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.
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.