Womens Issues

An Open Letter to All Those Who Call Themselves Pro-Life

…including my best friend.


I can easily point out the day, date and time when I started calling myself a feminist. Two years ago I read a newspaper article about how a fourteen-year-old girl had been raped and then denied an abortion. This story angered me, it gave me shivers to know that I live in a world where people so casually deny women the right to their own bodies. It was at that moment that I decided I was a feminist, and that I hated people who wanted to take away my rights and give it to a fetus who was using my body to survive without my consent.

An Open Letter to All Those Who Call Themselves Pro-Life

From that point on, I lived under a canopy of my staunch belief that people who are anti-choice do not deserve my respect. It is so easy to fold your arms across your chest and pass judgement in your mind, dividing people into two groups: for/love and against/hate. The people who do not agree with something you passionately believe in go on the side of people you detest and the ones who agree with you become your new best friends.

Then something unexpected happened. I found out that my best friend was against abortions.

She was against women having bodily autonomy and having a right to decide what they wish to do with their own bodies. This news both vexed and confused me. This was the person who always stood by me, even when I made terrible mistakes. The person who was my very first friend on my first day of elementary school. The person who would commiserate with me after each bad date.

An Open Letter to All Those Who Call Themselves Pro-Life

We now stood on the opposite side of one my biggest battlegrounds. How could I simply drop this person into one of the well-divided sides in my mind? I couldn’t.

She called herself ‘pro-life’ for a reason. She was against abortion for a reason. And I hadn’t realized that everyone had a life experience, beyond what I could superficially see, that created the path to their current beliefs. When my best friend’s mother had a miscarriage, she lost her unborn sister, whom she had already started to love. I have never gone through anything like this, but I can see how it could change a person’s opinion about things.

I am feverishly against people dictating what I should do with my life. So how can I expect someone else to do what I want them to and to believe in what I think is right?

We can learn something priceless from everyone if we’re open to it. Because of my best friend’s story, I learned the power of acceptance and respect. I learned to respect the people who held beliefs that did a poor job of aligning with mine — as long as their views aren’t based on fear or hatred. I learned to ask, and learn from, the question: why?

It is because of the existence of contrasting people that the world can paint beautiful, abstract images of life. I know it’s a cliché, but life is truly lived in the gray. I do not want a world where symmetry is the only route to a good life, I do not want a world like Paris under Napoleon III. I want a world where we all can have our opinions heard, and where we all can paint the pictures of our choice.

So here are a few words to my best friend, and all those who call themselves pro-life: I respect your belief and I hope you respect mine too.

Avatar of Paakhi Bhatnagar

Paakhi lives in the United Arab Emirates and is an avid reader of historical fiction. She is a passionate feminist and blogs about politics and feminist issues. She likes to listen to music and document her life in a series of journals she will probably never show to anyone.

Reader Discussion: 89 Comments

  1. Avatar of Ada Bates

    Ada Bates

    Honestly, I’m pro-choice all the way. The government shouldn’t regulate women’s bodies.

  2. Avatar of Mona Barker

    Mona Barker

    Abortion is wrong! Women have the right to do what they want with their body, not an innocent child’s body. And that’s mine opinion and you can’t hate me for that just like I don’t hate you just because you are pro-life.

  3. Avatar of Anne Knotts

    Anne Knotts

    People need to mind their own business. If you want to get an abortion then get. If you don’t want to get an abortion then don’t. Simple, problem solved.

  4. Avatar of Elizabeth Gonzalez

    Elizabeth Gonzalez

    I think women should have the freedom to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The impact a newborn to women life who is unprepared to be a mom is so important that it can literally destroy her life, her career and offer a very poor chance at life to the baby itself.

  5. Avatar of Connie Schmidt

    Connie Schmidt

    Both the people whether they believe in pro-choice or they are anti-pro-choice they have their opinions and set of believes and we don’t have the right to either judge them or hate them for it

  6. Avatar of Esther Devine

    Esther Devine

    Why do we even hate each other for having different options? A women’s ability to choose whether to have a child or not should not depend on the opinion of the majority. It is no one else’s business! It’s their body. If it’s not yours, then you have no say in the decision.

  7. Avatar of Brittany West

    Brittany West

    We as an anti-pro-life supporter should teach women how to prevent undated pregnancies instead of shouting out “don’t kill a living thing”, and how wrong and shameful it is. Shaming people for their choices is not going to help anyone.

  8. Avatar of Deanna Woods

    Deanna Woods

    RIP to the little innocent humans our society will never hear the opinions of.

    • Avatar of Gulie


      I would think twice before I bring another human being into today’s “society”.

  9. Avatar of Roe Merry

    I agree that abortion is immoral, it’s devastating that this soon to be humans have to be killed before birth, but I’m pro-choice. As we’ve seen with drugs, illegalizing things don’t stop them, it just makes it more dangerous. Just like how drug addicts overdose and die because they can’t get help without risk of arrest. pregnant women who can’t afford a child can’t go through the pregnancy, and don’t want to subject it to the adoption system, will still find a way to get an adoption. I’ve heard stories of women having their uterus scraped out with a broken clothes hanger. So many women used to die before safe abortion was legalized. It’s just not worth risking already-born women’s lives, for the life of some cell growing into a fetus.

    • Avatar of Genie Mackenzie

      Genie Mackenzie

      We are all pro-choice. you have 4 fucking choices. Abstinence, prevention, , and motherhood. The fact that someone came and said “if you pay me I’ll kill that life growing inside of you” and it became okay is fucking disgusting!!

      • Avatar of M


        Rape victims don’t get the luxury of those choices. They should be forced to suffer a pregnancy to term? You’re thinking that it’s a mere contrivance, but it’s a real issue. Not to mention that people who use contraception still have unexpected pregnancies.

  10. Avatar of Hachi Komatsu

    Hachi Komatsu

    There is no point in hating people that are anti-pro-life, everybody has their own set of believes just like you have yours. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Load 10 more comments

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.

All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.