Monday, January 22, 2007
Blog for Choice Day
Got my blog for choice e-mail just now.
The question is, "Why are you pro-choice?"
The obvious, simple answer is, no matter how I feel about abortion, I don't have the right to dictate what another person does with her body.
That's what it comes down to, doesn't it?
I'm currently having gynecological issues, not related to pregnancy - ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and the new Birth Control, 12 weeks on the hormone, one off. I'm on week 11, and in considerable pain and dealing with some scary breakthrough issues.
Right now, if I were to get pregnant, I would have an abortion.
I'm in no physical condition to go through pregnancy - it's hell on a healthy woman, with my history, no, just no.
I'm just going to free associate on abortion and pro-choice as my pain medication and valium kick in. (Another reason why I should have a baby, all these chemicals, what fun!)
I like the "Safe, rare, and legal" ideology about abortion. Safety and legality go hand-in-hand, if it's legal, it's got codes and regulations to follow.
The rare, on the other hand, is hard to come by.
Yes, total abstinence is the only way to 100% protect against pregnancy and STDs.
But birth control and protection do a good job. However, they often allow single people to have sex without nasty physical consequences, so they're sinful.
My sister turned 16 today, and I ran some of the abstinence-only education by her. She recently got back into church (Methodist) and she thinks it's all bull. Telling kids don't have sex, but if you do, use a condom or will turn all teenagers into sex-crazed fiends, even more so than we are now.
Absitinence-only is pushed by the anti-choice crowd, which doesn't make sense. You think if they wanted less abortions, they'd want less pregnancies, but they just want less sex, especially for women.
You know how you hear about this pharmacist refusing to give out emergency contraceptives for women, you never hear about them saying, "Wait, young man, you're not married, why do you need condoms. I'm not selling this to you."
Same with Viagra. If it went over the counter (it won't, the side effects are too dangerous for unregulated use), there'd be no issue about its sale.
I've been on birth control, on and off, for about a year. Since then, I've had sex with 500 men, haven't gone to school, what else am I supposed to do with my time?
Ha, no, I was put on the BC for the hormones - if we can regulate those, maybe we can keep the crippling pain of the cysts under control, or at least know when they'll hit.
The big thing about today for me is not Roe vs. Wade's anniversary, but my sister's 16th birthday. My little sister. Who won't have sex til she's at least 50 and Mom and Dad are both dead.
Speaking of my Dad and sex, oh em effing gee, on my 18th birthday, he told mom that he wanted to talk to Becky about something important, but she had to leave the table before he'd say what. (Smokey Bones, great barbecue.) So she left.
Chastity. It was hard to keep a straight face, because he's on his 4th wife, and chastity was never a goal for him. It was so funny, and so sad, because that's his version of the talk? Some chastity brochures and stickers from a Catholic bookstore? (And, "Black boys don't want to be your friends, they only want to have sex with you.") The brochures were a trip, if people didn't take them seriously.
I like what I saw on Grounded for Life yesterday - the kids signed a chastity pledge at school (Catholic school) and Lily's dad scares her boyfriend with tales of hell, so he won't even touch her anymore, so Lilly decides it's time for marriage, then the nun comes over and says, stop, you horny idiots. That pledge is a joke, you should aspire to chastity and abstinence, you won't go to hell if you have sex before getting married.
Back to abortion - the big issue is you're killing something/it's a clump of cells. I think the date most doctors use is fine, and probably the best indicator we can use of when life begins.
A woman should not have to go through pregnancy and childbirth if she does not want to, if she can't for financial reasons, adoption is an option, yes, but there are so many children waiting still.
My mom knew one person (a roommate back when she was in the Navy) who used abortion as birth control. No, really. That is disturbing on every single level imaginable, but it is her right. Well, was, this was 20 years ago.
Another thing from the anti-choice crowd (often conservative republicans) - once the baby comes out of the womb, it still needs care, so does the Mom. What's the saying? Life begins at conception, it doesn't end at birth. Help the mother raise this baby... good schools, good food, good pay, good childcare, good healthcare for mom and babe... but that costs money, and it's her fault for having the kid in the first place, blah blah blah.
Okay, what I want to get to.
Today is my sister's birthday.
I don't know what her views on abortion are - you don't hear of many methodist clinic bombers, so I think she may be rational about it.
Last week, I asked my mom, did the thought of an abortion ever cross your mind when you learned you were pregnant with either of us?
Her answer was no, because she never knew anything about it, it never entered her mind, and besides, Frankie wouldn't want her to have an abortion of his kid - Every sperm is sacred.
I told her that I think I would have considered it with Becky. This will kill her, because she can't see that it's not about her, it's about the situation.
If I had been in my mother's shoes, I would have aborted the second pregnancy as soon as possible and divorced his cheating, lying ass. Why? Well, Frankie had a vasectomy after Kaitlyn was born, for one thing. The other thing, before she became pregnant with Becky, she tried to get birth control (probably to reregulate her hormones - her family is mess when it comes to hormones) through DEERS after leaving the military. As Frankie's dependent wife.
Well, he already had one. "She never signed the papers!"
We were in Italy.
He shred all her papers and told her to go to a friend's house and then get back to the states, otherwise he'd get in trouble. So she sat in Rome, without her passport, this stupid American. They pointed machine guns at her! Luckily, her family came through.
I wouldn't have gone back, but if I did, that could have been the final straw - I wouldn't want any more ties to the man, I'd want out.
But there were so many mitigating factors... Mom grew up in New Mexico. Born in Roswell, then they moved to Edgewood, which still has more peacocks than people. (It's getting a Wal-Mart soon, they'll probably end up buying her mom's property.)
Her dad died when she was 12.
Her mom remarried fast, she had 6 kids to take care of, a job as a nurse, and no insurance, no money.
So maybe my mom never got the chance to learn that you can live by yourself, you don't need a husband. She married my dad (the first time, but not the legal time) 2 weeks after she turned 22.
She never got a chance to talk with her mom like I talk with her today. Her only option after high school was stay in Edgewood or join the military like her older brothers. Or get married, like her older sister. My mom did both!
Thinking of my mom's life and the choices she never got to truly make, makes me even more pro-choice. But more importantly, it shows me the importance of open, frank dialogue between parents and children. It shows me the importance of comprehensive sexual education. It shows me the importance of education, period. It shows me the importance of choice, of freedom.
I will be limited by my health in what I can do. (Hello, insurance prices?) But I won't be tied down to a marriage before I'm ready.
I won't force my body through pregnancy before I'm ready, emotionally and physically.
And I want to inform my sister, who's going to read this and react strongly, I know, pro-choice does not mean I want to abort everybody's pregnancy. It does not mean I know what's best for you or for anybody but myself. It just means that women, people, should have a choice, an honest, free choice.
Happy Birthday, again, Becky. I am glad Mom chose to have you, even when you drive me up the wall.
Happy Anniversary Roe vs. Wade. I hope you are never overturned, the claim that you are about state's rights is identical to the argument that Civil War was about state's rights. If Roe vs. Wade were overturned, I can see whole regions following South Dakota's abhorent example. Yes, you are free to go to one of the states where abortion is legal, hope you can afford the time off work and travel!