Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog For Choice

During my extremely brief return to work after the birth of my only child I was treated to many disconcerting questions, statements and attitudes concerning my motherhood. My bookstore friends meant no harm.  They were totally clueless. They were fearful of the awesome power of my womb and my seeping, heaving bosom. Most of my co-workers were childless by choice or too young and self-involved to even conceive of conceiving and gestating a human being. I've said it before. I was like a 9 month science experiment set up to gross them out, in a mildly amusing kind of way. I was not long for that world. A seismic shift had taken place and I was over on Mommy island waving to them on their distant shore. They couldn't see or hear me anymore. I spoke a different language. I was invisible. People assumed that I no longer had anything valuable to add to their political discourse, that I would be offended by the abortion argument.  Contrary to popular belief, they do not revoke your NARAL membership card when you give birth.

Pregnancy and motherhood reinforced my pro-choice convictions. It is freakin' hard to be pregnant (and to be a parent for that matter).  No one should continue with a pregnancy if they are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to produce a healthy baby.  Giving up a baby for adoption is a wonderful choice, but it is extremely painful to give a child away. I imagine it's like being exiled to Mommy island and having to swim all the way back to shore. Wouldn't it be better if all babies were wanted? Wouldn't that make things simpler?

It is my sincere hope that our new President can end the see-saw battle over abortion.   Pro-Lifers state that they want to reduce the number of abortions in this country (so do pro-choice folks) and yet the only way to do that is through education and access to contraceptives, which they oppose.  If President Obama can somehow make pro-choice strides in the fight against unwanted pregnancies,  he may be able to put a sock in it (the argument that is) so that we can all focus on living, breathing children who need better schools and health care. It's all semantics. I mean, seriously, we have spent so much time quibbling about when that clump of cells comes into it's rights as a human being that we have forgotten to feed, cloth and shelter all of the needy children who are already with us.  C'mon people. Enough.

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