I was raised in an evangelically (born-again) Christian home. As such, I had very definite ideas about abortion. I considered myself Pro-Life, I wore a shirt that said “It’s a Child, Not a Choice,” etc. I was subjected to horror stories about botched abortions (sometimes pictures were included). I believed (and still do) that life begins at conception. I still consider myself an evangelical Christian; I attend church regularly and am active within my congregation. My beliefs have not changed, but my views on abortion have.
I am the mother of three small children, all of whom I will tell you were also conscious choices. I chose (on all three occasions) to conceive my children. I find “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice” to be inadequate labels. I find them polarizing and over-simplified. Growing up, I assumed that anyone who was Pro-Choice wanted to kill babies willy-nilly. At 34, I understand that is not the case at all. I could go on a tirade about how the Right has adopted the Pro-Life cause just to say that the Left is the de facto Babykiller Party, but I won’t. I don’t like the idea that babies are being aborted.
I do, however, think that women should be allowed the choice. Women who came before me worked to give me the chance to vote, to own property, etc. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been granted. I firmly believe, though, that this is a man’s world. Men don’t know the first thing about being a woman. Older, wealthy, white men with fabulous health benefits are not the best people to decide about whether or not I should be able to terminate my pregnancy.
Let me be clear. Even on days when I find poop on the ceiling in my kids’ bedroom, I can’t imagine not wanting them. My heart mourns for every child that doesn’t get a chance to go to dance class or see the ocean. Our family has struggled just paying for the birth of my youngest child. This is with my husband being employed and having health benefits. I cannot fathom, though, choosing to end my son’s life. I have friends who have had abortions and their hearts are still broken. I also know friends struggling with infertility who will lambast me for writing this, saying that there are so many families that want to adopt these children. That may be, but ultimately women need to choose what’s right for them, not what’s right for older, wealthy white men.
This blog entry may offend some readers; that is not my intention. I hope it sparks some good discussions. A girlfriend of mine had a bumper sticker once that read “Keep Abortions Legal, Safe, and Rare.” I couldn’t agree more.