Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Could the Unthinkable Actually Happen?

Ah, finally, a coherent thought process, though I must give Marti credit for the inspiration.. THE hottest topic in the nation right now - not Iraq, not the return of the gas pump price gauging, not the economy, but the, apparently, inevitable confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and the uncertain future of women's reproductive right. The controversy surrounding this confirmation is of epic proportions. I have gone to great lengths to keep blatant political opinions out of my postings, although, I think you have all pretty much figured me out by now. Honestly, I don't think it matters on which side of the abortion debate you sit, you have to be a little bit befuddled at how this particular topic, out of all of the issues, has become the focus of any appointment to the bench - Alito, and those to follow after him. We ask why, but after 33 years of rights, of protests, of violence, the confirmation of one judge could potentially, and most likely will, change history - again.

Indulge me, if you will, while I tell a tale of two friends. They can be any friends, sisters, your best friends, co-workers, schoolmates. Two friends, both unexpectedly pregnant, each faced with one of the toughest decisions of their lives. One friend chooses to have the child, one chooses to end the pregnancy. Pre 1973, the friend opting to terminate found a place that would help her out. Post Roe v Wade, the outcome was the same. Pre R v W, the odds of the woman having proper care and no complications were slim. After R v W, the chances were much improved.

Aside from the obvious difference, and all of the other choices the woman could have made, one word stands out "CHOICE". One, currently - post R v W - chooses to decide if termination is a right or a moral option for HER. Before R v W, women still had a choice. Unfortunately, one of the choices was dangerous, potentially life threatening, and illegal. The clincher though, is that they had the right to make up their own minds, to CHOOSE what to do. Why send our country back into the dark ages of back alley or coat hanger abortions? Women defied the law and risked their lives before legalization. Women will do it again if it is overturned.

Changing the law will not lesson the demonstrations, the letters, the controversy, the violence. No. It will only serve to escalate it. A woman can believe abortion is morally wrong and still exercise her RIGHT TO CHOOSE to carry the child. A woman can believe that abortion is a medical procedure, and nothing more, and still CHOOSE to carry her child. It is up to each woman, individually, to take her own personal opinion to heart and to CHOOSE what she thinks to be the right answer for HER, not for the government.

I was a woman with a choice to make. Unless you know me personally, you don't know what I chose...but I had what women have a legal right to - a CHOICE - a choice to decide what was right for me. I pray that, perhaps as a society, we are getting too over excited and worked up over nothing. I will continue to pray until Roe v Wade is safe.


Katie said...

Well said - I couldn't agree with you more. The overturning of Roe v Wade was one of the biggest issues that scared me about Bush being re-elected and it looks like we are faced with that possibility now. Despite being raised Catholic and spending most of my schooling in Catholic schools, I have always been pro-choice - I can only hope and pray that the Supreme Court upholds RvW.

Laura said...

Amen to that. Here's to hoping RvW stays.

Octoberbabies said...

Has anyone seen the news on RvW and the impact that the Scott Peterson trial is having on it? Peterson was sentenced for the death of Lacey AND their unborn child so the RvW supporters are using that as leverage - as in, how come you count the death of THAT unborn child as murder but not the ones that women abort daily. Its an interesting debate and one that makes me nervous because I for one, am praying hard that RvW stays.

JodiTucker said...

I hold a different opinion, because the word CHild is a higher priority to me than CHoice. I wish more would choose to give a baby up for adoption rather than abort.
There are soooo many infertile couples out there wanting a baby to love and nurture for life.
I do think abortions will continue whether legal or illegal.
Please know I am not out burning down abortion clinics. It is interesting to me that a baby who is wanted that is murdered (Lacey Peterson's Connor) is considered a murder. A baby who is not wanted is considered an abortion. The baby never did have a choice. So, this is probably not a popular opinion on this blogsite. Don't stone me. I want to live and was allowed to be born. I am grateful for that. Just one lady's unpopular opinion.

KCsMom said...

Hi Christina,
Great post! I never knew what Sal mentioned regarding the Scott Peterson case, I learn something knew each time I read your blog:)

Hope you are well and I have been so busy with K.C. I haven't had the chance to stop by and say, "hi." So here's a BIG HELLO TO CHRISTINA:)

marti (standing still for once) said...

Tina, hear hear. And to Joditucker,your beliefs are protected, and so are mine. Agreeing to disagree doesn't make us the enemies, it makes us American. If we had more comprehensive medical care, children educated thoroughly on sex ("just say no" doesn't work), and easily accessible, reliable, and affordable birth control for all, we'd had far fewer abortions necessary. It must still be a choice, but far fewer people would have to make it.

sozzled said...

And sadly I will note that regardless of Roe most of the country does not have access to safe abortions. Heck even to decent medical care. But on the topic of abortion, rights are being chipped away at state by state, to the point where only 13 abortion providers serve only 5% of the counties in MN and of those providers over half are at or near retirement age. Alito scares the shit out of me, but regardless these are not good times for womens right.

Thanks for talking about it.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm with you soooo much here! It is more than worrisome what COULD happen with this inevitability...Mr. Alito, I mean....and not just R.v W. but so very many other 'rights'...
It is almost impossible to fathom that this court could send us back to a time we thought we were beyond...and you said it so clearly and distinctly: Our Right To Make A Choice. Woe Is Us, Woe Is Us.

gretchen said...

