I have always been pro-choice. And thank god for it, because last week I got to make that choice. Faced with the fact that the father was my poly partner and I'm secondary to his wife, that I have enough fear about child-raising to know that the only way for me to do it is with a dedicated co-parent, and the knowledge that my partner's financial support would likely be nil while my own salary only barely takes care of me, I made the choice to terminate the pregnancy.
The thing that astonished me was how kind and caring everyone in my doctor's office was about it. No one made me think about eagles crying over the Washington Monument while a flag waved in the background, and when I had to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound to be sure the pregnancy wasn't ectopic (it was far too early for an abdominal ultrasound to locate the pregnancy) no male senators turned up to tell me all about how what I'm doing is wrong.
That is real, non-punitive healthcare that assumes I can think and that I'm allowed to have sex and enjoy it, just like the boys do. That is, quite frankly, my equal social right to live free of the consequences of unintended pregnancy just like many men opt to.
That is healthcare worth preserving and extending to all women. It has to be, in the end, our decision, and we cannot and should not be punished because accidents happen. Nor should we be pumished for deciding that this is not the right time for a child. And more to the point, we should not be punished for enjoying sex, which, as you point out, is exactly what the GOP agenda comes down to.
I'm so glad that you were treated with compassion and respect. And saddened that it seems like such a surprising thing.
To be very fair, I live in about the most liberal part of the country (Seattle) and my expectations were being shaped by the national "discussion" on the issue over the course of this campaign, rather than any real experience of the care provided by my hospital, which has been almost always excellent in the combined nearly-thirty-years I've been a member (to the point that I can specifically say that there were only three experiences I would characterise as bad). It surprised me that it surprised me, as it were. But, as I say, everyone was fantastic, and I didn't have to justify a damn thing other than by saying "This is not the right time in my life to have a child."
Which is what every woman should be able to say.
I'm sorry that you had to face that decision, but very very glad that you were able to do so, and to do so in an environment that was supportive.
Me too, and I want it for all women. Having done it myself simply reinforces my conviction on the matter. I was shocked that I was surprised at how easy it was, and that made me more aware of how really, insanely, difficult it is for women in other situations who don't have my advantages of employer-covered, provider-offered rational health care.
Hilariously, of course, no one would bat an eye anywhere if my partner wanted to get a vasectomy (he and his wife discussed it years ago and she said she didn't want that), which simply reinforces the fact that, yanno, this is punishing women for being sluts.
Yup. If men could get pregnant, abortion would be considered basic health care.
But the higher crime rate plays into their hands too. It allows more of the prison-industrial complex and more militarized police presence in our lives. "Get tough on crime!"
But that's government spending! They would NEVER support that!!
Privatized prisons! Higher crime also breed fear and fear leads to voting for "stronger" (ie conservative) candidates
Preach it. The argument that constantly surprises me is the one that says, "women's issues are a side issue - we need to focus on fixing the economy."
Really? And how is planning when and if to have children NOT focusing on the economy? Having a child is not cheap and neither is carrying it to term so giving it up for adoption isn't necessarily an option. Being pregnant for nine months means doctor's appointments which means possible time off work and possibly losing pay for that time off work, especially if you are in a lower paying job.
I am also really glad to see that "pro-life" is slowly being changed to "anti-choice." Because "pro-life" makes the rest of us sound like we are pro-death and pro-abortion. And I know no one who enjoys the idea of abortion. I think they are necessary and need to be protected but it is not a pretty thing or something to be celebrated.
All very true. But once again, women deserve to be thrown into poverty for having sex. It's all so simple!
That's a great article. I will be linking to it elsewhere as well.
