Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Pro-Life" is so misleading... my journey from Pro-non-choice to Pro-Choice.

I think... I wish... that we could change these opposing opinions to "Pro-Choice" and "Pro-Non-Choice". Because "Pro-Life" as opposed to "Pro-Choice" is so... misleading. So ridiculous. They are not opposites. Can't I be pro-life, and pro-choice?

Yes, yes I can.

The thing is, a lot of "pro-lifers" think of "pro-choicers" as "pro-death". I think. And it simply. Isn't. So.

You see, I spent most of my life, most of my 28 years, very hardcore "pro-life". Anti-abortion, I should say. I felt there was no situation in which an abortion was appropriate. Because I know.. I know what it's like to have life inside my womb... I know what it's like to see that heartbeat and realize, there's a human being in there. I KNOW.

Let me crunch some numbers for you that you will judge me for, harshly.

I have had 10. Count 'em.... TEN miscarriages.
I have had 2 babies.
I almost had one abortion, but I changed my mind.

And that one instance changed my life and my entire stance on politics, "pro-choice", women's rights... everything, really. EVERY. THING.

You see, I took responsibility for every one of those other pregnancies. In a way, I even took responsibility for the last one. The one I almost aborted. The one that was a result of rape. The one that when I actually canceled the abortion,and then miscarried, I mourned.. and mourn to this day.

But THAT Experience made me see everything so much more clearly.... so very much.

Because when that pregnancy test came up positive..... I felt I had two choices. Abort my baby, or commit suicide.
Abandon my two living children, whom I had solid relationships with.. who I have worked my ASS off to be there for, to be a good mother to... who I have pushed myself to and through the limit to be a decent mother for.... ?? Or abort that baby. Live with the guilt forever, but know that for Sophia, and for Eli, I was doing what was best for THEM. Because I was alone. So. Very. Alone. And broke. And single. And barely emotionally stable.... on the brink of cracking, at any slight notice. And I didn't make the choice that led to that pregnancy. In fact, I took the morning after pill the very next day....
I put myself through the agony of a rape evidence kit at the ER. I filled out a statement that has probably been put through a paper shredder by now.

You guys, if you think reporting a rape is EASY.... if you think people do it for fun, or for vindication..... you need to go shoot yourself in the foot.... because no. It's humiliating. They ask you the worst questions you could possibly have to answer in the aftermath of being violated. They violate your privacy after your body has been violated to prove that your body was violated. They stick needles in you... I passed out cold, twice. I ran into my attacker, twice, afterwards, and was advised by the detective not to act as if anything was awry, because it could mean compromising my safety until they brought him in for questioning. Which they still have not. 8 months later.

I've been contacted by women's advocacy centers a million times..... but I have nothing to tell them. I have no evidence. My evidence hasnt' made it past the police dept that was dissolved within a few months of this. I can't. prove. anything. Short of saving the miscarried fetus and doing a DNA test (which wasn't exactly on my mind while I was in physical pain WORSE than either of my labors, and emotional pain i can't possibly describe).... I had nothing. Nothing at all to prove.

And this ... and so much political debating.. and so much hatred and venom and nastiness flying around this election... this is all why I am saying this right now.

I am pro-choice.
I have friends who have performed coat-hanger abortions ON THEM SELVES. Because it's so goddamn scary and shameful .. and EXPENSIVE... to get a legitimate, safe abortion. Because people are placing the life of a fetus so high above the entire family unit that existed before it. Because EVERY case is different but people are generalizing. "It's a child, not a choice"?
Well, excuse me. But Me, my daughter, and my son, are people. And had I carried this last pregnancy any longer, I can't promise I'd still be alive. My family could have dissolved completely. My daughter may have ended up with her "father" who doesn't even know her.. thousands of miles away from the family that has helped raise her. My son would be with his wonderful father, but without me... and without his sister, who has loved him so beautifully and completely since the second he was born.
All of that.. ripped apart....

I chose not to abort. I was going to adopt out. And that would have crippled me emotionally (even more than I am) for life.. but I was going to.. because I saw that heartbeat. And I didn't want to take the life of another human being.
Had I  not had the choice, that first week.... I was in bad shape even WITH the choice. But without? I would've been dead 24 hours after the second line appeared.
I actually considered every possible form of "back alley abortion" I could think of. Because I couldn't afford a legit one, but a wonderful woman came forward and lent me the money. Which I ended up spending on necessities for my family, and still owe her.... But she understood.  She, among many others, kept me alive.

When I told my mother what was going on, finally, she simply hugged me and said "no wonder you're so exhausted... you've been shouldering all this on your own." My conservative, mormon, pro-life mom.....
She was pro-MY-life. Because I am her child.

Because reasonable people understand that SHIT HAPPENS.... that you can't control. And you have to make a decision after that... a decision that could affect more than just YOU.  Two, Three... 5... 10 people... more... whole lifetimes....
These aren't decisions that MEN have to make. NO person.. man or woman.. should be legislating what we can or cannot do as far as our bodies. Birth control... early abortions in extreme cases... anything......
People are going to DO what they feel they HAVE to do to survive.
People kill ADULT people every day. People do very wrong things every day, like taking away women's rights... like taking away their choice.. like raping women, children.... I started my menses at 7. So, what if I had been raped and become pregnant then?
Would you all have been so adamant that I be forced to carry that baby to term when I was, literally, still a baby myself? even as an adult, giving birth to my first child broke my body... cracked my pubic bone.. couldn't walk for weeks... my second child, I hemorrhaged more blood than a normal sized person can live without.
I AM as PRO LIFE as one can be.
But I am pro choice..
Because until you've walked in someone's shoes.. until you've lived their life.. their dreams.. their fucking NIGHTMARE... you have NO RIGHT to make that choice for them, about what they will have to live with for the next ETERNITY. Because it's not just 9 months, you guys. It's forever. We live with it FOREVER, no matter what choice we make... not you. Us. So back the fuck up and understand.... that yes, there are assholes out there who don't care and abort babies for no good reason but their own selfishness. But there are so many of us who truly make these decision painstakingly, carefully... and at our own expense.. the expense of our own wellbeing and happiness.... knowing that we will NEVER ever forget or fully recover.. because we have to take care of not only ourselves but others as well. Because we have to consider 20 or 30 or 40 something years of a human life that we may not be able to sustain in such a situation, as compared to a fetus whose 2 day old heart may or may not be beating.. who may or may not feel anything at 6 weeks of pregnancy...

I do not deign to know these things...
I couldn't stomach killing the life inside my uterus despite the fact that it was emotionally killing me.
But I do know one thing:

If we take away the right for a woman to choose how her body is used, what happens to it... what grows in it and what comes out of it....
We may as well just take back the last 100 years of progress. We may as well just make women slaves.... we may as well accept a horrific suicide rate .. and accidental death from "back alley" abortions... because YOU can't understand a situation until YOU ARE FUCKING IN IT. You can't. And you should NEVER be allowed to make that decision for someone else, because you will never BE THEM. Ever.

And this is why I don't vote.
Because I can't possibly vote for someone who would think to take away my rights to my body....
But I can't vote for the alternative either.. I just hold tight and pray. :(
The only thing I could really rally for at this time is harsher punishment for rapists, really. While mine runs free, driving a brand new car, working for the BLM, living under pseudonyms, and doing what he pleases with god knows what other women.

This isn't really all that productive, but I had to say it. I had to.