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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Something to Consider...

This morning, as I was going about my normal routine, I came across something that most of us never expect to hear. Someone that I know was in the position to terminate a pregnancy, and actually tried to through labor and delivery (genetic testing isn't always available after the typical abortion procedure). I left the conversation feeling that abortion really does touch everyone. No one expects that anyone they know has had it done, or wanted to have it done. No one thinks that know "that kind" of person. But you do. It's your neighbor, your sister, your best friend, your co-worker, a parent from your child's school....they are everywhere. And what's sad is how guarded they have to feel. When this woman was telling me her story, there was a lot of hesitation. And from women I've talked to before, I've felt a strong feeling of defense from the they go into the conversation ready to be attacked. And the truth is, no one should feel that way. Whether you've terminated for a fetal anomaly, materal indications, or just because it wasn't the right should feel that you may be attacked if you talk about it. Talking is what we need. If no one ever spoke up, think of how many women would feel all alone. And think of how badly that could turn out. No one wants to feel alone, especially in the darkest moments of their lives, and there's no reason they should.

Stop the judgement.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An early morning rant.

This morning, I came across a discussion in a pro-choice group where there were some offensive comments being made regarding...well, let's just say that the fact that abortion is, in fact, the ending of a life (or at least the potential for life) was certainly not being acknowledged. It was being mocked.

Now, as a mother, I have a hard time with this. While I definitely consider myself pro-choice, I do not consider myself "pro-abortion" (And let me just say how much I DESPISE that term when referring to pro-choicers). I certainly don't take the stance that "Oh, you have a surprise baby on the way? Let's go to the clinic!". In my opinion, the term pro-choice means that I believe a woman has the right to choose between having a baby, adoption, and terminating the pregnancy. My personal thought is that abortion is a very sad thing, a very necessary service, but it is a sad thing. Maybe that's because I've got three children of my own and have had three wonderful (yet, terrifying at times) pregnancies. Maybe it wouldn't be such a sad thing to me if I didn't have children. But I'm pretty sure that most women who already have children and seek abortions, aren't exactly thrilled about it.

My bottom line is that abortion MUST stay legal. For the women who have carried much wanted pregnancies, only to find out the most devastating news. For the women who were taking every precaution and "life just happened". And most certainly for young girls who were violated in the worst possible way, sometimes even by the people who are meant to protect them. Abortion is a sad reality. But it is SUCH a necessary service. So, do I believe that because it's so important for abortion to be legal that the fact that the potential for life (or life) is ending isn't a sad thing? Absolutely not. Just because something has to be done, doesn't mean it doesn't suck. That's life.

But as long as we're going to support this cause, is it too much to ask that we exhibit a little respect for the gravity of the situation, for what we all know is happening? A little sensitivity to the issue? I don't think so.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The basics

Very few people understand my views on abortion. Even fewer people understand how I came to feel the way that I do. It is true that I was raised in a conservative, Christian home where abortion was considered wrong. I was raised to believe that life begins at conception, and that if you were able to have sex, you were able to have a baby. If you were raped, adoption was the way to go. The only acceptable condition for which to have an abortion was an ectopic pregnancy.

My thoughts started to change once in 2010 when I had to do a persuasive research paper. I chose to write about abortion, I was planning to try to persuade my class to go the pro-life route. But by the end of my research, I had managed to do the myself. My research started out on simple abortion. I figured, a girl gets pregnant, panics, goes to a clinic and her problem is gone forever. Well, right off the bat, I realized that there was much more to it than that. No one WANTS to have an abortion. It's not on any little girl's list of dreams. Girls get pregnant...all the time...under all kinds of circumstances.

