The current conversation surrounding the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade has been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks. I’ve tried to stay clear of political issues on here thus far, but I would argue that anyone’s right to bodily autonomy isn’t something that should be debated or determined by politics. So, excuse me while I dip my toe into these infuriatingly controversial waters.
I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools for my entire education. Admittedly, the high school through college years were much less doctrine-focused. However, for the first decade or so of my life, most of what I knew about abortion was from the Pro-Life perspective. It was a black-and-white issue, meaning Pro-Life was good and Pro-Choice was bad. There were no other sides.
Today, I find myself on the other side of this ideological line. It turns out that taking a broader look at a complex issue leads to some individual thought and in some cases an educated opinion.
I’m sharing this, not to trash any religious institution but as a reminder that we are all products of where we come from, and that is something we have no control over. We’re born into this tiny sliver of the world, and that is literally all we know.
For some, that sliver is expanded, and their knowledge broadened. They get to see beyond their own existence. For others, their world stays the same. Which path any of us ends up on comes down to a crazy combination of both chance and choice.
It’s very easy to vilify those who do not think the way we do. To simply write them off as undereducated or misinformed. Expecting others to meet us where we are at instead of the other way around is missing the point.
Perhaps I’m overly naive, but I believe that given the right circumstances and the opportunity for open dialogue, both sides of this debate would find they have more common ground than the angry, talking heads would suggest.
I think that there are well-intentioned and genuinely good people on all sides of this discussion. They aren’t necessarily the loudest or most visible. They are the ones who will question not just your beliefs but their own.
There aren’t any easy answers to the issues we’re currently facing, but I do think our best way forward is simple. We have to listen, not to the loudest or most assertive, but to the ones who are willing to do the same.
Be Kind. Be Brave. Stay Awkward.