I have a soapbox under me feet. While I'm up here...
I'm sure some of my readers are Pro-Life, and I REALLY don't intend to alienate you guys, but I'm going to warn you that I'm about to throw a wee bit of a tantrum. Understand that it's simply emotions bubbling over that I usually keep in check because I'm ALWAYS composed in debate. However, this is my playroom and I kind of feel like throwing my toys around for a minute. I'm fucking tired of being diplomatic. I know it's essential, and I know it gets me further than being a raving lunatic, but that doesn't make it any less tiresome.
You all are probably aware that I'm an advocate of choice. I have that big ass ugly button in my sidebar which says so. I wish I could find a more visually appealing one, but the sentiment is more important to me than having a pretty blog. Although, if any of you can recommend a source for buttons that don't blink and express those two of my most sacred beliefs, I'd love you forever. Not that I don't already, but who couldn't use some more Zube love? I'm full of it.
Anyway, choice is something I am PASSIONATE about. So passionate that I actually cried when Bush was reelected because I worry that under his administration the clock is slowly being turned back on Roe v. Wade, while we're all distracted by the War on Terror. My Republican husband didn't even laugh at my crying ass. He hugged me because he understands this passion. There's very little that we don't poke fun at one another for, and this is one of those things.
The reason I'm so passionate about it is that if I hadn't had access to a legal and safe abortion, I, without a doubt, would not be living in Colorado married to the Pro-Choice Republican guy I'm wildly in love with. Who knows where the fuck I'd be, but I'm so happy with where I am, that I've got nothing but love for all of the women and men who were fighting for my right to choose even while I was Pro-Life and fighting to deny myself that right. How's that for irony? "I think it would be healing for a survivor of rape to give birth to the resulting child," ranks way up there on the list of Dumbest Shit I've Ever Said.
Through my perusal of Pro-Life websites yesterday, I came across several points I'd like to address. The following aren't direct quotes; they're merely points I've seen expressed over and over again. I'm not linking because I have no desire to start a pissing match with anyone. The following is my lil' ole' opinion, peppered with lots of cussing because I'm cranky today. Maturity be damned.
"I had an abortion, and now I regret it. Abortion should be illegal because every-fucking-body else who had one must regret it, too."
There are so many websites where women can go and get hugs and get prayed for and all that happy horseshit because they made a decision they regret. And that's all well and good. I think it's important to support people who've made difficult decisions in a pinch and aren't all okay with it. Unfortunately, though, that's the fucking nature of making a BIG DECISION there's no going back on. I'm sorry you regret having an abortion. That sucks. It really does. But it doesn't mean the right should be taken away from EVERYONE. We can't go around protecting people from making a decision they might regret. Seriously.
I am at peace with what I decided, but I'm not going to turn around and say that every woman who finds herself pregnant in the least ideal situation should have an abortion. See? And I know some women who, though it's nearly impossible to tell anyone, regret not having had an abortion. They're not going around saying pregnant teenagers shouldn't be allowed to have kids. They had their kid and they love it like crazy, but they still wonder where they'd be if they hadn't. They made a decision and they're living with it. Me, too. So are you. And how each of us feels about the decision we've made should not influence the legality of others to make their own.
Now, if you were forced/coerced into having an abortion, that's WRONG and that's not what choice means to me. CHOICE means you have a fucking CHOICE in the matter and THAT is what I stand for. That's why the whole Pro-Abortion label pisses me right off. Let's just say that if I have a daughter and she comes to me at the age of sixteen and tells me she's pregnant, I give her FULL LICENSE to make a decision she can live with. I mean, ideally she wouldn't be in that predicament because she'll have come to me before she had sex and we'd have gone to the doctor and gotten her on birth control, but BIRTH CONTROL does not come with any GUARANTEES. Contraception fails, people.
