Monday, July 18, 2011

Big Scary Topic Time!

Three images:

A statistic: "while black women make up about 13 percent of the U.S. female population, they account for 30 percent of abortions performed in the U.S." This may be true--The Guttmacher Institute sounds kind of legit--but even so it results from a lot of systemic problems like the options presented to African-American women by both the heinous conditions of the cycle of poverty and government initiatives like Planned Parenthood, whose agents don't always tell women about all the choices they have.

And a confession that I am not comfortable with: When it came time for the ex and I to talk about protection and whether we'd been appropriately safe, one of my very first thoughts was What makes him think I would keep it, anyway? I legitimately stopped and looked around to see who could possibly have thought that, because it certainly couldn't have been moi. ...But it was. Almost instantaneously. From some place deep within me that I didn't know existed. And it was unequivocally the truth. If by some incredibly unlikely series of unfortunate mishaps happened that caused both of our forms of protection to fail and me not to notice in time to take a Plan B pill and I found out I was pregnant, I who have always been pro-life (having been a perfect candidate for abortion myself) to the point of the most heated of debates with people I love and respect, would not have carried the pregnancy to term. Although there are some who would argue that if all that happened to get me pregnant, I was "meant to have" this hypothetical child, I don't believe in anyone who's up there making up "meant to"s, and in that instant I understood the right to a choice. The right to not have my entire world turned upside down irrevocably. The right to live my life by my design. The right to not be screwed over after having tried to be safe. The right to not be sacrificed to a biological system I never asked for. The right to bring children into this world when (if ever) I am ready for them in every way, and not a moment sooner.

Go ahead and call me a hypocrite. I feel like one. My only defense is that I didn't understand until I could legitimately see it happening to me and could visualize all the other lives that would be affected (ruined?) by such an accident. If we had done everything we could and been failed by that which we relied on, I just...I couldn't give up my whole life, everything I've worked for. I've come so far. I don't even like kids. And I know what it is to grow up and feel like you ruined your mother's life, what it is to have a single mother who wasn't ready for you, what it is to be afraid to get too close to the men your mother brings into your life because there's no telling how long they'll be around. And come on, me, with a kid? I AM A GROWN-ASS WOMAN KID! 

...So why do I feel like such a bad person?    


  1. Just to play a little Devil's Advocate... with all those feelings you mentioned at the end, do you truly believe your mom should have aborted you? Or are you glad for the chance you have, even if the circumstances weren't ideal?

  2. Okay well obviously I am glad I am alive. But my mom and I were are in very different circumstances; she wasn't in school with concrete plans before her. I'm not happy with my decision about this, but the option of becoming a parent is unacceptable in every way. And our adoption system sucks.
    How do you love something that singlehandedly demolished every single dream you've ever had? How do you give that thing what it needs? I have never wanted children. It has recently come to my attention that were I in a loving, committed, 110%-sure-I'm-going-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-this-person relationship, I might reconsider whether the abominable creatures are a sacrifice I'm willing to make (it's not looking likely), but now? I would spend every day of the rest of my life resenting it. And resenting myself for having giving up my dreams when I didn't have to.
    So go ahead, judge me. I'm judging myself a little. I don't like this. But honestly, it's between a rock and a hard place...I don't really see how I would live with myself either way.

  3. I completely agree about the rock and hard place. But I am not judging you in any way. Everyone has a right to make that choice for themselves, I am just trying to understand the thought behind it. See personally, I feel that I would regret and resent myself every day for the rest of my life if I did not have the baby. You're right though, neither situation would be fun. I just don't think I could ever refuse that baby his/her life simply because I'm not ready. To each his own I guess. :)

  4. It's more than just not being ready though; I don't even like kids. I've never wanted them; I don't see how motherhood is a desirable situation in the least. You're right, I probably would resent myself a little if I didn't have this hypothetical child, but I know I would resent myself every day if I did too. I would look back at the very achievable dreams I had and how my life should have gone and hate it every single day. And I just think bringing an unwanted child into the world is wrong on some level too.