Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We will choose

I read a lot of blogs. I've mentioned this before. The subject of abortion never fails to capture my attention and interest. I'm a pro choice woman. I don't leave any doubt about that when the topic arises. I don't know how I feel about abortion, as a moral stance, other than that I feel is best left up to the consciences and hearts of the women who face that prospect.

I've had one pregnancy scare and I've taken two pregnancy tests in my life. Once was when I was 19 and the other was last year. The more recent one I was 95% sure I was not pregnant, but I wanted confirmation. When I was 19 I was more nervous. I was young, inexperienced in adult life, in college and living in a family's basement.

And while I was worrying, I realized then that I considered abortion a valid option. Not one I was ready to commit to, but one to consider strongly. I was on the pill, but in my whole history of taking it, I never got the hang of keeping it to a strict schedule.

I remember crying in bed, praying (I was still a Catholic in my heart in those days, if not a practicing one) and asking God to forgive me if I had to abort. I went home and while at my father's I went to the local drug store, bought a test, took it home, and disposed of it in the trash can at the neighbourhood park. It was negative and I had my life back.

I never forgot the fear, though. And knowing a taste of that fear, which I only truly experienced in the hypothetical, has stayed with me. I don't look at abortion as right or wrong, but rather if it's the right or wrong choice for a woman as an individual.

I came across this today, which broke my heart and spurned me again to touch on this topic. It's a tragic story involving a woman's choice, and one can only imagine the further grief she would have endured had her right to choose not been available to her. I think we as women, along with being born able to make babies, are born with an innate ability to choose and make the right choice. We have this gift because we need it. Even a very pro-life woman who gives birth to an unwanted baby has made a choice.

Without choice, our bodies aren't our own. Without lawful choice, our bodies belong to the governments that regulate us. We are not our uteri. We, as gatekeepers of all human life that enters this world, will decide when the time is right. Not our governments, not religious leaders, not men, not lobbyists. Us. It's a grave responsibility to bring a new person into the world, but it's not an obligation.

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