Do you notice how in these election times the issue of the day becomes abortion? There I said it the dreaded "A" word. It is the hot button topic on a good portion of todays candidates agendas, especially here in California. This is when religious groups also promote their beliefs the most, during election time. So much for keeping church and state seperate. It is even the topic of the day in my little central California town. Our local newspaper has run articles for the second or third year about teenage pregnancy. This year they added a story about the fact that a young woman interviewed for the article under conditions of anonymity talk about her abortion experience. Then in todays paper there was an article about a teen who came forward in the public eye and talked about her abortion, and how at the time she thought it was the best decision for her, but now with renewed faith she talks about being pro-life and even shared her story at a faith based rally against abortion. I am glad she came forward about her situation but I do not feel that she has the right to put her beliefs on me or my daughters. Say what ever you want I am all for free speech! I do it all the time! I just feel that by saying that she felt overwhelmingly depressed over her choices and that through faith she was set free, is a dangerous prescription for the next young girl in her situation. Why? Faith is not the cure all for everything that ails you. I also feel counseling is important in working through any choices that one makes, like deciding to have an abortion. Faith has saved me many times but until and unless I addressed the deeper issues that caused my actions faith was not going to heal me alone. I find that it is not only my walk with God but my choices that shape the outcome of my future. That is quite obvious one would think. Is God going to cast me out of the opportunity of eternal life because of my sins? That is not the God I know. Because if that were the case I suppose I would burn in hell for my multitude of transgressions.
One of them being to choose the alternative to having a fourth child. I chose instead to have an abortion. I do not say "alternative" as cold and callously as you read it. It was a choice I agonized over, one that still haunts me today. I will say that I made the choice that was and has been right for me. I was a single mom with three young daughters I was barely able to take care of. In my moment of weakness with my childrens father who was still in his addiction it was not what was on my mind. I am grateful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to do whatever I want with my body, and it is a scary thought that some legislator usually a male can tell me what is right for me. I find it hypocritical that people complain about welfare recipients having babies but when we choose to have an abortion we are even worse, because we have done so on their taxes. Maybe they feel they have dirtied their hands with my dirty little secret. I think choice should exist and so should sex education. I was not some teenager at the time. I knew the consequences of my behavior I just made a foolish decision. When I found out I was pregnant I was furious at myself and my love. More so with myself. Because I had to live emotionally and physically with whatever choice I did make. Not that it had not affected my love, it did and he was wracked with guilt too.
I remember that day like it was yesterday and I remember feeling overwhelmed and questioning myself, was this the right thing for me to do? I remember the tears streaming down my face as my love touched my hand as he drove me to the clinic. I remember the dimmly lit waiting area that seemed serene and tranquil with couches and green plants. I remember seeing the fear on the face of a young woman who was under 16 and her boyfriend sitting on the waiting room couch just as scared. I also remember the well coiffed and manicured mother of a beautiful teen girl, and her sister sitting with her. I remember the mother saying, "this is what will be best for you, you have your whole life ahead of you." Then there I was another nameless woman who like everyone else would not look into the face or eyes of one another. I thought about my daughters at home and I thought of how much we had all been through.When they called my name and I went alone to the back area I felt the door close and I turned to glance at my love whose face was sad. The nurse was matter of fact and went about telling me to change into the gown methodically and in a droning monotone, because this was all routine to her. I remember the anonymous voices of the other women in the dressing rooms as they changed into dressing gowns. I remember one woman saying, "I had to take a half day off of work and I am supposed to be back to work tommorrow or I am gonna loose my job." She said she was a waitress and really needed her job. Another said "My ole man gets out in a week and if he found out I was pregnant he would beat the shit out of me." I do not agree with women who use abortion as a method of birth control. Contraceptives are readily available and free at Planned Parenthood. I went to a Planned Parenthood for my procedure.. I was working full time at a job as a floral designer that did not have benefits and going to college. I qualified for medi-cal but if I did not I still would have went through with the procedure. My boss at the time who did not believe in abortion knew my situation and she did not judge me or shun me. The procedure for me was different because I was under 10 weeks pregnant. I ingested some pills and had a suppository inserted that opened up my cervix. I was sent home and I slept and cried and had what amounted to cramps. I hated my love, who for all of his sorrow that he felt, could never fully know my heartache. That was what seems like a lifetime ago, but it has not left me. The thoughts of what if and I wonder what... still exist today. I also know that being in my 30s at the time was far different than being 16, and alone and scared.
I am not here to make a stand on abortion or a stand against it. I am here to make a stand on the fact that I as a woman face many more issues regarding my body than a body of legislators who will be predominately male. One candidate even vows no abortions not even for victims of rape or incest. That is one candidate who will never be able to fathom what it is like to be a woman. He is a man. Why arent candidates talking about how to prevent teen pregnancies? Hmm. I feel on that day I did choose life! I chose the lives of my 3 daughters, that they have a better life, that I have the opportunity to give them more. We still struggle today we are finally getting above the water almost 9 years later, but we love eachother and want to see eachother succeed. That is what I want for my eighteen year old daughter, success, she is also the teen mom of my beautiful grandson. There is no perfection in my life. Things happen in life the way they are supposed to. Do I fear repurcussions of telling my story? No, I fear living in a country that would not allow choice for a rape or incest survivor. I fear that some young woman go to some drastic measure to hide her pregnancy in a dumpster. I fear some woman somewhere feeling that she will not be allowed into Heaven because of a choice she made. Is God going to forgive me? He already has. My God is a forgiving God, he knows me, he created me.