I am a strong supporter
of increasing the availability of abortion clinics and methods.
Being Asian American and Buddhist, my family's culture and
religion neither prohibit nor denounce abortion. As a result,
I grew up in a pro-choice family. I personally do not feel
that a fetus is a living thing until it is able to survive
on its own outside a woman's body. At any rate, a woman's
body is the receptacle in which it grows, therefore the decision
to allow it to grow must be up to the woman. Our society is
uncomfortable with the power of women to play god. But as
a woman, I find this attitude entirely irrelevant. Echoing
the old feminist slogan, "My Body - My Right," it
really doesn't matter what the world feels about a woman's
right to abort. A woman will do if she wants, no matter what.
The sooner society can accept this, the sooner we can go on
with the business of keeping women healthy and happy. We certainly
When I got pregnant at 25, I found it difficult to find a
convenient abortion clinic. The entrance to one of the largest
and most popular clinics in New York City was situated in
what looked like a side entrance to a warehouse! Had I not
gotten specific directions from the receptionist, I would
have altogether missed it. Inside the clinic I saw a sea of
women - many teenagers, some heart-wrenchingly young. It was
disturbing to see such a large group of women who waited agonizing
hours to be herded into the operating room like cattle. Amazingly,
the outside of the clinic did not betray the chaos within.
The women who entered did so discreetly and anonymously. On
their faces, I saw the burden of shame and guilt. But I did
not share those feelings.
As a pregnant 25-year-old, I found myself victimized by the
conservative forces of our society that struggles to limit
my reproductive control. Not only was the abortion difficult
to obtain, it was also ridiculously tarnished in an aura of
shame. I suppose Americans would be shocked by the ease in
which European and Chinese women receive abortions and control
their own reproductive health, but I am sure these women would
also shocked by our antiquated attitudes towards family planning.
more stories -- share your story
Read On The Issues Magazine online for all the latest news and discussion about feminism