But, if she wants to have a baby? Fine. If she wants an abortion? Fine. I will love her and support her NO MATTER WHAT. And, if abortion is illegal and that's what she wants? I'll fly her ass to some other country. I'm not really too worried about my future daughters not having access to abortion. It's the poor people who might want one and can't afford to travel to Canada that I'm most worried about.
I don't think the reason there are so many sites like this is that the majority of women regret having an abortion. I believe it's more or less because women who don't regret aborting don't feel the need to publicize it to the world. It's a private decision, and one they're thankful to have been able to make, but also one that people would condemn them for and who the fuck wants to deal with that?
I do because I don't really give a rat's ass what anyone other than my husband and my family think of me. I had an abortion and my whole town knows it. I don't regret it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
"Abortion should be illegal, except in cases of rape and incest."
That's simply not possible, and I'll tell you why.
The asshole that raped me didn't have the common decency to give me a black eye or SOMETHING, ANYTHING that would have made me a credible plaintiff. I knew him through a friend. He offered to give me a ride to the store because my car was broken down. I accepted. I, though I felt squicky about it and should have spoken up but, being young and naive, followed him into his house so he could retrieve some unknown thing. Which, come to find out, was in between my legs. And that was that. He didn't rough me up. He didn't have to because I was sufficiently frightened by the inability to breathe. A pillow over your face doesn't leave much in the way of bruising. I acquiesced because I wanted him to ease up on the suffocation. I wanted to get out alive. And I did. Thank fucking goddess.
If I'd have fought and pissed him off, I might've gotten injured, making me more believable. I might've also bought myself a one way ticket to a backyard burial. Who the fuck knows, for sure? If you ask me today if I really think he was capable of murder, I'd say probably not. But when you're deprived of oxygen and gasping for air, you'll think some crazy shit.
Does that suck? Is it unfair? Yeah. It sucks all hell and then some, but would I be willing to have innocent people put in prison for rape just so that I, or any other woman could simply say, "I was raped," and have it believed? No. Of course not. It's a sad fact of life that people lie about shit. That's why we have a judicial system. Innocent until proven guilty, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
All of that to say that I didn't prosecute. If abortions were only legal for survivors of rape, how would I have proven that that is indeed what happened? And, even if I HAD decided to prosecute, do you know how fucking long things take to even GET to trial, much less be given a verdict? I'd have given birth by the time that happened. Actually, I probably would have been forced to carry the pregnancy to term anyway because my word against his surely wouldn't have held up.
So, that argument? Stupid and impossible.
"The abortion industry is full of money hungry assholes."
Hmm...Let's see. When I had an abortion, it was $450. I opted for the general anesthesia. Otherwise it would have been $300. Friends who've had kids have told me THAT costs anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 if you have a fairly uneventful birth. It's exponentially higher if you have an emergency C-section or something outside the average push, push, why hello there little newborn event. I don't hear anyone calling OB's money grubbing assholes.
And, the cost of birth aside, I'm assuming that having a kid for THE REST OF YOUR EARTHBOUND LIFE costs a bit more than $500 bucks. I mean, come on.
I prefer that a doctor who is going to OPERATE on my UTERUS be, you know, compensated monetarily for that. I don't mind throwing in a little extra dough for the fact that they very likely risk their fucking lives to provide health services they believe in because they CARE about women.
I find it hard to believe that the lady who held my hand and told me not to cry because those rosary bead throwing, "Murderer" screaming fuckers just didn't understand, was doing it because she wanted the portion of the $450 that went to her paycheck. She was going to get it whether she held my hand or not. And okay, maybe she didn't say 'fuckers' but anyway...
Whew. I feel much better having gotten that off my chest. If you've read this entire thing, you deserve a fucking medal and all the Zube love I've got in my reserve. It's hard to fight for and believe in something and yet ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep your cool. I try. I really, really do, but every once in a while people don't fight fair with me and I want to retaliate. I'd rather do that here than there. Because here, I'm attacking an argument and not a person. There, erm, not so much.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I have a soapbox under me feet. While I'm up here...