Blogging for Choice
** Okay. WordPress keeps eating this and spitting back only chunks, so I give up. I’m posting what’s left, and if I get time later, I’ll try to clean it up again.
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Recently, I read a paper written by some Republican on how to use specific words to attract voters, and describe Democrats and their party.
The ‘pro-life’ groups use “life” as their frame. In that framing, those who are against them are ‘against life’ or ‘for death’.
Pro-choice, on the other hand, reflects the need for abortion to be a personal and individual choice. It is those on the anti-abortion/anti-women crusades who want to force a woman to bear a child – regardless of how that child was conceived or the financial or emotional circumstances of her life.
Whether a woman chooses abortion, adoption, or raising a child, she is the only one who can make that decision based on her personal circumstances. And it is not a decision made lightly, no matter which way you turn.
I have faced this decision twice in my life. Twice. Once as a teenager just out of high school, and once as a woman with two children and a troubled marriage.
I got lucky. I had a mother who believed in factual information about sex and birth control. I had a grandmother who was pragmatic and believed “First babies come anytime. It’s the rest that take nine months.” I had support from family and friends, and a fiancee who believed in ‘doing the right thing,’ and while surprised to find himself a father, never shied away from the responsibility.
Six years later, married, the mother of two lovely little boys, I found myself pregnant again. My marriage was in trouble, and my health was precarious. During my second pregnancy, I’d been diagnosed with Addison’s Disease (adrenal insufficiency). My adrenal glands had stopped functioning. By the time it was diagnosed, I was four months pregnant and nearly comatose.
With a diagnosis came a new worry. I would have to take replacement hormones (steroids in my case) for the rest of my life and there was no research to show the effects on the unborn.
Somehow, by some miracle, I managed to make it to full-term and gave birth to a healthy son. But, I was cautioned against ever having more. My body simply could not handle the stress associated with pregnancy. And who knew if the exposure to hydrocortisone and Florinef from conception on would affect the fetus.
So there I was, 23 years old, facing that same decision. Again.
I found out I was pregnant in December, and my husband moved out in January. I hadn’t worked in years and couldn’t work now. I was the sole support of myself and two children already – and the future wasn’t too bright.
I had to decide. Do I risk my life and leave two little boys motherless? Or not? I spent hours worrying over the decision. I spoke to my endocrinologist, my obstetrician, friends, family, and in the end, I chose to continue the pregnancy.
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Why am I pro-choice? Here’s a few reasons, in no particular order:
Because I believe that the decision to have a child should be made only by the person who must carry that child to term.
Because I believe that no girl or woman should endure rape or incest and be forced to bear the result of either act.
Because I believe that sex is not a dirty word, and pregnancy is not a punishment for having sex.
Because I believe every child that comes into this world should have parents who are financially and emotionally capable of raising it.
Because I believe that women have the right to make their own medical decisions, in accordance with their own beliefs.
Because I believe there are too many children of color and too many children with special-needs who are left to languish in the foster care system.
Because I believe every woman has the right to choose how many children she will have, and when.
Because I believe I don’t need a ‘daddy’ to tell me what to do.
Because I believe there are too many women without health insurance who don’t have access to proper prenatal and perinatal care.
Because I believe that no one should force their religious beliefs on anyone else.
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