We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.

pro choice

You're six weeks pregnant. That means six weeks ago an egg and a sperm met, did the happy dance together, and got the baby ball rolling in your uterus, right?


Pregnancy weeks are measured in a strange way, but it appears to be the most consistent method of measurement considering the varied reality of menstruation. (A 28-day cycle between periods is common, but many women have longer or shorter cycles, and some have totally irregular ones.)

A Twitter thread from NBC News's Ginger Gibson explains that pregnancy is measured from the first day of a woman's last period, which is generally approximately two weeks before an egg would ever get a chance to meet a sperm.

So technically speaking, in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, there is no actual pregnancy. Weird, right? But that's how the "XX weeks pregnant" calculation works.

Three weeks is generally the earliest that the actual pregnancy (meaning a fertilized egg being implanted in the uterus) would exist, since pregnancy is calculated retroactively to the first day of the last period.

And at three weeks, you wouldn't know you were pregnant. Neither would an at-home pregnancy test.

At four weeks, you might notice your period is late. Then again, you might not, because some people bleed even when they're pregnant. Also, periods can be few days late or irregular for a whole host of reasons.

At this point, a pregnancy test might tell you you're pregnant.

However, a 2018 study found that the average woman in the U.S. detects pregnancy at 5.5 weeks, and many don't know they're pregnant until after six weeks. Texas's abortion ban would maybe give people two weeks after finding out they're pregnant to make a decision, but likely much less time.

So Texas Governor Greg Abbott's assertion that the law "provides at least 6 weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion" (in response to a question asking why he would force a victim of rape or incest to carry a pregnancy that stems from sexual assault) is categorically false. You can't make a decision about something you don't even know exists, and it's virtually impossible for the average person to know they are pregnant until they are already at least four weeks along.

What's stunning is that this is just *one* *very basic* misunderstanding of how pregnancy works among a host of others that have been shared by people who are hot on legislating pregnancy. If someone misunderstands the basics this badly, what business do they have making laws about it?

Calling a pro-choice person a "murderer" is a sadly common inflammatory insult hurled by pro-birthers. In true medical terms, terminating an embryo is terminating a multicellular diploid eukaryotic organism, not murdering a person. Nonetheless, people still invoke images of infanticide in order to demonize people advocating for reproductive health care access. Normalizing a debate around whether abortion is murder has only further stigmatized the very real existential threats women face without birth control and safe abortion access.

A recent screenshot posted on the Murdered by Words subreddit showed a heated exchange between a pro-choicer and the pro-birth person who called them an advocate for murder.

Screenshot via Reddit

The pro-choicer ignored the initial insult of "murderer" and continued the conversation by grilling the pro-birther about how they intend to help build a world where people can healthily raise children.

The response read:

"What happens next? Once you have succeeded in your quest to stop the termination of a pregnancy - disregarding the circumstances for why the woman or couple wants to terminate (failed birth control, rape, lack of financial stability, unsuitable environment, domestic violence, mental health issues, lack of employment, medical issues, lack of comprehensive sexual education) - what happens next?"
"Who pays for the prenatal or postnatal care? Surely not a couple working a minimum wage who can barely afford their rent. Who provides healthcare and funds medical bills for a single woman with no place to live? Or a married couple who struggle to afford the children they already have? Who assists the millions of children in foster care, still waiting to be adopted? Who helps them when they hit the street at 18 with no money or life skills?"

Will you and your ilk - the self-proclaimed 'pro-life' community help to fund comprehensive sexual education for teens? How about access to affordable birth control? Why not promote a vasectomy as a viable option for men who don't want children? How about funding scientific research so men can have more birth control options than just condoms? Is your community going to help pay for healthcare and education costs? Once you have succeeded in stopping the termination of a pregnancy, what role will you have in ensuring a quality of life for the foetus you so desperately wanted to save?"

The pro-birther simply responded by claiming it's the parents' responsibility, which ushered in a final call out of the hypocrisy of many factions of the pro-life movement.

