A New Reminder That ‘Pro-Choice’ Is Not ‘Anti-Baby’

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Mothers, including Diane Horvath-Cosper (above), are posting intimate photos and messages on a new tumblr to show the world that pro-choice is pro-family. (Photo: Tumblr/Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice)

Following the controversial debate centering on abortion-rights advocate Ilyse Hogue, who is pregnant with twins, pro-choice group RH Reality Check has published a compelling collage of photos featuring moms and pregnant women celebrating their right to choose.

The tumblr, “Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice” was created to “offer concrete evidence of the extent to which parenthood and abortion rights are tied together,” Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check editor-in-chief writes introducing the photo series that kicked off June 11. “We are pro-choice and pregnant, pro-choice and parents, pro-choice and grandparents, aunts, uncles, adoptive, step-, and foster parents. We are pro human rights for all people, and by default, pro-child, and pro-family.” 

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(Photo: Tumblr/Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice)

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Jacobson, who contributed a shot from her son’s 1999 baby shower, tells Yahoo Parenting that presenting their supporters visually has two important benefits. “I know, and share, all the data and statistics — including the fact that 61 percent of American women who get abortions have children — but while we know that, someone can still say to Ilyse, ‘Are you kidding? Is that [pregnant stomach] real?’” she says. “So making the ‘real’ visible is an important thing.” Ditto for giving people a way to make themselves visible as part of the pro-choice majority, she says. “With this tumblr we give statistics a face and offer people an ability to communicate their own support as mothers, adoptive parents, and fathers. It also shows that people have a right to make their own decisions about reproductive health.” 

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Featuring moving stories as well as stand-alone photos, the contributions reflect the diversity of supporters’ backgrounds and family status. “I’ve had people ask me if having a child changed my feelings about abortion, or if I would no longer be an abortion provider,” writes Diane Horvath-Cosper with the photo she submitted. “If anything, the incredible responsibility of caring for my amazing daughter has made me realize that parenting should be something that is entered into willingly and (ideally) joyfully. I will continue to provide abortions for my patients because a world of wanted children is the kind of world I want my daughter to grow up in.” 

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Avital Norman Natham (Photo: Tumblr/Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice) 

“Being pregnant and becoming a mother only solidified my passion for fighting for reproductive health and abortion access for all those who need it,” posted writer Avital Norman Nathman with the photo she submitted. “Parenting should be a choice made willingly, and not something that should be forced upon anyone. Yes, becoming a parent is wonderful and special. It can also be terrifying, frustrating, and completely chaotic. Above all, it should be a conscious choice somebody is allowed to make, for the betterment of the parent, the baby, and the family.”

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Maureen Shaw (Photo: Tumblr/Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice)

She Rights founder Maureen Shaw notes simply, “THIS is a heavily #prochoice #pregnant bump,” in her caption. “Motherhood strengthens my prochoice resolve!” 

With Mara Klein Clarke’s photo, the Abortion Support Network founder adds, “…Being a parent has strengthened my belief that anyone who wants an abortion should be able to have an abortion. My daughter, when she was five, said it best. ‘Being a mommy or a daddy is a really big job. Only people who want to be mommies and daddies should be parents.’” 

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Mara Klein Clarke (Photo: Tumblr/Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice)

“We’re constantly engaged with folks in the reproductive justice community and we know that it’s extremely diverse, age-wise, economically and racially and we wanted to show that,” Jacobson explains. So she reached out to groups she’d worked with asking women to share their personal photos. “It grew from that,” she says. “This clearly hit a cord.” 

And all this sharing can only help the cause, she adds. “I know that people want to be able to express their opinions and too many feel silent. This gives them the ability to say, ‘Here I am. I believe in this movement.’” 

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(Photo: Tumblr/Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice)

The tumblr will now permanently live on RH Reality Check’s website. “We hope that it will continue to help raise consciousness,” says Jacobson. “I don’t think that one tumblr is going to change the world,” she continues, “but I do think that the aggregate of the evidenced-based information, great work of our advocates, and the fact that we’re now being more articulate, visible, and vocal about the rights of individuals to determine their own lives, can help break down the stigma and barriers to abortion and reproductive health care.”

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