I Can’t Stay Quiet

I am working on speaking up when I feel a need. I often think I don’t have anything to say that isn’t being said better by others or that it isn’t my place to speak up. I bought myself a domain and I enjoy writing so I need to get over this.

I have known I believe strongly in the idea that abortions should not only be legal but be accessible since I was a teenager. I was raped when I was sixteen (the first sexual intercourse for me) and was terrified I could be pregnant. I did not want to face the rape and that trauma and a pregnancy would definitely have complicated my ability to deny reality as a coping strategy.

When I was pregnant with my first child I wondered if I would change my thoughts on abortion. I have seen many women for whom that is true. Pregnancy and becoming a mother have moved some women to become adamantly anti-abortion. That was not the result for me. Pregnancy was not enjoyable for me. I had morning sickness for many months. With the first one I threw up more in the first trimester than I had done in the prior twenty-eight years of my life. And it didn’t end when I made it to the second trimester. After she was born I was more strong pro-choice than I had been previously. I believed no one should be forced to go through that.

If I were to get pregnant now it would horrify me and an abortion would most definitely be an option I would consider. We have two children (the only two pregnancies I have ever had – to the best of my knowledge as there are pregnancies that end in miscarriage before the person is even aware they are pregnant – and both were wanted and planned because I have been very lucky) and they are 15 and 12. To have a baby now would be so completely life changing I can’t even imagine it. And I am forty five years old. The chances of issues with the pregnancy or the baby get higher every day.

I support the idea of adoption but I don’t believe that is the right answer for everyone. Pregnancy and childbirth can be quite hard on a woman. Nine full months is a surprisingly long time to have your body not really be your body. And, in a case like my hypothetical pregnancy, the chances of adoption of a baby with quite possible health issues would not be fabulous. (Which doesn’t even get at all of the many young children out there without families and homes who are not being adopted.)

We also do a terrible job of caring for pregnant people in this country. With the maternal mortality rate what it is in this country pregnancy can be far too dangerous to be forced on anyone. This is even more true for women of color. (My mom, a nurse, didn’t want to know when I went into labor. She didn’t want to know until the baby had safely arrived. She is far too aware of the statistics.)

Without perfectly reliable and completely accessible birth control, abortion is a necessary medical procedure.

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