80,000. Today, more than 100,000. The response has been incredible — but not without its difficulties.
Many people who disagree with me have resorted not to addressing the actual issues raised but exploiting the wording of my argument. Words are put in my mouth; I’m accused of telling women that in order to be successful, they must have an abortion. I never said that, and I don’t believe it. I hope you don’t, either. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion, but rather the acknowledgment that women have bodily autonomy and no one can force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.
In the video, I briefly mention mental illness. Again, those who disagree have tried to twist my words and insinuate that I’ve told women to abort any fetus that has a detectable underdevelopment, or any fetus that could ever possibly fall ill when born. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I list underdevelopment — of any kind, mental or physical — as a possible reason that a woman might want an abortion, among many other reasons.
But through all the attempts to misconstrue my message, I have received an overwhelmingly supportive and loving response, both from people on campus and from total strangers online. I don’t have the words to thank people for this amazing response. In the midst of this incredible and exciting reaction, I want to say that it’s not about me. It’s about us. It’s about human rights. I encourage everyone to speak up and speak out against the effort to take away a woman’s right to choose.
There are many women who can have children and accomplish amazing things in life, such as a college degree or an impressive career. The President of “Students for Life of America,” who responded to my video with one of her own, seemed to think that I didn’t know this. I do, because my mother is one of those women.
She raised my sister and I after going to college, getting an education, and being an actress — one of the most difficult industries for women. However, not every woman is able to do what my mother did. Not every woman, every family, is as fortunate. Not every woman is given the opportunities or privilege needed to make it happen. And that is why I am pro-choice.
I’ll say it again: pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Pro-choice is saying, “your body is not my body, your life is not my life, your experiences are not my experiences, and I respect that.”
Watch the video here.