somewhere between pro-choice and pro-life

I have always been a very, very flaming liberal. That being said, I personally knew that I would never choose abortion for myself. I cheered on Senator Davis, and her supporters, and feel victorious as the Texas bill died. I follow the celebrations on Jezebel but was surprised at my mixed feelings about this article, discussing the concept and relevance of fetal pain.

I don’t dismiss my daughter as a “nonviable fetus”. She was a person, loved and cherished by me, and a member of my family. I don’t know if she was able to feel physical pain yet, and I really actually hope she wasn’t. I hope that she was unable to feel any pain at all. I do know, however, that we had a connection, a mother-daughter bond, that I would be unable to feel with a non-living being.

So despite my mixed feelings about the dismissive sentiments of my fellow feminists when it comes to “nonviable fetuses”, despite the fact that they have never known what it is to love beyond measure a child who is only 20 weeks gestation, I ended up agreeing with them based on this:

“There’s no evidence that nonviable fetal pain is a thing, but there’s TONS of evidence that full-grown women (so, not innocent unborn angels) who are denied abortions are majorly fucked; they’re three times as likely to end up below the federal poverty line two years later, to cite just one negative consequence. These women literally can’t afford new restrictions — they already have a hard enough time accessing reproductive care.”

I don’t want to limit access to healthcare for these women who have grown up without access to education, in poverty, with unspeakable tragedies perpetrated on their own selves during childhood. I don’t want them in back alleys, bleeding out, dying of septic shock, when they pay their last dollars for illegal abortions. I don’t want their children growing up to repeat the cycle, in poverty, turning to crime, bounced around in foster care, in extreme psychic pain their whole lives.

And yet… I am so glad that Jo Jo’s bio mom chose not to have an abortion. I have a beautiful, charming, precious child who heals me every day because of her choice. It was her choicethough. I’m so  glad it was. But how would I feel about it if I knew that she bore the child against her will? I don’t know, honestly. Conflicted, I’m sure.

I’m a foster mom looking at the cycle of poverty and crime through generations, I’m a baby loss mom who loved my baby of 20 weeks gestation as much as I could have loved her at 1 week old, and I’m a feminist who wants women to be able to choose what happens to their own bodies.

It’s just not black and white, either way you look at it. It’s just not, and I can’t claim to subscribe fully to the whole set of beliefs on either side. At times I feel confused, but that is how one should feel when it comes to complicated moral and ethical questions. Neither side is fully right, but neither is fully wrong, either.

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4 Comments »

  1. As a Texas and pretty serious liberal, I followed this closely as well. I was thrilled by the filibuster and even though this isn’t actually a victory, at least it wasn’t a loss. While I think this bill passing would have been a travesty for women’s right, I agree that the issue itself is absolutely not black and white. It is SO complicated, especially for those of us who would give anything to conceive and/or adopt and raise a child.

  2. I do think that every pro life member should be a foster parent at some point in time. I do personally believe abortions after 23 weeks are morally wrong. I would never get an abortion at any time (if I had a uterus), but never wanted my views to be pressed onto another. But there is just something so wrong about late term abortions. You should know your decision by 16 weeks (I figure said person didn’t find out they were pregnant until 13 weeks). But seeing the 4D ultrasound of my baby, moving around, playing, wiggling fingers etc. at 16 weeks, even that seems so awful to me. I kind of feel, unless there is a medical condition, only first trimester abortions should be allowed. Man, maybe I’m turning more and more into my parents. ahhaha

  3. Certainly not black and white, I agree.

    For me, I guess I want women to have access to safe, affordable abortion services. I think that is so important, even if it isn’t a choice I could see myself making (and quite frankly, I have never been, and hope never to be in that position). I’m sure there are plenty of choices I have made, and will make regarding my body that are different to those others may make, and that’s ok. We are all different, we all have our own stories, reasons, and opinions. What’s right for one of us won’t be right for another.

    So, I am pro-choice, but I suppose not pro-abortion. Wouldn’t it be liberating if there was no need for abortion? But there is, and the women seeking it deserve safe services.

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