There are few things that I don’t have a specific opinion about but the issue of abortion is one where I am most certainly a fence sitter. There is no doubt that I value life and hold dear the birth of a child as I certainly wanted and adore my son. If you are not a woman who has been on the cusp of agony with the complexities of having a child from the actions of a man who is an abuser or from situations where pregnancy is dangerous to their health or an extreme hardship to care for a child the issue is not so cut and dried.

I was raped. I have no words to describe that incident and its impact on my life. I would fiercely defend another person who is being abused, but I lack the capability to do that for myself. Knowing that I am so vulnerable to abuse of any kind is fearful. We live in a world where there are men who do not care about women as anything but a place to find sexual satisfaction whatever his brute intentions may be. Where is there a place for women forced into a situation that is hopeful to bring about the joy of being a woman but actually causes fear from God’s intentions for womanhood? I have had the chance to ruminate over situations of nightmarish possibilities that included sexually transmitted disease as I sat in anguish in a  psychiatric ward suffering the sterile definition of post-traumatic stress disorder from rape.Through my tears, I saw women faced with such physical and mental abuse.I know only slightly what women of other cultures possibly feel in somewhat similar situations. These women are not treated as a worthy person.

My personal tragedy, though it did not result in pregnancy, is not the only post in my fence. I know of a young woman who became pregnant as a teenager who was forced by her mother to have an abortion by a back alley butcher. I know little about her experience at that time but I do know that she was never able to have children with her loving husband later in life.I know of a woman who became pregnant while being implanted with an IUD. There are all sorts of complications to the baby when there is an IUD in place.These two situations are only a tidbit of possibilities a woman might face. Taking away the right for women to choose to have an abortion will not keep them from happening. Would we rather see women’s health be considered or leave the pregnancy terminations to fumbling hands and rusty coat hangers? Making abortion illegal will not stop them from happening. The fear that an unwanted pregnancy produces is far too great to stop it.

Who are the people making legal abortions available or difficult to obtain? Men. A man may have a fear of another man from attack but he certainly would nor fear to become pregnant from an attack. Men have no idea what an unwanted pregnancy can be.  Women who want to terminate a pregnancy often agonize over the decision knowing that a baby dies from that decision. Ask the doctors and nurses who care for these women how much emotion goes into the decision. Most clinics provide information about what happens to the baby as the pregnancy is aborted. It is gruesome. Women who can not handle that information walk away. What happens to the child? You can fill in that blank.

When access to prenatal care and birth control is also taken away how much will the problems multiply?

I hug a deeply wanted and loved son and wonder if the children born from unwanted pregnancies are well cared for and loved. I can’t imagine what this country will be like without good women’s health. There is much more to the issue than bumper stickers claiming pro-life or pro-choice. I would like to put both on my bumper.

Advertisements