I have been overwhelmed by the recent activities in the world of women’s reproductive rights. Now that I once again live in Texas, where the options for reproductive health have been greatly slashed, I have become obsessed with following the outcomes. I have read many brave stories where people have shared their abortion narratives. Each story makes me cry. Each story is a heart-wrenching experience where people have had to make a hard decision to exercise their right to choose their reproductive life and undergo an abortion. It scares me when I think of all the clinics in the huge state of Texas that have to shut down, resulting in women taking their abortions into the their hands with dangerous outcomes. This is not a new story, this happened before, before we had the right to choose when to start a family. And not only are they pressuring these women to keep pregnancies that they do not want, with the argument that they are “pro-life”, they are also taking away support to help that child once it is born.
This is a wonderful depiction of what some politicians in Texas are currently doing. Thank you Nick Anderson for artfully displaying this. Please see more of his political opinions and comics here.
I don’t have an abortion story to share, but what I do have is my decision to be pro-choice resulting in living a pro-life kinda life.
I have always believed that women should have the right to have an abortion, for whatever reason. When I was young, I admit, it was because of selfish reasons. I was on birth control when I began having sex at the age of 16. I had a committed partner for two years. I was relieved to know that if the birth control failed and I got pregnant, I would be able to get an abortion or use emergency contraceptive. I knew that I was not emotionally, economically or physically ready. I also believed that women who were raped or had a fetus with critical health problems should be able to receive an abortion if they wished. I was lucky enough not to have gone through the emotional decision at this young age, but watched and supported girl friends through their decisions to have an abortion.
Fast forward to 25, this was the age that I felt with certainty that if I became pregnant unintentionally, I would decide to allow the pregnancy to continue. I felt the desire to carry a child and believed I could support that baby both emotionally and financially. I married my husband at 27 and we welcomed our child into the world at 29. When I was pregnant, my reasons for supporting abortions morph into something only experience could explain. I HATED being pregnant. It was one of the hardest year of my life (this includes learning the art and sacrifice of breastfeeding, but thats another blog post). At times, I felt it was a traumatic experience, leaving me crying, exhausted, mentally and emotionally raw and physically changed forever. I believe I was able to get through this time because I had made the decision to get pregnant and start my family, this was something that I really wanted. I had a very supportive partner, very supportive friends and family and a very supportive work environment. I was lucky. During this year, I realized that if we, as a society, don’t allow women to end unwanted pregnancies, we were basically forcing women through trauma for 9 months. Now, I’m sure that not all wanted pregnancies are painful and emotionally harmful, but some are. And again I say “wanted pregnancies”. I am certain that many more unwanted pregnancies are painful. And if we are to force women to experience this it is the same as torturing them. At times during my pregnancy I felt I was in a self made hell, but that was the key, it was self made. I had the control, which is why I’m okay about it all now, a year later. But if I did not have the control, just like in most traumatic events, when you take the control away from the person, it becomes flight, fight or freeze situation. If I had become pregnant as a teen and forced into keeping the baby and had a pregnancy like I did, it would have ripped me open emotionally, leaving me a tattered husk of myself. Trauma changes our brain chemistry, which in turn effects our developing fetuses. These babies don’t need to be born into a situation where the mother was forced into carrying them for 9 months.
Pro-life to me means that I believe in a good life for both the mom and the baby. A Good Life is not forcing our women into carrying a fetus for 9 months even if they know they will be a still-born, it is not forcing our women to carry a child that has major medical concerns where they will likely not live outside the womb, it is not forcing a rape survivor to bare a child resulting from the worst possible event of their lives, it is not forcing a young girl who is sexually active into becoming a mom because “she should have known better and kept her legs closed”, and it is not taking away the decision of whether to dedicate the better part of a year growing a small human inside of you, never getting to take a break. Pro-life and pro-choice are the same idea. We both believe in the quality of life, the joy of life, the ability to live the life that makes you happy, that makes you proud of what you are and what you do.
I hope one day to have another child, and yes, I am willing to go through all the hard times of pregnancy again because the result, my child, is worth my sacrifice. But that’s just it, this is a decision I have made for myself. I WANT this. No one else. Not even my partner gets to decide whether this will happen or not. Just me. This is my body, my life, my sacrifice, my decision. And if this future child is god-forbid born without a heart or with an obstruction in their brain, I want the option of choosing its end of life care.
**** The above blog is the opinion of Tali Boots and should not considered fact. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. In conclusion, this blog is meant to encourage dialogue, thought and exploration on various topics.