Sunday, May 31, 2009
What Abortion Means to Me
I don’t remember learning what an abortion was. I don’t remember anyone ever explaining to me about Roe VS Wade or the difference between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. I just remember always knowing. I always knew my body was my own. My mom made sure we knew that. Our body was our own and was not to be violated by anyone. Whether it is someone who might try to violate us in the most literal sense or the government in the most legal sense.
My dad was pretty conservative (though I find him to be quite liberal and every bit the feminist I am in his older years, oddly enough) but I’ll always remember one afternoon leaving the local mall with my dad. We had to drive past our local planned parenthood (where years later I would receive my first birth control pills). There was a crowd of people outside as there always was then. We came to a stoplight and came to a stop right next to a group of Pro-life protesters.
My dad rolled down the window. I was expecting him to say something encouraging to the protesters and my little tween heart began to sink. Outside of his window was a woman with a sign that said something along the lines of “Adopt: Don’t Abort.”
“Hey lady!” My dad said. The lady looked at my dad. “How many you kids you have?” She answered something like 4. My dad nodded. “How many of them did you adopt?” The lady looked at him a little surprised. “Well, none,” she answered. “That’s what I thought. Put your sign down. And when you’ve adopted a couple kids, then come back.” The light turned green and we drove away. “Hypocrites” my dad mumbled. I sat up in my seat and smiled.
I’ve always felt so much anger at the ignorance associated with extreme Pro-life views. So much anger that doctors had to wear bulletproof vests. Anger that these pro-life supporters felt they knew my life better than me. Anger that girls facing the darkest moment of their lives had to do it completely stripped of dignity, privacy, and understanding. Anger is the only thing I can think of to describe how I felt every time I debated the issue with anyone. Anger.
Then I got married. And I had a miscarriage. And another miscarriage, and another. Only they used the term abortion. Spontaneous abortion is what they called them. Each and every one wanted even more than the one before. Each one we prayed God would let us keep. And each one God decided to spontaneously abort.
All the pain and grief I felt washed over my whole life like a tidal wave. And I thought about the girls who were a few miles away choosing their abortions. And I ached for them. Because I knew that even though they had made their choice and God had had made mine, we were both suffering the same loss.
The difference was, I was being showered with sympathy and love from everyone around me. They were being called murderers and being forced to look at pictures of aborted fetuses as they went into the clinic.
From that moment on I took the assault on abortion doctors (no different then the ones who performed my own D&C) and women having abortions personally. Their pain was mine. I knew the weight of their decision and I knew the grief they felt.
Now I have a daughter. And I know that the reality is someday (Heaven forbid) she too may face an awful choice. And anyone who dares to question her ability or right to make that choice will feel my wrath. So help me.
The pro-life extremists have been spreading hate all day. Saying that today Dr. Tiller “the baby killer” died.
No. Today someone’s husband died. Someone’s father was killed. Today, 10 children lost their Grandpa. And each one of them has a parent that’s going to have to explain why.
President Obama talked just a few short weeks ago about meeting in the middle with regards to abortion. Yes. I agree. We should not be talking about abortion. We should be talking about better sex education in schools. Better counseling services. MAKING ADOPTION EASIER. Yes, on all of this.
But I’m not going to be willing to meet anyone in the middle if they’re willing to shoot a Grandpa in the middle of church.
Not a chance in hell in fact.