Blogging For Choice
Today is Blog For Choice Day, so that’s what I’m going to do. My best friend, an avid advocate for women’s reproductive rights, sent me an email alerting me to Blog For Choice Day and I’m so glad that she did. The right of women to have complete, unfettered control over our reproductive destiny is paramount to a just society. We are human beings with hopes and dreams, talents and visions for our future and never should we be reduced to baby making machines.
Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon, suggested that those of us Blogging For Choice today should tell our personal story of why we are pro-choice. My story may not be that compelling, but here it goes.
I have never had an abortion. I have been pregnant twice in my life, both planned pregnancies and both resulted in beautiful, healthy children born into a stable two-parent household, but I would be stupid to believe that that is the norm. Life isn’t a nice, tidy experience and shit happens. I credit my lack of an unwanted pregnancy to luck and my anal retentive tendencies in equal measure.
Having grown up with a single mother, I knew how hard that prospect was and from the time of my first sexual experience at 15, I was terrified of getting pregnant. Not terrified enough to fight my raging hormones and choose abstinence over the ecstasy that was sex back then, but terrified enough to get on birth control pills before my first time and take them each day religiously. But, even with the pill, I was convinced every other month or so that I was pregnant and the relief I felt each time I turned out not to be, was overwhelming and had more to do with the abortion I avoided than the prospect of a choice I would have to make. I always knew I would have an abortion if I got pregnant at that time, I was just lucky enough to never have it turn out that way.
The closest I ever really came to having an abortion was when my daughter was nine months old. I was still breastfeeding so my periods were all whacky and having just been pregnant, I thought I knew the signs and I thought for sure I was pregnant again. I was devastated. I was exhausted from taking care of my daughter, we were struggling financially and I was stretched to the limit with what I had on my plate and I just knew another child at that point would very likely send me over the edge. I was already having fantasies of running away (mostly involving checking into a hotel and just sleeping!) and another pregnancy (I hated being pregnant) and another child to take care of would have sent me packing for sure. As I sat in the clinic, waiting for the results of my pregnancy test with my baby on my lap, I was prepared to make an appointment for an abortion immediately if the test came back positive. But my luck kicked in again and my test was negative. Another dodged bullet.
I didn’t have any moral qualms with abortion, I still don’t, but nonetheless, I wasn’t exactly eager to have the experience either. For me, it wouldn’t have been making a choice so much as availing myself of the medical options available to me. Abortions are safe and legal in this country, safer in fact than carrying a child to term, and thank goodness for that. Thank goodness we are evolved enough as a society to provide women with the whole range of medical options and allow women the right of self-determination. Not all of us are mothers and not all of us mothers should mother children we don’t want. Some can, but some simply can’t, and we have the right to make that choice for ourselves. We are women not future mothers! Some of us are both, but not all of us are, and even those of us that choose to be both have the right to order our lives in whatever way we see fit. Only a devolving society would take that right away.