Motherhood as a Choice
By Suzanne Reisman on January 23, 2007
BlogHer Original Post
I know that Melinda did an amazing job of covering fiery, passionate, and committed comments that women across the US expressed as part of Blog for Choice Day on January 22, but I was also struck by the number of women who wrote about motherhood as an important part of why they were pro-choice. As mothers (and members of BlogHer), each of their essays about motherhood and abortion were compassionate, moving, and often heartbreaking:
...I am that mother. I look in the eyes of my beautiful daughter, and I realize that, more than anything, I want her life to be intentional. I want her to choose everything that happens in her life, not have her life inflicted upon her by expectation and societal habits. I want her to choose what to study, where to study, who to love, how to love, what to be, what to do that makes her happyâ€¦ we owe it to the generations that follow to fight for the preservation of choice. For me, I do it for my daughter. Because my mother did it for me. And her mother did it for her. -Go Ask Your Mother
This morning, I woke up and could not decide what I wanted to blog. After two nightly feedings, getting Kid L off to school, and not being able to even use the bathroom or drink a cup of coffee before both little ones were awake I came to the realization that I was simply too tired to compose a thoughtful postâ€¦.
I am an exhausted mother of three.
I am pro-choice. - Destined to Be a Crazy Cat Woman
I have been pregnant twice. Both times were planned pregnancies, and I was estatic to be pregnant. Despite the fact that I wanted to be pregnant, it really took a toll on my body. And I didn't have that difficult a pregnancy! As hard as it was on me, I know women who've had worse pregnancies, where they've had to be on bed rest for months. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be forced to go through this. I also cannot imagine what it would be like if I were having a baby that I did not want for whatever reason. - Formula Fed & Flexible Parenting
At this stage in my life, I would not choose an abortion. Go back ten years in my life, and I can't say thatâ€¦ I have two beautiful, wanted, planned for children. I also have my tubes tied. Because, you know, accidents happen. But I have had other people judge my decision to have my tubes tied. I've had people say, in a roundabout way, that it's wrong to have two children and then get your tubes tied...
I find this kind of thing funny because, um, they're MY tubes. I wasn't aware that the whole world got an opinion abut what happened with MY TUBES. I mean, seriously-my body. My tubes. My decisionâ€¦And this is probably the biggest reason that I'm pro-choice. This judgement. -Queen of the Bad Mommies
Iâ€™m an adoptive parent. Adoption should be only one of many available options for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Many people say that adoption is preferable to abortion. Itâ€™s been my experience that many of these people are the same ones who are not only uneducated about adoption, and refuse to be educated about adoption, but who say the most idiotic things to adoptive parentsâ€¦. Iâ€™m the parent of a daughter. My child is still young, but old enough now to make me worry about her future long into the night. I donâ€™t want her to have sex until sheâ€™s emotionally ready and has a steady, reliable partner. I am also a realist. Therefore, I want her to have real, live, comprehensive sex education and access to birth control. Including - gasp! - abortion, if itâ€™s ever needed. - Evil Mommy
Sally lived in a poor section of Philadelphia. Her family -- parents, siblings, neices and nephews -- all lived in the same neighborhood. She married an alcoholic. They had three kids, a boy named Billy and two younger girls. Sally's marriage was not strong, and her husband had left and come back more than once... This latest time her husband came home, Sally got pregnant again. When husband found out, he split.
Sally agonized over it, but finally decided that her three kids were already hungry, and Sally had a hard enough time putting food on their table, and that they had so few opportunities already, it would be unfair to them and to her unborn child to bring someone else into that environment. It broke her heart, but she left the kids with her sister one morning and went to her local abortion provider.
She did not come back.
Sally was my great-aunt. The year was 1935. - No Sho Mo
I am a single parent. I was not married to my children's father, nor did I want to be. I chose to have my children by IVF. I worked for 8 years to carry a pregnancy to term. During that time, I had to terminate one pregnancy due to PROM and a terrible infection that led to hospitalization for a week. I had no choice in the matter. But I did, actually. The decision was mine to make. Terminate the pregnancy and fight the infection, or lose the baby inutero and then deliver it, with the good possibility of my demise. It actually took me two full days to make this decision, and once I had the procedure, I cried and cried for days. This was one of those rather rare "Only in case of the imminent death of the mother" terminations. But that wasn't the issue. I lost a very wanted baby... I know what it means to grow up unwantedâ€¦ Which is why I will always be on the side of choice for women. - What was I Thinking?
And thoughtful insight was also given from moms-to-be:
Iâ€™m pro-choice because, at 31, I hope to be a mom sometime in the next few years, and I want my child(ren) to be welcomed into this world with 100% love and affection. I want to become a mom when I want to and because I actively chose motherhood. - Lusty Lady
...I'm trying to have a baby and want it really, really desperately. I can't think of a circumstance, at this point in my life, that would cause me to have an abortion. Even if something happened to my relationship, whatever, I just don't think it's for me. I also suspect that from the very instant I see two lines on the EPT, I am going to think of whatever's inside me as a life, blastocyst or zygote or whatever collection of cells it is at that point. Nope -- I'll think of it as my baby, talk to it, sing to it, eat healthily for it, love it... So when it comes to protecting MY right to an abortion? No thanks, I don't need that particular right.
But there's the rub. When it comes to protecting rights, it's not all about self-interest. It's about protecting EVERYONE'S rights. It's about protecting the girls who were raped, who are too young, who are in danger medically, who know they will be thrown out/beaten/whatever when they tell their parents. It's for the women who can't afford another child but the pill or IUD let them down. It's for a whole host of other reasons and other women that I can't even conjure up because it's so far from my personal reality. Just because I don't need an abortion doesn't mean other women don't. I hate to talk in bumper stickers, but have you seen the one that says "pro-child, pro-family, pro-choice"? That's me. Please, keep it legal -- for those who need it. - Count Mockula
Suzanne also blogs at Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS) & Other Rants
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