It's weird. Radical Christians use to be a strong force for progressive change in this country, being some of the original bases for the anti-slavery, women's suffrage, and prohibition movements (the last one being one I disagree with strongly, along with the current prohibitions of "vice" based crimes, but I understand why it was supported it at the time). It's sad that it's become a reactionary conservative group, and I'm not entirely sure I understand why. I don't even think one really sees progressive Christian groups as a strong force anymore, and I really don't know why that is - I suppose the conservative shpiel-machine has done a good job tarring the ideas of social liberalism, tolerance, and community organization as being either the refuge of the crazy radicals or annoying hippies, and the other side hasn't refuted that well (or at all).
Some of us (progressive Christians) are out there. We do a lot. But the media likes anger and controversy, and we don't generate as much of that. Some groups I can personally vouch for are the Methodist Federation for Social Action and various LGBT-supporting groups like the Reconciling Congregations Movement (United Methodist) and More Light (Presbyterians).
I know that you are still out there. I just wish you could get attention.
It is sad that the message of love and care for one's fellow has disappeared under greed and self-centeredness. Televangelism has been one of the worst things that has happened to this country. And the right has basically said that it's not their job to carry out the words of Jesus. What?
YES. So much. Thank you.
It's deplorable that my basic human rights are up for debate, but at least I have the power to cast a vote for my own protection, that of all other women and girls and, as you point out, pretty much all of society.
It's terrifying to me that any women would vote for Romney. How is this election even close?!
"How is this election even close?"
I have no idea. Much of my family is conservative and in Texas. I see them on my Facebook liking Romney and supporting him and I just don't get it. And it's mostly females.
Much of my family is conservative, too. It turns my stomach.
My first guess would be "Stockholm Syndrome."
May I quote this or link to it in my LJ and FB?
I say sterilize everyone who is deemed a failure in life and will never ever be able to support a family all by their independent selves. Leave the child bearing to the capable rich folk, and we won't need to bother with messy abortions. Those doctors' time and talents are better spent on curing cancer or something.
But then who would serve fast food and clean hotel rooms?
>>There is no biblical evidence to support the notion that God has any interest in unborn life
And even if there was, nobody should give a flying fuck. Secular government and all that.
Yes, that, but not an argument that is a starter with these people.
Not interested in a drawn out argument, so I'll just say this - so long as you refuse to engage an argument in good faith, you will persuade no one. Just because you know a few awful people does not mean that everyone in the pro-life movement is awful. Just because you do not accept an position does not mean it is not arrived at rationally and sincerely. Just because you chose not to acknowledge the thousands of pregnancy centers that provide services to both expectant and new mothers (as well as other institutions of the Church providing for the poor and needy) does not mean they don't exist as testament to the concern, charity and love that you deny exists.
I acknowledge that those things exist. They are not, however, the interest of the currently running politicians.
"This is Brittney; she's my 'consequence.'"
How is that not child abuse?
As I said, these people don't care about Brittney, once she's been forced onto her mother. Only fetuses matter.
It sort of depends on which "these people" you're talking about. I'm sure there are people who genuinely believe that a) there is no moral difference between a fertilized egg and a fully-independent human being (I disagree), and b) that fact leads to the conclusion that abortion is morally impermissible (a logical step which is typically hand-waved past, but which is not necessarily obvious; see Judith Jarvis Thompson).
However, what really shows the motivation, IMO, is the extremely tight correlation between opposition to abortion and opposition to birth control. Try as I might, I can't see that correlation as meaning anything but that the highest priority is not in fact protecting unborn persons, but controlling the sexuality of people, women in particular.
Thank you for this. Since you live in a swing state, I do hope you're reminding everyone you encounter today to VOTE!
2012-11-06 04:45 pm (UTC)
You bet I am.
I find it ironic that "pro-life" also goes hand in hand with no birth control. Plus it is very difficult for a young woman to get sterilized in this country. So yeah it is about "those sluts keeping their knees together".
this is dumb, but we are friends on FB too, right?
Um, I don't know. I'm GiniJudd over there.
yeah, we are. i found it right after i asked. been trying to pick up the people I care about over there since I am so rarely on here.