I would like to share a more normal story about the ability and right to have an abortion. It is one that for most women would be harder to tell.
To be on the record, I have had more than one abortion. Not because I was careless or because I used abortion as a method of birth control but because products fail and as well as humans.
It was a horrifying time. The process and decision was not easy. However, I was very clear in that it was necessary for both my life and the life of a child I was not equipped at the time to properly support and take care of. It was not a convenience but a necessity.
While I am a huge proponent for a woman to choose what happens to her body and it is not a decision that should be legislated for her – I think the focus should also be on the child who has no choice. No choice as to what environment and circumstances s/he enters into.
I was not at the time old enough to work in the evening, serving cocktails or bartending to be able to earn the amount of money I would need to provide for my child as a single mother. If I had been old enough to serve cocktails at night I could have done it. At the current job I held during the day, I would not have made enough to even pay someone during the day to care for my child, let alone feed us both.
AND… what kind of care would my new baby receive. A very low paid (if I could have found someone) person would now be with my baby during her waking hours and I would come home just in time for her to go to bed. I wouldn’t even be raising her except on the weekends.
And I would be kidding myself if I didn’t think that later, after the initial joy and euphoria of having her subsided a bit, I would be a very young girl who no longer could live a life where I had much opportunity to socialize or have fun outside of being with my child and working or could afford to socialize. And even if I were the best I could be, there would be a price to pay psychologically which would in many ways affect my child if I were not happy and felt so burdened.
We should care as much about the babies thrust into the world if women no longer have any rights over their bodies and choices – as they might be put into a very difficult world and hard life.
I later have given birth to a child in the right time, with the ability to care for him and he has been nothing but the greatest joy I have ever experienced – every day and every year of his life so far.
Giving birth at the right time in a woman’s life is VERY IMPORTANT to both her and the child. We should want to protect that.
It has been revealed in Freakonomics, after studying why crime dropped 20 years after Roe v. Wade passed that the drop was simply a result of this law. Women having the choice to not bring a child into the world when they have no means to care for that child resulted in a significant drop in crime which can be directly associated to children now being born in better circumstances, affording them better chances in their lives.
Allowing youths and young adults better choices than crime is an important side effect of a woman’s right to choose – for her and for her baby.
By not revealing we used our rights to choose for the timing of a birth in our lives, as women, put us in jeopardy of losing those rights.
It is the opposite effect that Gay Rights has seen. Years ago Harvey Milk advocated stepping out of the closet and reveal something so personal, allowing those around to take judgment has speeded up the access to many rights such as serving our country and marrying while gay.
Every woman also has the responsibility to step out into the sunshine and not let those trying to deny women their freedom to choose because they try to rain shame and fear upon women. And ironically it is always the group who scream about their freedoms.
A woman should have the right to choose when giving birth is right for her. And a baby should have the right to not be born into dire circumstances, affecting their life on this earth.