Today, the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is also Blog for Choice Day.
The question posed is simple: what are your reasons for being pro-choice?
My reasons are both simple and complex. I thankfully have never been faced with that choice myself. But when I was in high school, a very good friend of mine had one, twice. To this day, the only things I’ve ever shoplifted are pregnancy tests for terrified friends. Eventually, I realized that was ridiculous and actually worked up the nerve to just buy them. I don’t know who I thought was watching or what kind of moronic logic led me to think I’d get in less trouble for stealing than buying.
I was as supportive as I could muster. At the time I still felt rather Catholic. More lapsed than recovering, as I think of it now. I offered to be there and do anything except help pay for it. Looking back, that’s a really stupid line to draw.
It took me years to realize it, but the second time, it was a doozy. She’d been sleeping with the guy who’d just dumped me, but of course I didn’t know that yet. I knew about the pregnancy but she was attributing it to some other poor guy. However, she was happy enough about her new man to spill the truth to another girl. That girl thought I should know so she told me. She’s still one of my very best friends today. An incident ensued that involved the phrase “ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK, BITCH?” That still cracks me up. There was a weak girl-fight and I so did not win. She sat on me.
I can look back and laugh now, but at the time it of course hurt like hell to lose my best friend and the guy I thought I’d never get over all in one fell swoop. After I made the connection, I was horrified that she’d blame the pregnancy on another guy to try to conceal that she was sleeping with my ex. But I was not horrified at her choice to end the pregnancy. I hated her at the time, but I always respected her choice.
Over the years I stopped hating her and for a long time, I really missed her. I tried a few times to communicate that all was totally forgiven, but she is not at all interested in reviving our friendship. So be it. As far as I know she’s happy and healthy, not to mention married to that guy. Must have been worth it to her, and I’m honestly grateful because the thought of that guy now makes me throw up in my mouth a little.
They had their first child, a daughter, not too long ago. The only reason I know that is because of myspace. Part of me wishes I could congratulate her directly, but knowing how happy she must be is enough. I’m so happy that her first child is a wanted child.
As an adult, I’ve come to realize firsthand and secondhand that a positive pregnancy test does not always equal bringing home a baby. Some abortions are spontaneous. Sometimes shit happens that’s a lot worse than that, even. If a woman is told that her unborn child has medical complications that are ‘incompatible with life,’ she should not have to cross a picket line of protesters and be called a murderer in order to obtain a medical termination. She should have the option of having the procedure in a hospital. She should not be forced to carry to term a child that cannot survive. She should never have to sacrifice her future fertility or her own life for that of a child not yet born. Her choice is her choice, regardless of circumstances. Thanks to our new President, our rights will stay intact for now. But we must remain vigilant, because the religious right has an agenda that would force women with unwanted pregnancies to either carry to term or search for unsafe and potentially lethal alternatives. Abortion should be rare, but it must remain safe and legal for one simple reason: pregnancy is not compulsory.