in which i finally answer the loaded question
I'll get to the SOTU later. There's something I would like to get off my chest first.
I got an email this morning and I would like to respond in depth, the length and breadth of of all the questions, but I have other things to write about today. I will, however, finally cover this one question, because it is something that appears frequently in my inbox.
What about abortion? You have alluded to it, written about it and then backed off the subject. Let me come clean once and for all. Yes, I am pro-choice. To an extent. I believe that up to a certian point in a pregnancy, a woman has the right to do what she has to do without interference from a governing body.
That said, I myself would never have an abortion. While I believe you may go ahead and do that if the need arises, it would not be a choice for me. Not for any religious reasons, as I have none.
There is no question of a religious nature here. I am an atheist. Just to get that out of the way.
I didn't always feel that way. Although I pretty much practiced abstinence until I was in my late 20's, I always figured that if I did have sex and I wasn't careful and the dreaded event happened, abortion was a way out. This from a Catholic school girl.
Of course, as I matured, I toned that attitude down a bit. It wasn't until 1992, when I became pregnant with what should have been my second child, that I turned those thoughts around.
I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks. That's two months. That makes the baby that was inside me just a tiny little thing, not at all viable on its own, having barely developed beyond the blip on a radar stage.
Yet, it was my baby. I told relatives. I picked out a name. I started looking at baby clothes in the store. I made plans. And then it happened, a bit of bleeding, some cramps and a trip to the OB-GYN to confirm what I already knew. A few days later I had a D&C and that little blip in my belly was gone.
Well-meaning friends and relatives heaped the cliched phrases on me: Don't worry, it wasn't developed yet. It wasn't even really a baby. It's not like you heard it's heartbeat or anything. You were only eight weeks.
They dismissed my baby and they dismissed my heart ache and that has stayed with me long past the susbequent birth of my son a year later, long past the time that one usually "gets over" these sort of things. Because it was a mind-changing, if not a life changing event for me. A watershed moment, if you will.
Yet, I remain pro-choice because I know not everyone wants the child forming inside them like I wanted mine. Not every woman will care for a child - or be able to care for a child - the way I would have that tiny little thing. I may not like the decision you make in that matter or even agree with it, but it is not my place, nor anyone's elses, to say what you do with your own body and your own would-be child.
I have a sister who cannot have children. I have very close friends who are going through the same agony and sadness my sister and brother-in-law have gone through, trying to conceive, trying to carry a pregnancy to full term. I can't imagine intentionally removing a baby from its womb.
Then again, I have never been in that situation. I cannot walk in those shoes, nor would I want to.
Yes, I am pro choice. But given that choice, it's not one I myself would make.
I don't know if that clarifies or explains anything for you. I will probably not broach the subject again, so this will have to do as an answer for the inquiring minds.