I’ve always gotten an odd sort of pride from the response when I tell my Democrat friends I’m Republican. They’re always so surprised. I relish the “you’re not like the rest of them” comments that I receive, and try hard to convey myself as a constitutional conservative who cares mostly for the economy and not about what people do in their free time—in other words, I was socially liberal.
I can argue both sides of the marriage debate, yet I understand it is not government’s place to tell anyone what to do with his or her life. I feel the same way about wearing seat belts. It’s a personal affront that government would dare tell me I have to take a life-saving step that affects no one except for my own body.
I represent the overshared social media image that says:
Don’t like gay marriages? Don’t get one.
Don’t like abortions? Don’t get one.
Don’t like sex? Don’t have it.
Don’t like drugs? Don’t do them.
Don’t like porn? Don’t watch it.
Don’t like alcohol? Don’t drink it.
Don’t like your rights taken away? Don’t take away someone else’s.
But social media posts like this rarely dive into the complexity that each thought conveys. You know whose rights I really don’t want to take away? Unborn children’s.
Usually I lose my “cool Republican” card once I tell people I’m pro-life. It’s even shocked some people. The coolness evaporates once I note I do not stand with Planned Parenthood.
“You don’t come across as anti-woman,” they say. “How can you have such archaic thoughts about women’s rights if you support personal rights so vehemently? PLUS, YOU’RE A WOMAN.”
As with the marriage debate, I didn’t always fall squarely onto one side. As in that case, after weighing different reasons, I decided where I stand. Unlike with marriage, though, personal events have shaped my position on abortion.
My First Planned Parenthood Visit
At 17 years old, I believed abortions should be legal. I knew I would never get one, but I didn’t want to deny a woman the right to choose. I couldn’t vote yet, but I was already forming a keen interest for politics. I knew this position went against many in the party with which I aligned, but I didn’t have to have an all-or-nothing approach to politics. I was mostly Republican, but I was also a female—so, duh.