I am Pro-Women and Pro-Moral Agency

Mark White
3 min readJun 27, 2022

My entire life, both personally and professionally, I have been surrounded by bright, capable, strong, and worthy women. All of them lived their lives considering the needs of others and making personal sacrifices to promote others’ well-being.

All of them are/were more than their reproductive capabilities and all are/were able to make moral choices.

I am not pro-abortion; the violence of the act is deeply unsettling to me. I do not wish, nor do I know anyone who does, that there were more abortions.

However, I do not find the term pro-choice adequate. Instead, I am pro-women and pro-moral agency.

When a child is conceived, the lives and moral agency of three entities become intertwined.

As a society, I think we must be careful and deliberate in deciding how and when to privilege the rights of any one of the three. I believe we also need to be very cautious about who we give the power to make those decisions.

Over the last couple of years, state legislators have proposed draconian and vile policies that mandate how we should prioritize the lives and moral agency of the three parties involved. All of them privilege the rights of the fetus, and often the father, while discounting the life and moral agency of the mother. I also see that as violent.

If as a society we want to reduce the number of abortions, then we need to (at a minimum): (a) make contraception free and readily available, (b) provide free prenatal, natal, and postnatal care, © begin collecting child support from fathers as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant, (d) provide substantial child care and preschool subsidies, or support to women who do not want to access these services outside the home, and (e) offer relevant educational and workforce training to women to ensure they can provide for their children. Then, conversations about the rights and needs of the fetus versus those of the woman (and the father) will exist on a more balanced playing field. Then, I would argue, that we are being pro-life, not just pro-birth.

If we completely ban abortion, then we are telling women their moral agency, their intellect, and their well-being do not matter. They are nothing more than fetal hosts, and we do not trust their ability to make rational and moral decisions (just as in the past we did not trust them to vote, balance work and family, or hold political office). This is deeply offensive to…

Mark White

Aspiring LDS Christian, antiracist, and LBGTQ+ ally. Husband, father, Grampy. Professor. Hiker. Reader.