The pro-choicer's rebuttal ended with a bang, calling out all the ways the pro-birth community fails to support life after conception:

"And there's the money shot. Here's a wakeup call - you don't get to come into my inbox and shit all over my Sunday with your over-inflated Messiah complex with your Facebook profile filled with delusions of superiority declaring yourself to be on the side of "life." when in reality your compassion stops just inside the vaginal canal."
"Don't embarrass yourself and pretend that you give a flying fuck about what happens once a foetus is born, or about the people who aren't equipped to raise them. Don't pretend you give a shit about children when you aren't prepared to do a damn thing about the millions of struggling families on welfare, or the millions of children in foster care."

Don't pretend you give a shit about life, when you would rather just sit by and smugly proclaim women should 'close their legs' because it's less energy to do so than it is to lobby for resources that would make it easier for people to become parents. Go away."

Suffice it to say, the pro-birther had no rebuttal after that.

This article originally appeared on SomeeCards. You can read it here.

Many parents feel hesitant to bring up the topic of abortion with their kids.

But considering that abortion isn't covered in school sex-ed classes, avoiding it leaves kids to the task of learning on their own from the internet, TV, or billboards — all littered with anti-choice propaganda and misinformation.

Talking to kids about abortion can be hard. Most of us have our own personal feelings about abortion, and many of us have our own experiences with the procedure.

But untangling abortion facts from abortion politics is important in order to help de-stigmatize a necessary medical procedure. And shattering stigma can have a profound effect on our children's future health and their ability to access certain forms of medical care.

Some parents shared how they discuss abortion with their kids. Here is what they had to say:

1. Talk about abortion as one possible outcome of pregnancy.

Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist is a member of the Tucson Abortion Support Collective in Tucson, Arizona. Sarah's oldest child was 8 when she started discussing abortion with him. When he responded, aghast, and asked if abortion was “killing babies,” she regretting having waited so long to start the conversation.

“We now talk about abortion as one possible outcome of a pregnancy,” says Sarah, “And we talk about some of the statistics — that one in three women will have an abortion in her reproductive life, and that the majority of people who have abortions are already parents — to emphasize that abortion is a normal part of life and a decision that many people will choose to make.”

Sarah explains the different ways that people can feel about their pregnancies, and she tells her kids that it's okay if it feels weird for them to think about abortion.

She tells them, "I know you remember when I was pregnant and how happy we were, and how we talked about our fetus as our baby. That was our experience, but it isn't everyone's experience, and it's our job to support people to make their own decisions about what is best for their lives."

2. Talk about the reasons people might terminate their pregnancies.

Rachel C. from Denver says, “Basically, I explained it as a woman could be pregnant and for whatever reason need not to be. Maybe she's sick. Maybe she isn't ready to be a mother. Maybe the fetus is very sick. So she can have an abortion.”

Nekole S. from Seattle reminds her girls (8 and 12 years old) that it takes a lot to raise a baby. “They also know my dad didn’t really stick around and they know some of the implications of that.”

Nekole says that personalizing it can help kids understand and relate to reasons a person might have an abortion.

Rachel adds that she reminds her kids that it's important to let pregnant people choose what they need to do to keep mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy — and that not everyone wants to do that, which is why it's so important.

“We talked about how some people don't want [abortion] to be an option,” says Rachel.

3. Talk about why the choice is important.

“My discussions with my kids haven't been because I needed an abortion myself, but because in this age they have been exposed to the idea pretty young,” says Grace A.

When Grace began to consider talking about abortion with her kids, she remembered a story from her childhood, Watership Down, that helped her understand the concept of abortion when she was a child.

“In the book, the rabbits explain re-absorption of litters into the doe's body as a gift from "Lord Frith," fulfillment of a promise made to Elahrairah the rabbit prince that no rabbit would ever be born into conditions that were not good for it (lack of food for the warren, overcrowding, sick mother, hunters close by).”

Grace used that story to explain to her kids how pregnant anythings could choose not to bring little ones into a bad situation and that we should trust that the pregnant person knows best.

4. Nerd out on the science of it.

Nekole loves to talk about the science of reproduction whenever she talks to her girls about pregnancy and birth control. She talks about the cells and how they multiply and divide, the sperm and where it comes from, and the egg and where it comes from.

When she talks about fetal development, that's when she brings up abortion. Nekole had an abortion at five weeks, and she's openly discussed it with her girls, explaining exactly what was taken out of her uterus at that stage of her pregnancy.

“I think what’s helpful is I know how I think/feel about it, so the narrative is always the same whenever we visit it,” Nekole says.

