>Blog for Choice DayMy uterus, although not functional, is very clever. It understands that any political candidate who does not respect it does not, on a fundamental level, respect me. I do not vote for anyone who thinks that I am not a person capable of making personal decisions based on my values, life situation, goals, and desires.

Over the years, I discovered something very interesting. So-called "pro-life" politicians - who love telling me that their religious morals are superior to mine - don't actually have much understanding or respect for life. First, they seem to believe that pregnancy is something that a woman just does for a little while with absolutely no consequences. They don't seem to understand that pregnancy is devastating to a woman's body. At the very least, the changes in hormone levels affect everything from how a woman feels to how she thinks. Pregnancy can cause everything from nausea to swollen ankles to diabetes. It can force a woman who needs to work to not be able to perform her job, putting her (and her family) at economic risk. And while less common today than in the past, pregnancy can kill a woman. For someone who wants to have a child, these risks are willingly accepted. But to force a woman to endanger her health and possibly life is unreasonable and shows that a politician could care less about the lives of actual women.

On a second level, "pro-life" politicians have suspicious disregard for what it takes to keep a person alive after they are born. Life is not being born and then you are done. Life is sustained at the most basic level through food, shelter, and clothing. Yet "pro-life" politicians are the ones leading the charge to cut support for affordable housing, for heating assistance, and for food stamps. Forget health insurance. It seems that kids with health issues like asthma don't actually need inhalers to help them breathe. It's ironic that someone who claims to care so much for life couldn't care less if a baby starved to death, had chronic untreated health issues, or had no where safe to live.

Beyond the basics to support life, there are the elements of life that give it true meaning beyond mere survival. Oddly enough, "pro-life" politicians don't seem to support aspects of life that make us human. Where's the support for early childhood education? The money to equalize the playing field in elementary and high school education? For financial aid to help low-income kids go to college? Hmmm....

"Pro-life" politicians are not pro-life at all, but merely anti-self-determination. The fact is that politicians who understand the need to legal and accessible abortion are also the same ones who support programs that truly are pro-life. They respect individual decision-making, sex ed programs that help people make informed decisions that prevent unintended pregnancies, and go an extra mile to provide life-saving public programs that in the long run, might actually discourage abortion by providing a safety net for families and children. Pro-choice politicians also recognize that as a woman, I have a right to life, too.

(Go one step beyond voting for pro-choice candidates and tell them to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal Medicaid funds from paying for abortion services. Today, on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, show your support for accessible abortion by signing the "Hyde-30 Years is Enough! petition. Legal abortion is critical for all women, but useless to those who can't afford the procedure. My uterus thanks your support.)