Relief. Anguish. Certainty.
January 22, 2015 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Pretty sure that if I got pregnant right now, I'd have one. It would be a huge strain on my health and my family if I didn't, possibly even disastrous. Of course, I'm fortunate enough that I could scrape together the money to go out of state if I had to. I might even feel compelled to go out of state, since access is so limited in Texas that I'd hate to be in the way of a less-fortunate woman being able to get on the schedule.

And isn't it bullshit that this is even something we have to worry about.
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 AM on January 22, 2015 [11 favorites]

Very powerful set of videos - it makes me yearn to know more about each of these women, especially Cheryl Riley. I see much of my own mother in her, if things in her life had turned out differently.
posted by muddgirl at 7:40 AM on January 22, 2015

muddgirl, I often wonder whether, if my mother had chosen to abort instead of having me, she would have landed on the side of Riley or of Rosalyn Jonas. She and my father weren't married when she got pregnant, and it must have crossed their minds even if only for a bit. Having kids definitely made my mother's life harder and more limited than it should have been; but at least I have always known she wasn't *trapped* into having any of us.

As it happens, I'm attending a Roe v Wade anniversary event tonight, and when I mentioned it to some people a few days ago, an older acquaintance asked, "and what does your mother think about that?"

It was so deeply satisfying to respond, "well, she was my date to last year's event, so what do you think she thinks?"
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:45 AM on January 22, 2015 [5 favorites]

My mother's story isn't MY story, so I feel really hesitant about sharing it openly (although I've probably done so in the past). If many women have an abortion and then go on to have other children (which I do think is true), there are many people out there who wouldn't be alive if their mother had made a different choice. It would be incredibly saddening to hear my mother say that she so deeply regrets the circumstances that led to my birth.
posted by muddgirl at 9:57 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Emily Letts previously.

If many women have an abortion and then go on to have other children (which I do think is true)

I'm not sure how many nulliparous women go on to have kids after an abortion (probably a lot, considering most women eventually have kids) but 61% of women who have abortions already have one or more children.

Other fun statistics from Guttmacher:
In 2000, 13 states had at least four types of major abortion restrictions and so were considered hostile to abortion rights; 27 states fell into this category by 2013. The proportion of women living in restrictive states went from 31% to 56% during this time period. (18 of the 27 hostile states are considered extremely hostile.)

In contrast, the number of states supportive of abortion rights fell from 17 to 13. The proportion of women of reproductive age living in supportive states fell from 40% to 31% between 2000 and 2013.
It would be incredibly saddening to hear my mother say that she so deeply regrets the circumstances that led to my birth.

It is, it's a real bummer. My mom started telling me that my birth was a terrible mistake -- specifically, that I was a punishment from God because my parents had premarital sex -- before I even started kindergarten. I just wish more than anything that her cultural and religious upbringing had allowed for abortion when she fell pregnant with me, because she never stopped reminding me that the beginning of my life effectively signaled the end of hers, and she was just a kid when it all happened, it's like she didn't even have a chance. Abortions were legal and fairly easy to obtain in the early 1980s, but as a fanatically-devoted Catholic, she just wouldn't go there. I wish she had chosen differently and I know she does, too.

If anyone reading this has a few bucks to spare, maybe you could throw them at Fund Abortion Now? NNAF helps low-income women and girls pay for abortions they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. Here's a list of all of their affiliated funds, across the U.S. and internationally.

And even though linking to it is starting to make me feel like a broken record, it feels like a very appropriate time to remind everyone of Anitanola's comment on what life was like for women before Roe. I sure would have loved to see her get interviewed by The Guardian, she was truly one of the all-time greats: Choice is the Camelot for women.

Happy Roe-nniversary, everyone!
posted by divined by radio at 10:33 AM on January 22, 2015 [11 favorites]

See also the One in Three Project and this excellent piece by Merritt Tierce.

Today I celebrate two things: the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the birth of my son, who is now three. I was able to decide to keep the pregnancy and have a baby because I knew that I didn't have to, and for that, I will always be grateful.
posted by newrambler at 12:12 PM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

divined by radio, thank you for sharing what can't have been easy to share, AND your comment should be put in every Mefite's face from now unto eternity. (Says someone without a uterus.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:31 PM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mother was offered an abortion when she was pregnant with me - she was in the middle of a pretty bad bout of post-partum depression with psychotic features and had just given birth 4 months earlier. I really wish that she had taken them up on their offer. Being raised by a woman with an untreated/undertreated mental illness is not something I would wish on anyone. I mean, I love her but she did neither of us any favors by continuing the pregnancy.
posted by echolalia67 at 6:32 PM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

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