Since her abortion was the result of an unplanned pregnancy, she also uses that story to illustrate the importance of always using protection.

“My story is that I got pregnant having unprotected sex when I was still bleeding, so it's a nice segway into condoms no matter what,” she says.

5. Talk about what happens during an abortion.

When Samantha D.'s daughter was six, Samantha's friend stayed with them at their Pittsburgh home when her friend was having an abortion.

Her daughter asked lots of questions, like why their friend wasn't feeling well. Samantha's friend said that it was okay to discuss what was happening and so she was able to tell her daughter about what happens during an abortion while she observed someone experiencing one.

Sam let her daughter lead with questions, and she answered accordingly. “She asked if there was a baby in her right now, and I told her that the sperm and egg had combined, but it was not growing into a baby anymore because my friend had taken medicine to stop that process,” says Sam.

Sam's daughter seemed to understand, and Sam says she was very considerate of her friend’s comfort. “She even acted as a mini doula by serving things to her, asking her about how she was doing, keeping quiet and generally calm in her presence, and relaxing with her to keep her company as she rested.”

Ultimately, Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist says, talking to kids early and often about abortion is much bigger than a conversation about a medical procedure.

She says it's part of a bigger narrative of talking to them about the importance of autonomy, consent, and choice. And the earlier it's discussed, the healthier kids' attitudes and understanding of abortion will be.

This story originally appeared on Ravishly and is reprinted with permission. More from Ravishly:

It's been 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, but somehow, the fight over abortion rages on today.

Far from the settled subject one might be led to believe, abortion remains a contentious issue and a driving force in politics. As president, Donald Trump has led the fight against abortion rights, appointing a number of extremist anti-choice judges to federal courts and delivering remarks at the anti-choice "March for Life."

Still, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal — a 2017 Pew survey found that 57% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in "all or most cases," with just 16% of those polled saying they believe it should be made illegal.

Abortion rights demonstrators marched through New York in 1977. Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images.

Roe v. Wade marked an important milestone in reproductive health, and pro-choice groups and individuals took to social media to celebrate the occasion.

Planned Parenthood highlighted the fact that the case was argued by then-27-year-old Sarah Weddington, who made history as the youngest person to argue a successful Supreme Court case.

The Center for Reproductive Rights shared a video highlighting the fight for reproductive justice and sharing the stories of individuals who've had abortions.

The most heartfelt tweets, however, were those from individuals.

Writers Maureen Shaw and Jessica Valenti opened up about their abortions.

Author Jennifer Wright joked about the Trump administration's recent anti-trans and anti-abortion "moral objections" policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. More seriously, she offered her thoughts on what an abortion "might make possible" for those who need it.

NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue dropped a hard truth: Criminalizing abortions doesn't eliminate them; it only makes them more dangerous.

Others called out the Trump administration's hypocrisy, noting that self-described "small government" politicians had a tendency to be a little too interested in micromanaging what someone does with their uterus, or made the (very reasonable) suggestion that we base public policy on things like science.

Others pointed to some underappreciated aspects of legal abortion: In some cases, it's life-saving.

When writer Mary Elizabeth Williams was diagnosed with cancer, she had to sign a consent form acknowledging that if she became pregnant, she would need to stop treatment.

"I also used birth control, of course, but nothing is foolproof, and rape sometimes happens, too," she wrote in a Twitter direct message. "For what it's worth, any other time in my life, any, I'd found myself pregnant, I would have continued with it ... But leave my kids without a mom or have an abortion? That would have been a no-brainer."

The truth is, as many pointed out, that reproductive health care (including abortion) is health care.

You wouldn't think this would be a controversial thing to say, but you'd be wrong (which is why it's so important to say it).

"Every child should be a wanted child," another Twitter user added. "Every parent should be a willing parent."

Writer and editor Evette Dionne correctly pointed out that "political attacks on abortion are intimately connected to a lack of access to contraception, sex education, and government assistance."

"It is a means of shaming the poor, particularly poor women of color," she added. "We will not go back."

As long as abortion rights are under attack, it's important that we amplify the voices of reproductive justice.

We may be 45 years into the fight, but it's far from over.

An abortion rights demonstrator holds a sign outside the Supreme Court. Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.