I opted out of watching last night’s debate because I already knew the things that were going to be made privy were things that were only to enrage and discourage my ideas that we live in a ‘free society’. Please enlighten me on how we can live in a free society if we, as women, can’t even talk about our own bodies, never mind make decisions for our own bodies.
It is not about throwing up arms and making a huge stink about being a #nastywoman, but about the fact that people can be so ignorant and degrading towards a woman and her right to choose between being pro-life or pro-choice. And yes, even if you are a woman and you are making another woman feel guilty about decisions she makes regarding her body, you’re part of the problem.
Have you ever sat inside a Planned Parenthood office? Have you ever made a donation to your local women’s non-profit? Have you ever stopped and even wondered how much society would change if we didn’t have these amazing programs to help keep women safe and protected (literally and un-literally). Well, let me tell you firsthand, I’ve spent a lot of time at my local Planned Parenthood and I can assure everyone without it, we’d be so screwed.
I am a 21 year old girl living in modern America, so lets not pretend like I am not sexually active, like I haven’t googled bizarre -sometimes super irrational- symptoms I might be having to self-diagnose myself, and that I’ve never taken pregnancy test. Let’s not pretend like I’ve never felt scared about my own body because society has taught me that I shouldn’t talk about what I am experiencing within and about myself. Most importantly, let’s not pretend like 80% of the young general public has not sat in a Planned Parenthood clinic alone, scared, and without a hand to hold- because telling our parents that we’ve made some detrimental mistake regarding sexuality is the worst thing that we could ever do. And if you can’t hear my sarcasm in the last part, let me be clear and tell you it is flowing. I am pretty sure every young adult has felt this way at one point or another, which is why I can honestly write about it.
When you’re sitting in that clinic’s waiting room, you can’t help but feel sorry for the MA’s, nurses and doctors that have to greet you behind bullet-proof glass. Who are probably scared of you, but are still smiling on the other side of that glass because they want nothing more than to help you. Then you can’t help but to feel sorry for yourself for being here… Because it is a nationally stigmatized outrage that Planned Parenthood even exists for the problems you might be having and you’re contributing to that stigma.
Then you talk to the nurses, and you get whatever service you’re there for: pregnancy test, blood drawn, vaginal swab, yearly PAP, birth control prescription, abuse counseling, breast exams, abortion services, HIV testing, or one of their educational program classes they offer. What many people don’t realize is that PP also offers diabetes/anemia/cholesterol screenings, flu vaccinations, physical exams, and even programs to help quit smoking. So the next time you hear or want to take part in an act to defund or help ‘shut down’ Planned Parenthood, think about the fact that your own child has probably sat in that office for any of the given items above; mainly in part because they were too scared to go to your or pay an enormously high medical bill, which you’ll never see at Planned Parenthood.
But, let’s get back to the hot topic: abortion and how it is viewed in our society. You’re either on one side or the other (pro-choice or pro-life) and there is *NO* way you can be both… (Heavy sarcasm again). If you don’t have an abortion at some point in your life, you’re deemed as societal greatness and if you do have one, you’ll be shunned from talking about it for the rest of your life and people will always look down on you because of it… Regardless of your health status or not. Majority of the right-sided people see abortion as some inhumane, abhorred procedure that will haunt you for the rest of your life and in no way shape or form ever benefit you.
Abortion is a hot term, very much so like the word rape. Everyone has an opinion about it, right or wrong, and everyone loooooves to talk about it- but NOT in a beneficial or educational way.
Let me tell you a story about a girl I once knew. She was 19 at the time and her life was spiraling out of control. She had a lot of problems from her and current life that were finally catching up to her. In the moment she was in, she didn’t see how toxic and hurtful her relationship was with a man who eventually got her pregnant. Six months into their relationship, right after she found out she was pregnant, her boyfriend dropped a huge truth bomb on her… He had an incurable -but manageable- STD that would affect him for the rest of his life. She had been sleeping with this man for six months… She asked him if he had anything, they used protection, but as we all know, sometimes protection isn’t always going to be 100% accurate in protecting against unwanted pregnancies or STD’S. So after lying to her about his sexual health, she did what was best by her standard- she left him. She was very unsure about what she wanted to do in regards to her pregnancy and was so scared. She didn’t tell her family or her friends and she was completely alone in this. She decided the right thing to do was to have an early termination abortion. In her heart of hearts she knew couldn’t achieve her goals with a baby at 19. She could barely support herself and was so scared of what her family would say that she felt like she had no option. I’m sure many young women have felt this way, but ultimately had to do what is best for them. My friend was in no mental state to have a baby at 19, or a fiscal state for that matter.
She had the abortion and has never questioned her decision about it. She got on birth control right after the procedure and has made better decisions since. Nobody or anything can/will make her feel guilty for doing what was best by her.
Did you know the abortion ratio to live births is 210 abortions per 1,000 live births. 37% of women who obtain abortions are Protestant and another 28% identity as Catholic. Up to 92% of abortions are executed within the first trimester and are very humane within their services- i.e. D&E, CDC, or NAF. 2% of American women have had abortions, and you’re probably very close to someone who has and don’t even know it.
We, as women, should have the right to decide anything regarding our bodies, especially about something as life altering like pregnancy. Not every woman dreams of becoming a mother and shouldn’t be shamed. Not every woman believes that just because we engage in sexual behavior (safe or unsafe) that we should feel solely responsible for the fertilization of an egg. The same people complaining about abortions are the same people who are complaining about paying single mother’s taxes and wish the WIC programs would stop. You can’t be against abortion if you’re also against the idea of nation-wide assistance. You can’t be against abortion regarding someone else’s body because it is not your own.
Do you know how many times I have heard so many mothers (or parents) say to their children, “I’ve given you life and I can take it away,” as some sort of commanding threat to their offspring once they’re alive, breathing and surviving on their own outside of the womb. And some women are extremely serious about this statement- especially those mothers who didn’t think they had a choice and resented their pregnancy. I hear this term so much and in my head it doesn’t make sense… You can’t say that term if you don’t believe in the rights to abortion.
I understand the emotional side of abortions… But, if we solely made decisions based on our emotions, the world would not be a functioning place. I understand that a life is precious… I understand that many women struggle to conceive and we shouldn’t take our fertilization or eggs for granted. But, there are many women who had abortions who have had children later in life and can properly appreciate and provide for them, given their prior decision to abort an unwanted pregnancy. I know many women who are the BEST mothers who don’t regret their former decisions.
If believing in abortions is a sin, then I am sinner… But, don’t ever criticize me for sinning differently than you. I will always stand by a woman who needs help in regards to her wishes about her body. I will always speak up for the women who cannot. I will always believe there are two options-either one being right. Just because it is not your idea of rationalism doesn’t mean that it is not. Just remember, at one point our society deemed it appropriate that women couldn’t vote, hold office, receive formal education or even exist without a man. Now, we are breaking those stereotypes. We are paving our own paths and gaining strength by the laws that do protect us to make our own righteous decisions concerning our mind, bodies and physical being.
If I have a voice, I will always speak up. If my beliefs make you uncomfortable, I think it is time you understand the era we live in- that it is not always an ideal situation to be put in, but it is sometimes necessary. My words ring true to a lot of women- some who won’t even realize it yet. The decisions we all make about our bodies are our rights and nobody can ever take that away from us. I’ll be damned if I have a man or any presidential candidate tell me that I don’t have the right to an abortion REGARDLESS of my status, race or viability of pregnancy. It is OUR duty as women to educate, understand and be aware of abortion and its practices. It is also our right to choose our own fate.
Thanks for reading.