It’s been a rough two weeks and I’m struggling.
Those of you who know me personally would be quick to assume those struggles involve being assigned to a major new client that required a fun-but-quick information-overloaded trip to Seattle and resulting red eye home, but no.
What I’m struggling with is how we got here, to a place in our country where people value the lives of the unborn more than the living.
I could go into all the statistics, examples, and science behind why being pro-choice benefits society as a whole, or how I hate the concept of children as punishment when I hear things like, “That slut needs to live with the results of her actions” while the man can just disappear as if it doesn’t take two to bump uglies, but that’s covered ad nauseum in a multitude other sources.
Instead, I wanted to talk about my own tangential story. Because I’ve never had an abortion, yet I’ve needed abortive drugs.
But first, I wanted to thank my friends who have had abortions and shared their stories publicly over the past few days. Although I knew there are many reasons why a woman would make that choice, it’s a different and dare I say almost religious experience to hear a woman you care about state those reasons in her own words. Because the fact is 1/4 women choose abortion and you probably know quite a few women who have made that decision, and rarely (almost never) lightly.
So, my story. I posted it in my Instagram stories last night and received enough responses that I felt it’s worth documenting publicly. Here’s what I wrote (now including links and some minor edits) for your reading pleasure:
Slight chance that what follows here is going to be a long ramble so bear with me.
One in four women will have an abortion so you most likely know and love someone who has had to make that decision. Enough of you need to think about that when claiming pro-choice folks are murderers.
A lot of my friends and acquaintances have been sharing their very personal abortion stories today and I have never before felt that the right to bodily autonomy was more important. There are many reasons why abortion should remain legal and if you don’t agree, congrats on having never been faced with that.
I have never needed to make that decision for myself but when faced with a few scares with my college fiance, I knew what I would have to do if I had any hope of shaping a real life for myself in which I could successfully support a child. Most likely alone.
And although I never needed to use that option, I did have two miscarriages during my marriage, the second of which was incomplete and I needed medication to fix the situation or face pretty invasive surgery so I didn’t die.
Said medication is the second half of what’s used in what’s called a medicated abortion. My insurance didn’t want to touch it because of that so my miscarriages cost me a couple grand out of pocket, total. But that’s only somewhat relevant.
So, what’s my problem? My problem is that now women who need that medication for a miscarriage – which has no cause and happens through no fault of our own – can potentially be investigated to prove they had a miscarriage and not a medicated abortion. (source)
Now, I don’t know how to help anyone understand how terrible those experiences were (it doesn’t matter how far along in a pregnancy you are because starting to think of a clump of cells as a child and losing that is still devastating), but know that they were God awful and for as much as I hate myself as a human being, I hated myself even more during that process for “failing” my child.
I CANNOT imagine also being sent to court in that mental state to determine whether or not I had done something “wrong” because it’s nobody’s fucking business. It’s not my job to be poked and prodded to satisfy the government’s overreaching religious rhetoric.
At this point, if you can’t fathom the reasons why women need access to this type of medical care with no judgment, then you have no right making those decisions for others and I don’t know how to teach you to care about other, living people.
In summary, and because I’m me, I want to take this time to say, “Go fuck yourself, Alabama”.
I have a lot of opinions on this subject but I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I really just don’t. It’s impossible to debate with people who argue from an intangible moral high ground so all I can do is tell you about my own experience and lend a voice to the fray. Especially since mine is a female voice and these decisions are made overwhelmingly by old white dudes in power who have sent their mistresses off to have abortions because that’s how this hypocritical patriarchy bullshit works.
And just because I’m reading Shrill right now for May’s Feminist Book Club meeting, and because someone posted this video in our group, and because she’s been promoting “Shout Your Abortion”, here’s a video of Lindy West covering the dangerous myths and misinformed prejudices about abortion.