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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Blogging for Choice


Today is Blog for Choice Day. This isn't a national holiday nor is it anything that our current government would sanction, being anti-women and anti-choice. But it is something that I ferverently believe in: a woman's right to choose.

Choice is a word that is often misused or misunderstood in the anti-choice parlance. They use choice as word synonymous with pro-abortion. I don't know anyone in the choice movement that I have been a part of for many years who is pro-abortion. I certainly am not. I do believe, however, that my own personal beliefs about choice should never be inflicted on another woman regarding pregnancy. If I chose not to have an abortion, that is my decision and mine alone. But that is not how the anti-choice people see it. They believe in government intervention into the wombs of American women. They also believe that the American government has the right to tell women in other countries that choice is not an option. They believe that every single woman has no right to determine whether or not she should become a mother, especially a mother to an unwanted child.

Well, I think this is an erroneous way of thinking. It is dangerous and frightening to me, to think that the white males currently running our government into the ground by ignoring the constitution and passing laws that are heinous and very anti-women should think that they have the right to control my reproduction. They do not. The only person who has that right is, again, me. They do not have the right to force women to carry to term an unwanted baby. A baby that might have been conceived from rape or forced sex. A baby that might be abused or neglected. A baby that could be born addicted to drugs or have fetal alcohol syndrome.

These same people don't support social services to help these forced families once that baby is born, do they? They don't take FAS or crack babies into their homes to care for them, do they? Instead they believe in violence and intimidation to try and force doctors that perform termination procedures out of business. They tell lies to vulnerable women, saying that the only sure method of birth control is abstinence. Because, after all, women should be ignoring their sex drives, the jezabels. Women should never have sex unless it is to procreate. Birth control is wrong, too. If you don't want to live with the consequences of sex, then don't participate. It's ludicrous. It's blindingly stupid. And it damaging to the culture and to our nation.

Women aren't chattel anymore, except in the eyes of the anti-choice movement. They believe that men have the right to dictate what women do with their sexuality and their reproductive rights. I don't. I won't ever. I will not for my teenage daughter, I will not for my teenage son. I am honest about sex with my children. I have never told them that sex is something special for married men and women because that's a lie. You do not have to be married to have sex. 51% of all live births in this country are to single women. This isn't a social aberration anymore, it is a fact of life. Single mothers aren't just black women in the ghetto anymore, welfare moms with Cadillacs according to Ronald Reagan, a famous anti-choice politician. Single women are choosing to adopt as well have have biological children. They use reproductive clinics, something the anti-choice movement has also tried to stop.

I am a single parent. I was not married to my children's father, nor did I want to be. I chose to have my children by IVF. I worked for 8 years to carry a pregnancy to term. During that time, I had to terminate one pregnancy due to PROM and a terrible infection that led to hospitalization for a week. I had no choice in the matter. But I did, actually. The decision was mine to make. Terminate the pregnancy and fight the infection, or lose the baby inutero and then deliver it, with the good possibility of my demise. It actually took me two full days to make this decision, and once I had the procedure, I cried and cried for days. This was one of those rather rare "Only in case of the imminent death of the mother" terminations. But that wasn't the issue. I lost a very wanted baby.

However, I've sat in the waiting room while two friends of mine also terminated pregnancies. They had pregnancies that should not have happened, and were not wanted. Both of these friends have gone on to have children that are loved and very much wanted. But at the time, their pregnancies would have been dangerous, difficult, and life altering in a very negative way. Their choices both to have children and to terminate pregnancies are what choice is all about. These capable, highly educated and successful women were able to make decisions about when to become a parent, when the time was right for them. If our government had it's way, that choice would be permanently gone and they would have had unwanted children and a completely different life.

I am an unwanted child. I have lived my entire life knowing that I was an accident, that my mother did not want me, that she wished she had never had me, and that had abortion been legal when she was pregnant, she would have terminated me. Now the anti-choice people would find it life affirming that I was born. But they didn't live my childhood, where I was neglected and disliked by my parents. They didn't get to carry the pain of being unwanted and unloved. They didn't get to feel the wondering of why my brothers were wanted, but I was not. And they haven't lived with the rejection of parents who simply wrote me out of their lives as soon as they could. They haven't read their father's obituary that did not even mention my existence.

I know what it means to grow up unwanted. I wish my parents had terminated me legally. Not that I don't want to be alive, I do, very much. But I would have liked to grow up with parents that loved me and were happy to have me instead of resentful. And I would have liked to know that every other unwanted child didn't ever have to suffer the childhood that I did. I got over it a long time ago. 11 years of therapy did help, but mostly I realized that my mother didn't have the choices that we now do, and that was wrong. Had abortion been legal she could have controlled her reproductive life and not had two children 11 months apart. Maybe I would have come along a bit later and things would have been very different. But with no ability to choose, things were what they were.

Which is why I will always be on the side of choice for women. And I urge each of you that sits on the fence to realize why keeping choice alive is so important to every women in the world.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

great take on things.

22/1/07 2:56 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Excellent post. I cheer your courage and strength.

22/1/07 3:24 PM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

Thanks for this post--your personal story makes it so much more powerful!

22/1/07 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post...I applaud you, and admire your strength, as well as your way with words.

22/1/07 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! It hit me hard. Thanks for sharing. I shall not tease my son about his untimely arrival during my first year of marriage. I told him he was 'an accident'. Guess it does make him feel unwanted huh?
Sorry honey, I don't mean it.

22/1/07 11:43 PM  
Blogger Mama C-ta said...

Wow, thanks for sharing.

23/1/07 10:37 PM  

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