Prioritized

In which I rant about “pro-lifers.” (I stand with Planned Parenthood. You’ve been warned.)

I am so tired.

I am so tired of the smart, lovely people in my life who refuse to acknowledge that other people’s experience may be different from their own — that while they are privileged enough to be able to care for multiple children in their home, not everyone has the financial or emotional resources to do so.

Tonight, on Facebook, a family member suggested that women who undergo abortions be forcibly sterilized.

God, I am tired. I am so tired because 42 years after Roe v. Wade, we are up against the same bullshit, and it comes just as much from other women.

THIS HAS BEEN DECIDED. A woman’s health and autonomy are more important than the rights of a cluster of cells who will one day grow into a human. How is this difficult to understand? An eight-week old fetus is not a baby. IT IS NOT A BABY. It can become one, if a woman chooses to become a mother. IF YOU ARE TRULY PRO-LIFE, YOU MUST SUPPORT FIRST THE LIFE WHICH ALREADY EXISTS.

I may be too tired for complete sentences.

Forced sterilization = eugenics.

Women =/= incubators. Or slaves.

There are so many reasons why #IStandWithPP. I have received excellent medical care there, in strange cities I had just moved to, when I was broke, and I am so glad they were there when I needed them.

I haven’t had an abortion. I haven’t needed to.

But I also have resources. I have a supportive family, I enjoy children and feel very competent when caring for them, and I know that if I made the decision to have a baby, I would not be making that decision alone. I would have backup. YOU NEED BACKUP.

DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD MOTHERHOOD IS FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE THOSE RESOURCES?

It takes a village. And not everybody HAS a village. Some people are born with the odds stacked against them. Our system of government makes sure of that.

Motherhood is all-consuming and completely life-changing for ANY woman. Motherhood should always be a conscious choice.

On the day when it is compulsory that a woman become a mother — when she cannot deliberately make that choice herself — that woman has lost her freedom. Even if given up for adoption, both she and her child will suffer.

But some people are unable to see beyond their own “difficult-yet-worthwhile” lives, their own children’s adorable smiles, their perfect chubby bellies, their brains that come up with the darnedest things as they learn about the world. Their God, who apparently won’t let us control our own reproductive systems but also won’t let us abort fetuses.

I wish to be a mother. I loved being a nanny. I love children. I love helping them to learn about the world. I love helping to facilitate their education and their burgeoning autonomy.

Those children grow into adults. Adults who should be able to choose whether and when they themselves become parents.

I will always prioritize the lives of actual humans over embryos.

Embryos have the potential to be people. They are not yet people! They sit frozen in labs and no one bats and eye. Law and science agrees on this.

In this country, in this life, we prioritize certain lives over others all the time. When I buy an inexpensive blouse at a major retailer, I am prioritizing my life over the life of a child working in a factory in a country like Bangledesh. My family member who is so against abortion lives in the same world. She lives in a world where she benefits from the fact that she has been prioritized over Black people, people of color, people who are disabled or Deaf or blind, people who are LGBTQ+, people who are Muslim, people who were born in other countries, people who are not college-educated, people who have had less financial and professional success than her and her husband. SHE CAN HAVE MULTIPLE CHILDREN AND RAISE THEM HAPPILY BECAUSE SHE LIVES IN A COUNTRY THAT PRIORITIZES HER because she is white, able-bodied, Christian, straight, married, neurotypical, and financially secure. Her life has been prioritized over the lives of many others. And yet, she would ask that we never — NEVER — prioritize the life of a woman over the life of an embryo.

I am so tired! I…just…can’t.

Sometimes I don’t have faith that love will keep the world going after all. Sometimes I worry that people will just fuck it all up, because we can never see beyond our own damn dinner tables. We can never see what life is like for the humans around us, and we don’t even want to. We just want to condemn those who would make choices other than our own.

I don’t want to fight, I can’t say this to my family member, but I also don’t want women to be enslaved. Just within this last hundred years, for the first time in history, we have the power to make a safe and informed decision about who we will be, whether we will bear children. Take that choice away, and women are not free. Women will die.

No more coathangers.

5 thoughts on “Prioritized

  1. I was made to feel like I had to have children. So I did. I should never have gone against my feelings for myself. Yes I love them and care for them but I would have been better not being a mum. Some people just shouldn’t have children. Don’t make us feel like we have no choice

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey. This is an excellent post and it says things which no matter how uncomfortable they may make people need to be said and said opely and honestly.

    The fact it is usually if not always those who can afford to have children who inform others what they can or cannot do shows that society is far from equal and it is depressing as you say that it so often other woman who seek to impose this rule on others.

    Speaking as a transwoman. I will confess that had I been born biologically female I would have had a family but that I am smart enough to know that in making that decision I would have been supported. As you say many women are not that lucky and the odds are stacked against them coping with the pressures of parenthood.

    Surely the correct approach for any couple is to plan their baby so they know they are giving their child the best chance of not only surviving but flourishing in this world. I would have thought that was their first parental duty. I know that it would certainly have been mine had I had the chance of motherhood.

    I believe, in a world where there is already too much pressure on women to have it all whatever all is women are burdened by expectations of others to a far greater degree than men. Women need to be taught body confidence and part of that comment is to value our vaginas. The vagina serves many more purposes than its male counterpart and is not simply a baby making machine. But for thesse people who want forced sterilisation on women that is exactly what they are claiming. The way they see the world women are no more than sex slaves with no right to be pleasured. Don’t these people know that the days when women were told to lie back and think of Scotland, England or Uncle Sam are over and over for good. If they don’t I think it’s time they did

    To my these people have to realise that time has moved on from the mythical image they present to us and to go back to that kind of past would be a retrograde step which would do us as a society a lot more harm than good. The people who hold this view must surely know that the days of girl meets boy girl marries boy and they all live happily ever after is confined to movies set in a time before our time and that nowadays a girl is just as likely to meet another girl and want to marry her. It could even that be the boy next door the one your folks liked wants to be the girl next door and only she’ll be trying on with you will be a little bit of lippy.

    The world has changed now and people need to embrace that change. They can make a start on their journey by embracing a women’s right to decide what she does with her body is a matter for her to decide and each of us will make that decision based on our own personal circumstances.

    Best Wishes
    Gayle X

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I live a very privileged life in many ways, and certainly in this way – I’ve never needed PP’s services, though I am 100% pro-choice and stand with PP as an organization. However, I can still empathize with people who DO need those services, including their abortion services. I hate that people who get abortions are so demonized, as if they truly don’t care at all about the act, the procedure, any of it. Just because you have to prioritize your life doesn’t mean you don’t care at all about any other life. I’ve seen something like this just yesterday. My girlfriend works at our local humane society and recently learned that bottle-feeder kittens who are brought into the shelter too late to find a foster parent to take care of them for the night are euthanized. We currently have two bottle-feeders ourselves, but last night an animal control officer brought in four 1-day old kittens right before closing. No one wanted to take them, and after much consideration my girlfriend also declined because she truly didn’t think we’d be able to take care of them plus the ones we already had. So, those kittens were put down. Did she make the right decision? I think so, yes. Does she feel really, really shitty about it? Oh yeah. But if someone who didn’t know her heard the story, they’d probably assume she’s selfish and cold-hearted. Why do we preach self-care so much when we then demonize people who try to practice it?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely nailed it. Especially when you write about when people arrogantly assume that because they have experienced something one way, everyone else has gone through a similar journey. So they approach a topic with a “what I say is fact” mentality. Seriously pisses me off.

    Liked by 1 person

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