Fetal ultrasound image
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My initial reaction to Roe v. Wade being overturned was silence.

I consider myself pro-life and pro-choice. Both women and unborn children have rights: a right to choose for herself, a right to life.

I don’t believe the government — in any form — should have say over a woman’s body. That’s been our narrative for too long.

However, my opposition to abortion strikes at something deep. I used to think my faith was the reason I opposed it. But it’s deeper than faith.

Abortion can be traumatizing for the mother. After the zygote is removed, the mother is left bleeding, and the unborn life is ended before it can even begin.

Once a zygote has formed, with all 46 chromosomes, it has its own genetic make-up — its own DNA. In my opinion, that makes them a real human being.

Abortion is the willful intent to end life, which, according to most, equates to murder. We can use clinical terms to clean it up, but it’s not unlike someone on death row being given the needle. I feel it is equivalent to state-sanctioned murder.

Our country and politics have normalized abortion as a choice for women to make based on their own desires. But we aren’t as vocal about the need for sexual responsibility — to use contraceptives, for example.

In the future, when I talk to my daughter about sex, I will tell her abortion is only an option if her life depends on it.

I will stress to her the importance of sexual protection and conversations about safe sex with her partner. She’ll know about birth control and its various ramifications. And I will remind her the importance of abstinence until she meets a partner with whom she trusts to make family planning decisions.

I plan to give her every piece of wisdom my friends and I didn’t receive.

I hope people read this and understand there is a lot of complexity to this conversation. Legitimate reasons to terminate pregnancies do exist, but other reasons are not legitimate. Some people are simply ridding themselves of a future problem or responsibility for no good reason.

Either way, this is a delicate issue that requires a balancing act when discussing. I cannot ever say that my thoughts are the right ones, nor will I ever attempt to make a choice for another woman.

I know what works for me and me alone.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

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Tatiana M. Baker

Tatiana M. Baker is a writer and mixed-race Black mother incarcerated in Washington. She hopes to free herself and her children from generational traumas, and to advocate for other young mothers who have suffered from domestic violence. She is currently enrolled in a bachelors degree program in liberal arts at the University of Puget Sound.