On being a woman in the USA.

Nobody Likes Abortion, Dammit

This will be a bit of a rant rather than a well-constructed article. You have been warned. Love ya!

Straw Feminists. Scawy!

Ok, so, I’m really effing sick of people purposely reframing “pro-choice” to mean “pro-abortion.” In the past week or so, I’ve seen those of us who fight for choice referred to as not only “pro-abortion,” but as “abortion advocates.” Who are these creatures who walk the land espousing the virtues of abortion?” I asked. “I’ve lived half a century, and I haven’t met a single one.” And no one could point me to any. Talk about your Straw Feminists.

Yes, I’m pro-choice. No, I am not pro-abortion. I do not advocate for abortion. I would never tell someone to have an abortion unless I thought that not doing so might kill them. I don’t think it’s something that should be entered into lightly. I believe there should be science-based limitations on when and how abortions can be performed. (I certainly don’t  believe that a doctor should be allowed to kill a baby that survives a “botched abortion” — WTF, is that really a thing?) Yes, I know there are people who will judge a person evil if they claim to be “pro-life.” I’m not one of them–I get that some people actually believe abortion is murder. If I believed that, you can bet I’d be out there doing something about it. It makes me wonder how many on the right truly believe this in their hearts; why aren’t they taking to the street by the millions protesting all these dead babies? Why is this more of a political issue than a social one for them? I sincerely don’t get it.

This is the scene that had me sobbing like a sobbing thing.

Also, I’d have to turn myself in to the police, because I have had an abortion. I’m not sure I did it for the right reasons, but I do know that I was not in a position to provide for another child, and I believe that it happened so early in the pregnancy that  it was not a baby, but a potential baby. And yet, that potential haunts me. Partly because I’m a mother and I know what it’s like to take a pregnancy through to term and give birth. And partly because I have a vivid imagination and can picture what that potential might have become. I’m sad about it sometimes, and I wish I’d been able to choose differently, because it turns out that was my last chance to have another baby. Sometimes the thought of that makes me cry. Sometimes (like, for some reason, when I watched Juno) I cry a lot. But none of this sadness or crying is about the idea of killing my child; I don’t believe that I did. I terminated a pregnancy in the first trimester, and to me, that is not murder.

But there is the potential, and there is the sadness. A few years ago I had a hysterectomy to eliminate the menstrual/ovulatory pain I’d lived with all of my teen/adult life. At that point, I still could have chosen to have a baby. I chose not to. I had what they called the “Blue Plate Special,” which means they took the works (uterus and ovaries). All those eggs…each of them was a potential life, too. Did my surgeon and I conspire to commit mass murder? No. No more than I did when I used birth control to prevent those eggs from becoming fertilized. No more than a man does when he pleasures himself or spills his seed into a spermicide-coated condom.

No, the sadness is about what might have been, but don’t discount it: it’s very, very real and once a woman chooses abortion, it can live within her for the rest of her life. Some might not like me pointing that out, but it’s true whether you like it or not. However, sometimes it’s the best solution to a difficult problem. Sometimes the condom breaks. Sometimes the pill fails. And if you don’t believe that the moment when sperm meets egg is tantamount to a lightning strike from God installing a soul and consciousness in that magical moment, well, then it’s simply not murder. I get that some believe that it is, and that drawing the line anywhere else is arbitrary. I just don’t agree.

All of the above.

And yet, here I am advocating not for abortion, but for options. Women must be allowed the option to choose not to carry a child. Women must not be forced to carry children in their bodies against their will. This seems so basic to me.

And another thing: Like voter fraud, I think the problem of sex-crazed women eschewing condoms for the convenience of their local abortion clinic is a made-up problem. Voter fraud almost never happens, and let me state this for the record: ABORTION IS NOT CONVENIENT OR FUN. If you’re a woman, ask yourself how convenient and fun a pap-smear is, and how often you’d opt for the super-invasive, painful, surgical version over actual birth control. If you’re a man and you’re completely grossed out by the preceding sentence, ask yourself the same question.

Ok, done ranting. I’d love to hear what you think.

10 responses

  1. Pingback: Abortion.. every Woman’s right to Choose. « The Free

  2. You’ve all said just about everything I can imagine myself saying or feel inspired to say. I just wanted to say thank you, to Rosie, and to all of you who participated in this discussion. Abortion is an issue I have very mixed feelings about. But that’s just it, we all do. And that’s ok. At the end of the day, it’s about having the right to choose what is right for you. Not what is right for anybody else or their personal or political agenda.

    Thank you for your comments! I really enjoyed reading them and find myself in a new place of comfort about my pro-life/pro-choice stance. “…making Mother Nature the biggest abortionist of all.” Never thought about it that way. But hell, the body rejecting implantation or miscarrying, is this “natural” abortion? Are all those “potential” babies who don’t reach term every day all over the world our lost children and suffering some horrible loss because we couldn’t provide a healthy body and womb, ready to take on pregnancy? Are we neglecting to hold funerals for these children? What if a woman doesn’t take good care of her body and therefore is technically at fault for a miscarriage, or multiple miscarriages–is she a murderer? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, and yet, but “pro-lifer” right-wing logic, this seems entirely rational.