My "typical" abortion research soon went deeper, and before I knew it, I was researching late term abortion. Before this paper, I didn't even know that late term abortion was in the realm of possibility. I knew that you could have a vacuum aspiration abortion. I knew that you could have a D&C. But I had no idea that there were procedures to stop a baby's heart, or that you could choose to terminate a pregnancy and then deliver your baby through a labor experience. I had no idea that in Wichita, there was an entire WAR on abortion, based on one man and his clinic. At first, I was horrified. I had nightmares. Needless to say, I bought the propaganda.

Finally, I started coming across personal stories from women who had had these late term abortions. I read their stories and cried. I read with excitement about women who had tried for years to get pregnant, and finally did...only to cry when I read that when they went for their anatomy scans (or before, or even later), they found out that their baby hadn't developed a brain, or had multiple broken bones, or their intestines had developed outside of their little bodies. I thought of my own children, and the excitement that I felt with every pregnancy and every ultrasound...and how devastated I would have been to find out that one of my children was suffering. I thought of what I (and most women I know) would do if they were able to take their children's pain away. And that's when it hit me, these women weren't killing their babies for the hell of it. They weren't even "killing" them...they were letting them go. Letting them go from a short life of suffering. And these women, they didn't really feel the relief that I always assumed women who had abortions felt afterwards. No, these women were broken. They were devastated in a way that a woman who lost a baby to miscarriage would be, and in some cases, even more so...because they were the ones who made the decision to end the suffering, it wasn't made for them.

Of course, a lot of people think that's the point. That the decision wasn't made FOR them. It's something I understand. After all, people tend to forget that I came from the pro-life side. I get it. It is a personal issue that differs from person to person and from situation to situation. I can see how people feel that only God should decide if a baby lives or dies. But part of me also feels that God has given us the ability to detect these things, and to handle them how we feel best.

So, after taking in all of this information on late term abortions (which seemed ENDLESS), I got to thinking again about all of those early abortions. All of the ones that I figured girls just "had" because it was an easy fix. I started talking to girls that had had them. Not one girl I spoke with didn't have some issue with the abortion she had had. Even if she now felt that she had made the right decision, every girl I spoke to was still sad about it. She still felt a loss.

I finally came to the conclusion that abortion wasn't something that anyone "just did". It wasn't the easy fix. It came with a whole set of problems on it's own. Whether we're talking about a 17 year old girl who got pregnant or a 30 year old woman who finally got pregnant after trying for 2 years with her husband....these women were all losing something. Even if only their naivety, something was being lost. And usually, it was much more than that.

In all of this internet mumbo-jumbo, I came across a quote that stuck with me. As I was watching an interview that George Tiller did, he said that he realized that abortion was a matter of survival for women. A matter of survival. Was it? That seems extreme. But it was true. The women who have 3 children that they can barely support, and while being responsible with their sex lives, they end up pregnant again...for the 12 year old girl who is raped by her step-father...for the woman who knows just how badly her baby is suffering with every moment longer that she's is a matter of survival. Adoption can't always be the answer. And even at our most responsible, life can still just...happen.

So here we go. I'm sure I'll catch more hell for this blog than I can even begin to expect, but here it is. How I feel, in black and white.

Please feel free to comment, but also remember that your views (regardless of how they may differ from mine) are RESPECTED, so the same courtesy is expected of you. Our views on abortion do not equal who we are as people, so please keep that in mind.

And so it begins...

So here it is...the first post. If you've come to this blog from The Souvenir, you know what you're getting into. You know that I'm an overly opinionated, pro-choice, conservative-by-blood-turned-free-thinker. I'll be importing some of the posts from The Souvenir here, to A Thought of Her Own. This blog will focus less on me, and more on the cause (and a few more issues here and there). Consider it like The Souvenir, yet more focused. I'll be posting lots of resources here for anyone who may be dealing with any of the issues we're talking about. Please feel free to comment as you wish, as all opinions are welcome, as long as things don't turn nasty. And please remember, you may not agree with someone...but that does not give you the right to belittle them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and all of them will be respected here.

I'll post more later today, with a few of my favorite links. Until then, feel free to start commenting. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!