This evening on Twitter I saw quite a few tweets about the age-old abortion argument. Pro-life versus pro-choice. I am, without a doubt, and unashamed to say it, pro-choice. Let me tell you a story. July 2006, I was fresh out of college. And newly pregnant. I had a lot going on. I had gotten my first REAL job and it was my dream job. I was about to move into a new apartment closer to the town I'd be working in. This would also be my first place with no roommates. I was really growing up. I was also moving somewhere where I'd be alone and I was in a bad relationship. None of this amounted to an ideal situation in which to bring a child. My now-ex was the opposite of supportive. He said he wasn't ready for a child, but that if I had an abortion, he'd never speak to me again. (We'll discuss the mind-control issue of abusive relationships in another post). Anyway, I decided to make an appointment at the abortion clinic. I had a couple of good friends that were willing to help me with the cost, and my best friend was going to be my ride to the appointment. I never made the appointment. I just couldn't do it. The next week I called to re-schedule. There was no way I could have a baby right now. Again, I was a no-show. My next call was to Athens Ob-Gyn. I decided that I was going to have this baby. And he'll be 5 this weekend.
I had a full-time job, a home, a car, supportive friends and family. My now-ex's family and friends were also supportive and very close to me. I had a degree and health insurance. I had a lot of things that many people aren't fortunate enough to have. Hell, even if a woman does have all these things, if she doesn't want a child, she shouldn't be made to have one. Some people that are parents don't need to be parents and I wouldn't trust them with my houseplants.
It's so much more complicated than anyone who has never been in that situation to have to make that decision can ever understand. Nothing is more overwhelming than to realize that the fate of another human being is up to you. Please don't judge other women for their decisions. People are so quick to pass judgment, but how many of them would be quick to say, "Ya know what? Come move in with me and I will help you take care of your baby and be your support." Yeah...
I remember a conversation I had with a former co-worker one time. I was talking about my decision to become a parent and how I just could never have an abortion because I knew I'd always regret it, and that the "what-if" would play in my mind forever. She said something to the effect of being glad that someone else knew that abortion was wrong. I said, "Oh no. I'm totally pro-choice." She said, "You said you'd never have an abortion. That means you're pro-life." She really didn't understand. Having my son WAS my choice. And I can only imagine how the fear I felt when I found out I was pregnant would have been magnified if I knew I didn't have choices.