Getting pregnant is neither punishment nor reward. It is not a magical blessing or a curse — and it most definitely is not a silver bullet you can use to shoot yourself out of a rut. It is a plain biological fact that may or may not result in a healthy baby, that could immeasurably enhance or irreversibly damage your life prospects.
September 2nd, 2012 at 3:47 pm
I stumbled into this post by accident when a friend RT’d your link on Twitter. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, for the RT gave no indication on the subject matter, but once I sank into the first paragraph, I knew I was in for the long haul.
As a woman who at 22 (on her 22nd birthday, no less) saw the terrifying pink plus sign while hiding in her bathroom from her boyfriend of only a few months, I was understandably drawn in to your tale. I devoured each sentence, remembering my terror at that young age and the uncertainty of my future…of our future. But for a moment I almost closed the window. When you said that surprise pregnancies can not lead to happy endings (or that is how I took it), I snarled at my computer screen, my blood boiled, and my fists clenched. “How DARE she speak for ALL women and ALL life experiences??” I was overwhelmed with the arrogance and finality.
But I read on. Because if I was going to be angry with you I wanted to at least have read the whole story. And then I saw the logic. And after I calmed myself I remembered that “happy endings” really aren’t an option for all women faced with an unexpected pregnancy.
When I became pregnant I was dating a guy with a promising career opening up before him. I owned my car, I had good credit, a great full time job, and an apartment. He and I loved each other, but beyond that we were compatible. And that realistic view of our compatibility AND fondness of each other gave us the answer we needed: we would keep this baby and we’d make a go of it.
5 years later I am infertile. I can not conceive again. My precious mistake baby is the only baby I will have. 5 years later I look at her father and I can not believe I married someone so dedicated to his role as a father and his role as my lover and best friend. 5 years later I’m working toward my happy ending.
But I am not the rule. I am the exception. And so I concede that you’re right: sticking out a pregnancy does not necessarily mean a happy ending. For many women, and men, choosing either an abortion or adoption is the very best thing they can do for each other and the child. In every fiber of my being I wish this weren’t so. But it is so. And because it is so, it is imperative that women and men have a choice.
I did not choose abortion. And I am so, so glad I didn’t. But had my circumstances been different, I would have wanted to have a choice.
I am a Christian, from Alabama, who chose life. But, I had a choice. All women should have a choice. And that’s just all there is to it.
But choice is power. It forces you to live in the active present tense, not the editorially lazy passive construction of this-happened-to-me. Make a choice and you can’t abdicate responsibility to the real or perceived will of others or the now of perpetual distraction. Make a choice and you confront the closed mystery of the choice not chosen. If ambivalence is a hallmark of denial, choice is an acceptance of time, mortality, limits.
I am amazed how expensive even the first trimester of prenatal care is. And that's with good insurance. Never mind the fact that there is no official daycare facility in my area that takes infants. I don't know how people who can't live on one salary can afford to have babies. If it were a child and not a choice, the people in charge would make it easier to have a baby, not harder to have an abortion.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster care placement of a child. The FMLA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. —wikipedia
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