Choices

I want to write about something a little on the ‘dangerous’ side. Dangerous because my opinions might offend some people who read here, some friends. If you want light and fluffy, skip to the next post. It’s full of dragons and make believe.

I’ve been reading some blogs lately from the US that bring the abortion debate into their discussions and writings (and before you hastily click away let me say I’m not going to tell you how I think you should vote). McCain’s air quotes dismissing the idea that the health of the mother is truly a reason for abortion. Obama’s waffling on whether or not he would appoint a Supreme Court Judge who would support overturning Roe vs Wade. Obama’s vote on the partial birth abortion ban legislation – some calling him a baby killer, others pointing out that he wouldn’t vote on it because it didn’t include specifications concerning the mother’s health. Also some news reports and opinion pieces here in Canada on Morgentaler and the Order of Canada.

I was on birth control when I got pregnant. I knew it wasn’t working quite right, truth be told, but was taking the pills every day. Something had changed with my hormones, or my reaction to the pill, or who knows. I was in a relationship that was very unhappy, where everything I did was wrong, or childish, or inappropriate, or hurtful. Or so I was told.

Dr.H, a wonderful and in my opinion talented doctor, jumped to the conclusion when he gave me the test results that I was there to schedule a termination. I can’t blame him – he knew a good deal about what was going on, he knew I wasn’t planning on a pregnancy yet, and I’m sure I looked relieved as I told him that it seemed my period was starting and so I was sorry to have taken up his time. Yeah. It’s called implantation bleeding. For sure, I was terrified, and lost, and overwhelmed. But ready to terminate? No.

A also pushed the idea of an abortion. When I refused, he ridiculed me, putting me down using all the buttons he knew he could hit. Which were a lot. That’s his forte, after all.

The postdoc in the lab confided in me what my boss’ reaction was: “I just don’t understand why she isn’t having an abortion!” And this was without even knowing the full story. At least he had the sense to not say it directly to me (it’s not exactly employer-employee discussion material), though part of me wishes that he had.

Did I refuse because of religious views? Because I’m pro-life? Because I think abortion is wrong and should be banned? Because we all know you’re either a baby killer or you’re pro-life, right? If I was pro-abortion, wouldn’t I have chosen to have one?

I am very, very pro-choice. See that word there? CHOICE. I had a choice.

I wanted this baby. I’ve always known I wanted to have a family. I knew I would love this baby with all my heart. I knew I could provide that baby with a good life, no matter what. I knew that for me, “Now isn’t the right time,” wasn’t a good enough reason to end that potential-life.  I hadn’t even considered abortion when I went to see Dr.H – it wasn’t even a possibility in my mind.

But having the ability, the right, to make that decision means a lot to me. It’s one of the few political points that will get my blood boiling. Take away my right to make that choice and you start eroding my recognition in this society as an equal person. Trudeau I believe made the comment about how the government doesn’t belong in the bedrooms of Canadians. Guess what – the government doesn’t belong up my “vajayjay” either.

Do I think it’s right to abort because I forgot to use a condom, we broke up, I changed my mind, or the baby has the horrible chromosomal defect of having (or not having) a Y chromosome? Or even because the baby has an actual chromosomal or physical defect (for lack of a better word, and I’m willing to take suggestions for a change in wording. Condition?) that would still allow him or her to live a full and rich life? My gut reaction is to say, “Of course not,” but … it’s not an of course. That’s why it needs to be a choice. I don’t get to dictate what is right and wrong for everyone on this issue, and even an elected government shouldn’t either.

For the record, I do think that even late-term abortions should be allowed under extreme circumstances. Life-and-death of the mother extreme. Horrible pain and suffering of the resulting baby extreme. Yes, the so-called partial birth abortion (aka D&X as opposed to D&E) is gruesome. Don’t look it up. I really could have lived a full life not knowing the details. But even knowing those details I still support its use where no other option is available. I grieve for any person who has to endure making that choice.

I’m ever so glad I had the choice to make. I chose to have my wonderful Cameron. I don’t regret my decision in the least bit. He is my sweetest wild blueberry, my jellybean, my whole-lotta-love-in-a-little-package … my Cameron.

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