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As a pastor, I have found that people who do not know me well enough to have asked what I think immediately assume that I am politically pro-life. I receive emails with pro-life agendas and assumptions from congregation members and neighbors and family members. I am politically pro-choice, though do not appreciate either of the terms that we use. Or perhaps it is more that I do not appreciate the assumptions that come along with both terms--that people who advocate for the pro-life agenda are opposed to choice or that people who advocate for the pro-choice agenda are opposed to life. It is rather a mixture of both. Pro-life advocates, in my experience, already realize that by the time a woman makes a choice of whether or not to go ahead with her pregnancy, she has already had to choose between whether or not to have sex and whether or not to use protection (assuming the pregnancy resulted from a consensual sexual experience). Pro-choice advocates, such as myself, do value life--and in particular, the life of the mother.

What I wish people would realize is that this is more than a theoretical debate issue with real, practical, life-long effects on all who are involved, and even on individuals who are not forced to make this decision. I wish people would ask me what I believe and how it fits into my faith as opposed to assume that my career and faith would dictate my stance on this issue. I wish people would see that life is more than just birth and that people on all sides of the debate should be held accountable for their position. Someone who votes pro-choice ought also to vote for policies and laws and programs that offer prenatal care, affordable childcare, and support to mothers and fathers who most need it. Someone who is pro-choice ought to be held accountable to making sure women are educated and supported throughout the process. They are also responsible for realizing that abortion is only one choice of many, and ought to fight for appropriate and good education of the variety of choices available to women.