The topic of abortion and women’s reproductive systems has been a headline topic quite recently. Lots of politics surround this topic lately and I tend to steer clear of politics. I don’t know much about politics, laws, government and that sort of thing, so I don’t normally feel “qualified” enough to discuss. Not to mention that I almost never have a cut and dry opinion about topics and the fear of not having enough knowledge keeps me quiet.
However this topic is not at all political to me. The topic of abortion runs deep in my soul and writing about it has just been eating away at me. It is personal and I am not ashamed.
This topic is a sensitive one. It gets people riled up and is highly controversial. It is not a topic that many women want to discuss and men get “iffy” about whether or not they should discuss it. But, since I am comfortable talking about myself and things that I have experienced, I am going to touch briefly on my experience with abortion.
Let’s get right to the point here. I have had an abortion and I AM NOT ASHAMED! Does this mean that I am proud of my decision? Not necessarily- it just means that I am not ashamed and that I am confident enough with myself to not hide behind it or to lie about my experience.
Please make sure that while you are reading this, you are truly reading the words and not just reading INTO them. I do not feel that every woman that has had an abortion should share their story or feel like they must divulge the information at all. This is a personal matter and not one that someone must feel obligated to share.
And please remember as you read, that I can only share about my experience, not anyone else’s. I have come to terms with decisions that I made. I am at a point in my life where the more open and honest that I am, the freer I feel. I also understand that many people reading this right now, that know me personally and haven’t read some of my other blog posts, may not have realized that I have had an abortion before. Some of these people are my family— my cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers in law, sisters in law, extended family of my husband. Some of these people may be friends of my children, parents of friends of my children, friends of mine, coworkers, acquaintances, etc. There are people that may read this that may change their opinion of me, be angry, and judge. And that is their right. And I will respect it fully.
With a situation so sensitive, it only seems right that people have such strong opinions about it. It makes sense. The belief that it is murder, the belief that it is wrong, the belief that it is a woman’s right, the belief that it is the governments choice. These are all very real beliefs and opinions that are bound to cause some drama.
I am not looking to cause drama, but am aware writing about it may do so. As a 19 year old, I found myself in a position where I felt confused and scared. Not confused about how I got pregnant, not confused about who the father was, but just confused. Scared about what to do next and scared about what may come in the future. Getting pregnant is the easy part. And to many, the moment of conception means that your future is already determined- you will be a mother.
I didn’t feel that way. I had a choice. I did not make the choice lightly, and I struggled for a little bit. Especially when I went to the doctor the first time thinking that the procedure would be done and they told me that I was too early and I would need to come back. I then, had to make a choice again. To come back and go through with the procedure a week later. I remember that at this point in my life, I honestly never wanted to have kids. I was on birth control, although I had clearly missed some pills her and ther, and had only recently lost my virginity. I made the choice to return and then experience what comes after. Many people reading this (if they have continued to read this far) are probably expecting me to now right about the guilt and shame that I felt after. I can’t give that answer though. I don’t remember exactly what I felt right after. I know it was Valentine’s Day, a Thursday or Friday, and I was tired. I bled and cramped like they said I would after and then went back to UCONN the Monday following. I didn’t talk about it with anyone and just continued to live my life.
It wasn’t until my mother called me at work one day after an ex of my “boyfriend” at the time had called her and told her what I had done that I thought about it again. And in the moment of talking to my mother, I am pretty sure what I felt was shame. Shame for making a decision that seemed to disappoint so many people, shame for being secretive, shame for doing something so controversial. My mom wasn’t happy- and I think it is because it is not necessarily a decision that she would have liked me to make. And yet, I know my mother believes in the right to choose.
This is something that I feel is important to note because many people feel that just because you believe in the right to choose, that this means that you would automatically have an abortion. And I KNOW that this is not true for everyone. I know that I believe in the right to choose and I have made the choice to terminate a pregnancy. I know that I believe int he right to choose, but I have no idea what choice I would want my own daughters to make if they felt they were at a crossroads. I do not know if choosing to have an abortion would be something I encourage, but I can tell you that I pray that I would have the ability to support them in whatever decision they made. I cannot tell you what my advice would be to my son if he and a female found themselves in a situation that they were unsure about about other than that I hope he is just willing to support whatever decision that young woman chooses for herself. I feel that conversations would need to be had, but the ultimately the decision would be on the person with a missed period, peeing in cup, or on a stick. I know that I chose to have an abortion, but I also chose to have 3 amazing children. I know people are pissed by my words. I understand the anger that people feel surrounding this. I truly do. I am very close to people that I have shaken their finger at me and spoken their beliefs and scolded me for the choice I made. I also know that some of these very same people came to a point in their lives where they felt that needed to make a choice and they chose the same path I did that Valentine’s Day. And maybe they wish that the choice wasn’t an option because they feel shame and guilt and I understand that also. And I also know some of these same people that would never even consider it an option regardless of having the right to choose or not.
Ultimately- this topic makes us go around and around. It is wrong. It is right. It is murder. It isn’t murder. You are selfish. You are not selfish. You don’t care about human life. You care enough to think it through. You are a slut. You know how this happens, be mature enough to live with the consequences. Don’t sleep around. My body, my choice. Pro-life. Pro-choice. F*** your abortion ban. People who abort are criminals. It should be a choice if you are raped. It doesn’t matter how you became pregnant, a baby is a life. The battle words are endless.
I don’t think for one minute that these conversations should fade. I DO think that we need to respect one another. We don’t need to understand where someone else is coming from, but we need to understand that people are allowed to think differently than us. I think the issue is far greater than females versus male, religion versus non religion, entitled white rich humans versus everyone else.
I do believe that we must understand that just because someone believes in a woman’s right to choose does not mean that they will automatically choose themselves to get an abortion with their next pregnancy. I do believe that this topic is so extremely sensitive that the shame surrounding it causes many mental health issues among women. I do believe that some people use abortions as a form of birth control, I mean, many people would feel that that is exactly what I did and maybe they are right. I do believe that this subject will be one that causes us to fight one another for a very long while if not forever. I do believe that abortion bans will NOT stop abortions, they will only make them more secretive and very dangerous. I do believe that abortion bans will decrease the amount of abortions being done that are public knowledge. I do know that just because abortions are legal in many places that not all ob/gyn providers will perform them and not all ob/gyn nurses and anesthesiologists will scrub in for them.
Again, I don’t write a single one of these words to downplay anyone’s opinion surrounding this issue. I write them for the complete opposite reason actually. I write them for those people that have such strong opinions regardless of what side they are on. I write these words as a safe place for people on both sides. I write them for people to feel comfortable sharing their opinions. I write them for those that are so full of judgement, because I know there are many. I write them for the scared who feel they have no choice. I write them to be read, to be thought about, to be responded to.
This issue is sensitive. This issue is personal. This issue was mine once and will continue to be mine while I raise young women and a young man and they go one to grow their families if they so choose. This issue is scary. This issue is deep.
But I write about it because it needs to be addressed- over and over and over again. It isn’t just going to go away. Rules are changing, laws are being made, rights are being taken away. People are angry. People are scared. This is huge. And while I will never have to make the choice for myself again, I am so very grateful that when I found myself scared and confused, that I had the ability to make the choice. The choice I made didn’t necessarily take away the fear or the confusion, but it gave me options that I am confident would have been different had I not had the ability to choose. And yes- I chose to have an abortion and I am not ashamed.