In 2013 I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant after barely escaping my treatment room in the middle of a client’s service and collapsing in the bathroom. It was my first day back to work after eulogizing my father only 3 days before. What I assumed were added symptoms of the crippling grief I was carrying after watching my father die in my arms were actually symptoms of HG, a rare pregnancy disorder. Symptoms that would keep me bedridden until I could receive the healthcare I desired, and that I would come to know again very intimately for months during my next pregnancy, with Elle.
Looking back now, I wonder if the pain and denial of losing my Father aided in me clinging desperately to an intensely toxic and verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship.
I suppose I felt like I couldn’t survive losing someone else, even though he had already shattered me. I was a shell of a person at that point, but when I saw the positive test result everything changed, and for me, the decision was simple.
I absolutely did not want a child at that time.
I would not let a child be tethered to that man.
I rarely have dreams that I remember, but after my abortion I had a very vivid dream of a little girl with red hair and blue eyes. More like a vision, maybe – it was very brief…but I saw her clearly, as if she was right there in front of me. I didn’t know what to make of it at the time. Was this some sort of cruel effort to make me think I had made a mistake? Was I supposed to feel guilty? Because I didn’t. I felt nothing but relief to be free of my abuser and of a life spent trying to protect a child from him.
6 years later, I was pregnant again.
Red hair and blue eyes. Elle.
Elle, who never would have been, if not for the ability to make the choice that was right for me.
What should have protected me from a pregnancy didn’t, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how you get pregnant, or why you decide to have an abortion.
Rape, incest, poor boundaries, failed birth control, lack of sex education, manipulation — it doesn’t matter.
Your own life is at stake, the baby will not survive, finances, age, homelessness, you just don’t want to have a child — it doesn’t matter.
I have never publicly spoken about this. It is, obviously, no one’s business. But women are actively losing their rights in Texas, setting a precedent and writing a template for other states to follow suit. I am a privileged, white woman who is able to use my voice to stand up for those who can’t and I am livid, so here we are.
Texas has implemented a bounty on those who choose not to comply with a religious belief. A “religious belief” that only goes back to the 1970’s in a desperate attempt for those with wealth and power to create a unifying issue that would secure republican votes and swing America away from the progressive path of the civil rights movement. How deeply shameful. The constitution this nation was founded on is a secular document. Where is the separation of church and state?
Men are not even held accountable in this abortion ban, wherein they are equally responsible for causing any pregnancy, and in some cases, solely responsible. Tell me again how this is not a war on women; An exercise in control over our bodies and yet another effort to keep their feet on our necks?
Men, where are your voices? The silence is deafening and devastating. You are part of this. Be louder.
Women, we are worthy of complete autonomy and trust over our bodies. why are so many of you still voting against your own interests and basic human rights? You are dripping in internalized misogyny and betraying yourselves and your sisters in the name of a fake holy war.
Pro-life advocates, where is your outrage for the needless suffering of those who are actually alive and breathing? For this country’s shameful lack of affordable and universal healthcare? For republican lawmakers continuously banning accessible contraception to help prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place? For the children and veterans and homeless going hungry everyday, while our billionaires fly to space for a selfie? For the immigrants seeking asylum, desperate to escape war and famine – to survive? Where is your outrage at the fact that Texas itself has the highest maternal death rate in the nation, and that this nation has the highest maternal death rate of any developed country?
Pro life is not pro life at all. It is based in fear. It is anti-women. It is anti-choice.
Look around you. How many women do you know? How many women do you love?
1 in 4 women will get an abortion, and abortions will not stop with this ban. They will just become dangerous. Women will die.
Abortions are physical and mental health care.
If you do not believe in them, I suggest you do not get one.
We all have stories.