Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So, here we are at the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. well, a day late. as usual.

(NOTE 1/23/08: apparently I was not late, yay. first time for everything. however, there was some sort of theme of "Blogging for Choice" day of which I was totally unaware. the theme was "Why it's important to vote pro-choice", or something to that effect. I totally missed it. Not that I'd have been able to come with anything any more articulate than what I have. meh.)

As I said last year, there is One True Definitive Statement on Reproductive Freedom which Puts All Others to Shame So I'm Not Even Going To Bother. It's found at www.barf.org. What are you still doing here? Go there instead. seriously.

but some of you still may be interested in what I'm on about. well, I can't do anything about that.

If you're the sort of person whose definition of "fun" includes watching horror movies, chewing inedibly hot chili peppers, sticking needles in your eyes and similar masochisms, you may enjoy this link here.

(yeah, I'm being a little uncharitable to the compulsory pregnancy advocates of the world. so sue me.)

I guess I'm feeling a little, um, nostalgic? lately, thanks to a rather peak experience I had over the weekend (which I might possibly blog about one of these days - not tremendously likely as it's wicked personal, but you know, never say never).

But I remember going to one of those "March For Life" things. I found it really challenging to be there, especially carrying a conspicuously pro-choice sign for the few minutes that I had the guts to. (and really, I got in touch with my inner wussbag that day, I tell you what. I learned that I am NOT strong, NOT brave, NOT anything but a giant blob of sensitive nerves and tender feefees. I was really disappointed in myself. Live and learn I guess.)

And now, almost fifteen years later, here I am about to give birth to a child of my own. Woah.

the thing to remember is, the only thing that makes it a "child" and not a "fetus" is that I want to be a mom. nothing else. just that.

I sat there in the doctor's office, and said "we probably shouldn't have this baby."

and the doctor said "well, the only thing that should influence your decision is whether you want to be a mom or not."

I want to be a mom, even though we have NO MONEY at all. No retirement plan, no college fund, no 401(k), no savings, no cushion, no equity, no assets, no giant jar full of pennies - right now we're living on hot steaming second helpings of love with a delicious optimism sauce, but still I want to be a mom, so I'm having a baby, not an abortion.

I want to be a mom, even though I'm forty years old and will probably never graduate from college or have more than a marginally-secure, marginally-non-soul-crushing clerical job in the pink-collar ghetto, even though my husband has complicated issues of his own - we will probably never be anyone's definition of "successful", but still I want to be a mom, so I'm having a baby, not an abortion.

I want to be a mom, even though the human race seems hell-bent on destroying itself by next Thursday, under piles of industrial waste and flesh-ripping bullets and whatever other wretched refuse of the Military-Industrial Complex washes up on our teeming shores - I can't imagine in my wildest nightmare what ill wind the next generation will inherit, but still I want to be a mom, I'm having a baby, not an abortion.

I want to be a mom, even though the world is a great steaming heap of shit for thousands of reasons. so, I'm having a baby in three weeks, and not an abortion six months ago.

I want to be a mom because I know that there are others out there like me, and better than me, braver and stronger and even more optimistic than me, whom I can help build a better world, and to whom I can introduce my child as he grows up, and say "hey, Wolfgang - go help them. they're building a better world."

But not everyone feels the way I do. Some folks don't want to be moms. Any of those reasons I listed (and many many more) are excellent reasons for NOT wanting to be a mom, for having an abortion instead of a baby.

I think the compulsory pregnancy advocates ought to be paying more attention to the reasons women give for not carrying a pregnancy to term - the fear of good old fashioned no-shoes, no-coat, starving-in-the-streets style poverty being chief among them, the idea that having a child will WRECK YOUR LIFE FOREVER being another.

For me, Roe v. Wade worked just fine - the decision to have a child was made between A Woman And Her Doctor, as the court's decision indicated. But I am one of the lucky ones, really.

more later, maybe. or maybe not.

AP, you don't need a ton of money to be a good parent... heck, look at some of the people we met at college. It sure looked like the more money some of these folks had growing up, the more messed up their heads were.
heh heh heh...the Famous Jonah Goldberg comes to mind...many others...ah the good old days.
I realize it may look from this post like I didn't even TALK to my husband about this.

that's not true at all.

we had a very long, slow conversation about it all. it took about a week of quiet, gentle, very careful, non-confrontational dialogue full of respect and patience and "I-statements" and all. there were tears. there was no yelling, which was good. but it was by no means an easy conversation to have, nor an easy decision to come to. and I did not decide alone.
Great post, AntiP. :)
thanks, auntie Daisy!
AP- when I had my first, we were living off a combined income of $7.50/hr, no insurance. This was 1988, so maybe that would be $8.50/hr today. It can be done. Babies truly don't need much. Also, you'll make a wonderful mom, because you want to.
and y'know, we didn't make $25,000 until the 3rd one was 2 yrs old.
1) fab post

2) you rock, and so will your baby

3) you went to school with Jonah GoldberG? ew...
yes, sharOnb and I met at a more-or-less prestigious formerly-women's college in Maryland - the year we got there was the year they also started admitting men, one of them, notably, Jonah Goldberg.

as I recall, at the time he did not accomplish anything more remarkable than ramming his car drunkenly into a campus light pole.

bright college days, oh carefree days that fly...to thee we sing with our glasses raised on high...
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