Bravo Mommyguilt! I have always considered myself Pro-child, Pro-choice. I would much prefer that a woman choose an abortion than bring another unwanted child into this world.

I believe all children deserve the best possible start in life, with parents who want them. Yes, in a perfect world all "unwanted" babies would be put up for adoption. But this is not a perfect world.

Thanks for sharing your opinion- I'm too chicken to put mine up on my blog!!

Anonymous said...

As a woman who had an abortion while in aan abusive relationship 10 years ago (now the mom of an old chold of early shcool age child with Asperger's) I will fight tooth and nail to save Roe and do whatever I can.

No one esepcially some middle aged rich man, can know what I faced and what it means to be able to choose.

I am a regular reader and sometimes-comentator, but I figured that even as chicken as it seems, I should remain anonymous here, as I have gotten lots of negative feedback, death threats, and the like from mentioning my experience online before.

Anonymous said...

what the heck did I just write? My keyboard and typing are both flawed. I the mother of an ONLY CHILD OF EARLY SCHOOL AGE with Asperger's

not as I wrote:

the mom of an old chold of early shcool age child with Asperger's

LOL giving myself a laugh today

mommyguilt said...

Ladies - thank you so much for the comments. I was hoping to stir up some chatter.

Jodi - Your point was eloquently stated, and you're in the same place I am. I am eternally grateful, as is my MIL, I'm sure, that PC's mother CHOSE to carry him to term and put him up for adoption.

Unfortunately, as Marti put it, there isn't enough education out there to teach children - sadly,yes, we have to start teaching them when they are young. WE have to teach them about sex,birth control,STDs, pregnancy, HIV/AIDs...all those things that no one wants to talk about. The schools certainly won't, and if they do, it won't be as good a job as we, as parents, could. Things will be glossed over because educators and school boards and churches believe that if you speak anything of sex to a child or a teenager, that you are arming them with information so that they can go on out and just do it. Nope. Doesn't work that way anymore.

Now we have to arm our children against SO much more than pregnancy. Teach them.

Haven't seen the news about the Petersen case and RvW, but it's a very interesting case they are purporting....been too busy with Ex & stupid wallpaper - more to come, but let's leave it at....filing for sole custody and called a professional for the wallpaper - don't tell (tee hee).

And as OLTH said - it's about more than just women's rights. If this man gets confirmed -and he will - all of our rights are endangered. Lots of praying, ladies. Abortion will continue, legal or not, but we have other rights that need protecting too.

Elisabeth - you have a very valid point, too....Shit...with the way the health care is in this country, how can anyone afford any care - abortion, prenatal, hip surgery, medication, long term care...go fig.

Again, Ladies - I adore each and every one of you and respect all of your opinions. This does go beyond abortion, but let's hope and pray that ALL of our rights stay protected.

mommyguilt said...

Anonymous - your comment came in as I was posting mine, so I missed it originally. I applaud you for commenting here. You're right. No one can know what it is like to be faced with that CHOICE unless they've been there. Therefore, no MAN could ever possibly know.

I had a choice, too. I made a choice. Doesn't matter what it was, but I was able to do it. I agree...let us fight for our right. If people CHOOSE to not abort, that is their prerogative, and the same goes for those who CHOOSE to carry the child and either give it up for adoption so that a loving family can make their lives complete, or to buck up and raise the child.

Thanks for speaking up! MUCH appreciated.

kyra said...

right on. this alito guy is dangerous for so many reasons. it is a sad state of affairs our 'president' has led us to and i'm afraid it will get sadder and scarier.

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, Kyra for your comment. I agree with you. I am terribly worried about what's going to happen now...especially if the Dem's don't take the White House back in 08. I keep thinking we're out of the woods because W can't run again, but there's always Jeb - and we know how FLORIDA works in elections...UGH.. Personally, unless somebody REALLY REALLLY good runs for 08, I'm writing in Jed Bartlett!

Cheryl said...

I've never met a woman who opted for abortion, who didn't go through some really awful guilt and depression afterward. And mourning. And what-ifs.Its a decision you have to live with for the rest of your life.

At least on the NHS here(possibly also for private arrangements, I wouldn't know) there is some intensive counselling first to help you make absolutely sure you are taking the only viable choice; to help you to live with yourself, afterward.

It seems the argument in America is based on some weird idea that women could do this lightly - the anti abortion brigade talk of convenience, and thats so wrong.

Bonnie Ventura said...

While we're on the subject of unthinkable things happening:

I am pro-choice in general, but I am also very strongly anti-eugenics. Right now, the US government, through the National Institutes of Health, is funding genetic research to develop a prenatal test for autism. One of the leading researchers predicted, in an interview on MSNBC.com last year, that such a test could be developed within 10 years.

Because there is so much ignorance and fear surrounding autism, such a test could easily mean that the world's entire autistic population--and we're talking about millions of intelligent, self-aware human beings--would be wiped out in one generation.

Please post about this issue on other blogs and forums to raise awareness. No matter what your views on abortion may be, government-funded eugenics is wrong!