I was angry last week. Enraged to the point of shaking kind of angry. It was about abortion. Not my abortion, scheduled to begin on Thursday the 24th but other women’s abortions.I was angry about the women who had died and left living children motherless because they wanted an abortion and couldn’t have one safely. I was angry about the callous assholes who didn’t give a shit about dead women or orphans, just about a fetus. I was angry about the babies in the world who need parents and the parents who have babies who can’t feed them…and that no one gives a shit about them,either. Just the fetuses. I was angry about the stigmas and the hate women who have abortions face. I was angry that so many women have to go through something so huge all alone.
I’m still angry and it won’t ever go away.
Last week I had an abortion. Like more than half the women in America who have an abortion, I am already a mother. Like those other women, choosing to terminate a pregnancy was part of motherhood. Those who demonize women who choose this want you to believe that no woman who has ever had a baby she loved and cared for would ever choose abortion. If she does, she must be a bad mother. On the contrary,like any decision a good mother makes, she was doing what was best for the stability and well being of the family she has already. It’s a monumental act of matriarchal goodness.
I wanted to talk about this openly, like I would with other women about other “womens issues”. I wanted to break down the stigmas. I found fabulous women who felt the same as I do who have been in the same situation but more often, I was disappointed to find that talking about my abortion made even women who refer to themselves as “100% pro choice!” uncomfortable. To their credit, they were all polite and the only slightly odd comment that was made was , “Really, what was one more kid?”
What was one more kid, since I already have 6? The question posed made it sound like babies are china dolls that sit on a display shelf . You take them down periodically to admire their delicate features and smile lovingly at them and put them back where they’re safe from breaking. They don’t need fed and the clothes they require came with them in the box. They take up a little space but not much and they offer no inconveniences except for the occasional dusting. The other dolls on the shelf aren’t ever told, “I’ll take you to get new glasses next month…after I pay for your sister’s dental bill and buy your brothers new boots.” or that they can’t have second helpings until everyone else has eaten. Yes. What’s one more?
To their credit, they ask me if I’m ok, how I’m feeling….if I’m depressed ,sad or feeling regrets. I feel none of that. Post-abortion, I’m mad at my own body for being ridiculously fertile and defying the odds of biology & birth control. I’m sad that I can’t give this thing of abundant fertility to women who would see it a blessing instead of a curse. Mostly, I’m grateful. Overwhelmingly grateful. I’m grateful for Sarah Weddington and Roe vs Wade. I’m grateful for Planned Parenthood and their amazing staff. I’m grateful for a supportive partner who took care of me both physically and emotionally. I’m grateful the abortion was less traumatizing physically than the miscarriage I had years ago. I’m grateful I’m not dead and I can continue to be a mother to the amazing lives I already am responsible for.
But I’m still angry,too. If there’s a woman out there who can’t talk about her abortion because she’s afraid of being judged and condemned, don’t worry. I’m here to be angry for you.
[blog title from "Amendment" by Ani DiFranco]
And if men can kill and be decorated
Instead of blamed
Then a woman called upon to mother
Can choose to refrain