Monday, January 22, 2007

Choice

I have already told you about when my grandmother in California had given birth to five children in six years and wrote to her brother in Ohio, the doctor, asking how to prevent any more pregnancies. He wrote and gave her the information, but the first sentence in his letter was, "Memorize this information and then burn this letter because I could go to prison for telling you this."

Until my grandmother had that information, she had no choice, no control over her body and life at all. My grandfather was fated to work harder and harder and provide less for more children. Not being able to decide these very personal issues is less than freedom.

I worked for 12 years teaching parenting skills to parents who either had their children in foster care or were in danger of the state placing them there. I saw all sorts of horrible things and heard of even worse than I saw. The abuse that is heaped on children when their parents resent them is unbelievable. The unintended neglect that occurs when a girl has a child when she is too young can put the child's life at risk.

It is not good for children to be born when their parents resent them or are unable to care for them properly. Choice has to be available. For those of us who would like to see as few abortions as possible, the need is great to give people full information on how to prevent pregnancy, and abortion needs to be available for when birth control fails.

I came of age before Roe v. Wade and I remember friends seeking out the name of a doctor in Mexico. That assumed the girl could get her hands on the money to go to Mexico. Many couldn't. Just because abortion was illegal, that didn't mean that poor girls didn't have them. It just meant that they sought them out in dark alleys and often died because the procedure had been botched.

The current direction of this administration is to work to outlaw abortion and birth control both. Plan B was kept off the market for much too long, although it does not cause abortions. The people who kept it off the market knew the truth about it. They teach abstinence only sex education and post the lie that abortions cause breast cancer on government websites. This is not a desire to protect women, it is a desire to control them.

And it isn't belief in the sanctity of life. People who refuse to teach teens how to avoid AIDS and other diseases don't consider the life of those teens as sacred. People who send other people's children to die don't consider the lives of those children sacred. People who drop bombs on other countries don't consider the lives of those people sacred. People who refuse to fund stem cell research, who value the "life" of an embryo which is going to be thrown away if it isn't used over the life of someone who has already been born, don't consider the lives of the born sacred. People who would rush to Washington to sign a bill to prevent a husband from being able to allow his brain dead wife to die in peace but don't bother to cut a vacation short while New Orleans is drowning don't value life.

God alone knows what these people value, but it isn't life. The sanctity of life doesn't end at birth. A few cells are not more valuable than a living woman or her husband or her other children.

In A Nutshell follows.

9 comments:

Mary Lou said...

great Post!! I too am from before Roe v Wade. And I remember girls that were forced to give up their babies because they were unwed. and I knew girls that went to Mexico or some dark alley to get rid of it. I also knew girls that dies from doing them selves with a rusty coat hanger. Thank GOD for Roe v Wade! It is a wonderful thing to have a CHOICE and to know that you dont have to spend the rest of your life taking care of or worrying about a child you did not plan on having.

J said...

So well written...I have to work on my post later this morning, and I'm not sure what I'll say. But I was thinking of the political part of it, so maybe I'll send folks here for that part. ;)

kenju said...

AMEN.

Rain said...

I am in total agreement with you on this. I also grew up when abortion was illegal and some of the girls ended up unable to have children afterward. I believe it should be a choice and it's hard to understand the mentality of those who are against choice but then also against helping the moms who need help later in raising those unexpected dividends. It's just crazy.

ShortWoman said...

Put this one in the "Best of Granny" file, please.

I'm otherwise speechless.

deb said...

I agree, if women don't have control over their bodies and their reproductive organs, they don't have control over their lives.

Ginger said...

I know you will get a lot of comments on this post. I read your blog and don't always agree. But I am so with you on this Choice. When you think of all that would happen if more women made the right choice and there were fewer unwanted pregnancies and unwanted children. The effects would trickle down for years. I am so glad PlanB has been made available over-the-counter and proudly stock it at my Pharmacy.

gawilli said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. My mom told me the gutwrenching story of accompanying her best friend to have a back-alley abortion back in the day. Heaven forbid we should revert to the horrors of pre-Roe v Wade. Glad you are telling it like it is.

~Macarena~ said...

I admire your passion.

Thank you for mentioning the resentment. Those who force continued pregnancies act as though doing so is wand-waving magic; they pretend every resulting child will be loved, yet they don't care about the results.