Monday, October 13, 2008

Walk a mile -- in my shoes, not your privileged pumps.

Three young women, all coworkers, celebrated a colleague's pregnancy by sharing their own baby stories.

"Shelly" told about finding herself pregnant at 18 in her senior year of high school. When the young couple decided to become sexually active, she looked into getting birth control. It was too late. She found out that the old wives' tale wasn't true: she did get pregnant the first time. She made plans to marry her boyfriend, got prenatal care, and gave birth to a lovely baby girl. The wedding plans were cancelled when she realized they were not really suited to make a lifetime commitment, and raised her daughter through toddlerhood before meeting and marrying the man who would adopt the girl as his own.

"Lily" was in her early 20s when she found out the baby was on the way and pushed up the wedding plans already in place. Soon after her son was born, she found her husband cheating on her, realized the shotgun wedding had been a mistake, and left to raise her son on her own.

"Jenny" was in college when her birth control failed. Her boyfriend left her, and she decided to give the baby up for adoption. Nine months later, she did so.

These three young women could have opted for abortion. None did. But not all young, pregnant women have the resources, the family, the health insurance options that they did. All three worked in a low-paying field (child care) that nevertheless allowed them some crucial benefits such as health insurance and discounted child care. They lived in a city with good access to low-income housing and many support networks for families in need.

Many, many girls and young women don't have the advantages that these three did. Many girls and young women have no options: no insurance, access to prenatal care, even housing for themselves and their children.

It is for those young and younger women that abortion needs to remain safe and legal. I fully believe that no one wants to abort, but some, very few, simply must. For those few, the law must preserve the option to control their own bodies, their own outcomes.

Governor Palin, do you hear me? Many families lack the privileges you and your daughter enjoy. The health insurance, the securely employed and supportive family members, the opportunity to continue working without discrimination for becoming pregnant. When you chose to raise your child with Down Syndrome, you knew you could handle the challenges. When your daughter Bristol became pregnant, she also enjoyed health insurance and a supportive family.

Walk a mile in the shoes of the pregnant teen who gets kicked out of her home. Walk a mile in the shoes of the mother with an illness that makes pregnancy risky for both her and the baby. Walk a mile in the shoes of the family with no insurance who can't afford prenatal care and will have to go into debt to give birth in a hospital. Walk a mile in the shoes of the victims of domestic abuse, trying to protect their children, unable to provide for and protect another. These are the women for whom support needs to be in place. And for those without options, abortion needs to be there: safe, legal, and rare.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Earth Muffin said...

AMEN!!!

10/13/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Momma, The Casual Perfectionist said...

Well said, Daisy!

10/13/2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always believed that there is a time and place for abortion. I never thought I'd be on the receiving end of the procedure. My husband and I do not fit in your profile(s) above. We have two children (one through the gift of adoption and one biological). When I found out I was pregnant again we had mixed feelings but we were going to welcome the new addition into our family! Then I found out during the first ultrasound that my baby had died. We waited for my body to miscarry on its own, but since I didn't dialate with my first pregnancy, I did not dialate with this one either. I was unable to miscarry and my doctor and I decided for my health and sanity to perform a D&C. I cried the entire time until they put me to sleep and then I cried immediately upon waking up and for two weeks. I have finally stopped crying. Abortion is not an easy decision. It is hard emotionally and physically. Thank you for your wonderful post.

10/13/2008 11:25 AM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Another AMEN from your choir. Also good to note that giving a baby up for adoption is not so very easy. Imagine carrying to term and having everyone condemn your choice: How can you give away your baby? Yup. That's what happened to the ONLY high school girl I knew who gave hers up. Nothing but grief from pro-life Catholics around her. Hypocrites.

10/13/2008 11:31 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Anonymous, thank you for sharing your personal and painful story. It took courage to go through this, and even more courage to tell the story later. I wish you support and most of all, peace.

10/13/2008 4:16 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I think what is most telling about Bristol Palin's story is that she had the choice. If abortion were illegal, she wouldn't have one to make.

10/13/2008 5:13 PM  
Blogger Good N Crazy said...

Whoa my dear. It's funny I come from a world where this should be seriously a big no, but I feel the same as you. The woman deserves the RIGHT to decide for herself.

I have this dream/nightmare that someday I will do foster care for pregnant teenage girls. Where you only foster the girl, the baby is hers whatever she decides to do with it.

And I totally boycotted that post directly below this post...the one with the pretty little green tomatoes...

10/13/2008 7:37 PM  
Blogger Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Here, Here!

I've never understood the pro-life movement; as a pro-choice proponent, I'm not saying I want to force my beliefs on you. I'm saying you get to choose for yourself. That's all I wish for all women.

I've also always said that when every single child is guaranteed a happy life free from abuse, poverty and violence (and the mother the same thing), well, then - perhaps I could be persuaded to the other side. But until every single child born today is wanted and guaranteed that, I'm still vehemently pro-choice. There are worse things than not being born...

10/13/2008 9:45 PM  
Blogger Busy_Woman said...

I haven't been able to stop thinking about the politics of abortion since McCain named Palin his running mate. She frightens me! Such a personal issue should not be the issue driving our country forward. But, it is. I know it is because I could never vote for McCain/Palin even if I agreed with them on every point except abortion.

10/13/2008 11:03 PM  
Blogger Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Yay, Daisy! And all the other commenters. It's got to be a choice--private, perhaps prayed over, and legal.

10/14/2008 8:33 PM  

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