    Its a grey area, and that’s ok. Let’s just take care of ourselves and teach our children to be healthy and responsible humans.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:29 pm

  3. Fish Out of Water

    When the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the woman, then we are just incubators. Thank you for writing this. If only more people could see it this clearly.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm

  4. I agree so hard with all of this. And if I have to hear one more time about the mythical 39th week abortion, I’m going to scream.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:56 am

  5. Pat MacEwen

    I don’t believe pro-life men will ever bother to read this. It is, after all, by a woman, and we apparently are not real people to them. Somehow our opinions don’t count. Neither does science, which has clearly shown how many fertilized eggs (roughly 50%) never even implant, making Mother Nature the biggest abortionist of all.

    What really drives me mad, however, are the pro-life types who ALSO don’t want to let women have birth control, or kids to have real sex education, thereby guaranteeing the need for ever MORE abortions.

    This whole thing isn’t really a rational argument. It’s based on a longing for “the good old days” when the good old days were not that great. I lost an aunt to a botched abortion and I’ve seen what did to her husband and kids. I will not go back to that. If they really do manage to undo Roe v. Wade, I will do whatever it takes to help girls in trouble.

    September 3, 2012 at 2:58 am

  6. I’m really glad that you’ve posted this. I’ve been thinking a lot of the same things lately, as I see people frothing at the mouth over women using abortions as “birth control”. To which I say…really? You’re using an invasive, expensive process instead of condoms or a pill? People act like these women don’t even stop to think about what they’re doing…they just run into the clinic, kill their baby, then run out. It’s a line of thinking that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny at all…but, if you don’t question it, it stokes some very primal emotions, which I think is why people use it.

    I’ve never been pregnant. I decided a long time ago that children weren’t going to be an option for me. As a result, I’m not entirely sure where I stand on abortion. But because of that, I am vehemently in favor of a woman’s ability to choose. Who am I to say what’s wrong or right for her? Who am I to judge her circumstances? It’s not my body. It’s not my life. I don’t have to bear the consequences or the public scrutiny. It’s not any of my fucking business.

    There are also a lot of people who are anti-abortion because they hate “irresponsible sluts” who act like life is worth nothing at all, again going back to the abortion as birth control argument. Nobody (besides me) ever seems to mention or think about the man’s role in the situation. It’s not exactly like us wimminz can close our eyes and wish ourselves pregnant. Somebody’s dick had to get excited with itself, too, and whether people like to admit it or not, that dick is attached to a brain…a brain that has just as much responsibility to practice safe sex as the woman does. Where’s his punishment? Where are his restrictions? Etc., etc.

    Also, I see you enjoyed the Straw Feminists comic. =D I’m glad.

    September 3, 2012 at 2:47 am

  7. Sharon

    Thank you. Although many of us who’ve had abortions wouldn’t have prefered it that way, neither do we prefer to be vilified and demonized for making a difficult decision. I am pro-life, but also pro-choice, because like you I don’t believe that any woman would choose abortion as a birth control method. While I prefer not to make my history public, I do feel a responsibility if not a guilt sometimes for not taking to the streets and helping to put another face to the pro-life but also pro-choice women……we look just like the rest of the women out there.

    September 3, 2012 at 2:30 am

  8. Thank you. I just wanted you to know that you’ve written for me, and I’m grateful.

    September 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm

  9. I agree with your “rant”. I’ve always been pro choice. Even before it became a heated political issue. It should always be a woman’s right to have that choice. It’s her body. It is not owned by the government and it is NOT live stock like some think it is. I had 4 “natural” abortions, as my doctors called them. I miscarried. Four times! It was like abortions, it happened because my body could not hold the fetus. Does that make me a murderer 4x over? I think not. All the talk about abortion being a crime, is a crime. When a woman gets raped, or she is on the verge of losing her life she shouldn’t have to worry about being arrested on top of the drama she has all ready endured. And people wonder why women who have been violated don’t report it! Sorry about the mini rant.

    September 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm

  10. If more “Pro-Life” people really allowed themselves to imagine the personal realities of abortion on women apart from the political currency aspects, would they really believe there are women who swan off and have one at the drop of a hat (or pair of knickers, perhaps)?

    I feel sorry for people who live in very, very small models of the world, in which things just ARE certain ways, and there’s no looking back (or forward, or to the side…) without falling off.”My chosen authority said it, I bought it, that settles it.” If that world model grows small enough, you find people picking up rifles and stalking doctors. Why do you suppose you never, ever hear of pro-choice people shooting pro-life people? Possibly because their worlds contain choices. Just a thought.

    September 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

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