What the abortion debate is really about

“Are you pro-choice or pro-life?”

I got asked that question by a voter again the other night.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear me say:

I reject this line of questioning.


The abortion debate is not about “babies”

I love babies. I’ve had two of my own. I’ve cuddled my grand-baby. Hand me a baby and I get all melty and start making goofy noises and funny faces.

Babies are bouncing little balls of joy, even when they are stinky and have strained peas dribbling down their chins. Babies are alive, lively, lovely little human beings.

Babies have been BORN.

Babies need safe housing, good healthcare, healthy food to eat, clean water and air, good public education from cradle to career, quality childcare and economic opportunity for their caregivers.

When they grow up, these babies still need all those things PLUS they need accurate information about their own bodies, including WHERE BABIES COME FROM, and how to control if and when to have babies of their own.

In other words, BABIES need all the things that most “pro-life” politicians are doing their best to make sure they never have.

The real agenda

So, you see, the abortion conversation isn’t really about BABIES.

Abortion is a medical procedure that allows doctors – for a variety of reasons – to remove the cells that are forming inside a uterus before those cells become babies.

The political “debate” over the medical procedure called abortion is not about babies. It is a cover for the real agenda, which is controlling the bodies of women.

Now, I know there are some folks out there who disagree with the scientific and the medical community and who, for religious reasons, really believe that abortion is ending the life of a human. As a theologian who knows her Bible inside-and-out and who has studied church history, it’s my view that anti-scientific views on abortion have been manufactured by patriarchal religious leaders who think sex is bad, and that women are the source of all evil and must be controlled. Nevertheless, I respect your right to have that opinion and, if you really believe it then, by all means, don’t have an abortion.

As the governor of Arizona, however, I can’t let you impose your religious views on everybody else. That’s one of the most American values there is. (Here’s my policy on the separation of religion and state.)

So, am I pro-choice or pro-life? I am pro-human.

As governor, I will do everything in my power to protect and defend the rights of all the human beings in our state.

For the sake of this discussion, that begins with the right to have comprehensive reproduction education and health care, including the right to end a pregnancy.

Nothing is more basic or more essential to freedom than the right to make decisions about my own body.

That’s a value most Arizonans share.

“Pro-life” politicians want to control women’s bodies. Let’s stop letting them control the narrative, too.