i had an abortion to save my life

This is just one example of how the abortion, reproductive health and reproductive justice debates are not nearly as black and white as debating politicians would like people to believe. Each and every one of these decisions is deeply personal and deeply felt and definitely not something women need overbearing “help” with.

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The deepest grief I ever experienced was over the loss of a life that I, myself, ended. I was so traumatized by the entire experience that I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

I had all the symptoms: flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks. I would obsessively replay the scene in the abortion clinic over and over again in my mind, desperately wanting it to un-happen. I would have sacrificed a limb instead, if I could have. But that wasn’t the choice I was given.

My options were to lose a pregnancy or lose my life, and… well, I guess you could say I chose life.

I had been overjoyed when I found out I was pregnant. I thought there might be a little trouble at first because I suffer from a number of chronic health problems that would no doubt be difficult to treat without medication, but I figured they would all be manageable. Continue reading…

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5 reasons to oppose abortion bans

keep abortion legal signsThe past four years have been nothing short of devastating for abortion rights in the United States. From 2011 to 2015, 231 abortion restrictions were enacted across the country, leaving the majority of American women in states that are outright hostile to reproductive healthcare. Thirteen states have enacted bans on abortion at or before 20 weeks, some without exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the pregnant person. In fact, states like Alabama and North Dakota have passed bans at 12 and six weeks, respectively – a point at which many don’t even know they’re pregnant. Earlier this year, House Republicans proposed (then sheepishly shelved) a federal ban on abortion at 20 weeks. These laws are all designed for one purpose: to force today’s sharply divided Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But these laws aren’t harmless judicial test cases. They have a real-world impact and do immediate, lasting damage while they wait out their day in court. These bans are wrong, dangerous, and should be roundly opposed. Here are five reasons why:

Continue reading…

the science behind abortion

Source article

It’s not very often that we find anything dealing with abortion that isn’t emotionally, politically or religiously charged, which to some degree is understandable. It’s a touchy subject, with as many voices as there are mouths (even those mouths that really don’t have a clue what they’re saying.) This comic from Oh Joy Sex Toy takes a medical approach to what is in reality one of the safest medical produces we have today, giving an outline of what women who are considering an abortion are looking at going through with actual resources for further research.

woman sentenced to 30 years in prison for having miscarriage

Source article

This is one of the likely outcomes of personhood bills that keep cropping up across the US. Even from a conservative perspective, vilifying and imprisoning a woman for a miscarriage – or, by extension, a stillbirth, baby born who shortly thereafter dies – is (or at least should be) cruel beyond reason and carries no justice. Not to mention the fact that there’s a difference between an abortion and a miscarriage, a line that personhood bills would go a long way towards blurring. Regardless of where you stand on abortion and reproductive rights and justice, miscarriage is a loss, something that should never be a political statement.

But since the world at large doesn’t seem to understand that distinction, I have three simply question: a) Especially in terms of El Salvador, which is where this particular woman is, what is the justification for jailing a woman for something she had no control over, and actually is fairly common b) Here in the US, how can we as a nation (or individual states) guard against this happening with the passing of a personhood bill c) In the case of women jailed for miscarriage, how will this action help anyone or anything.

az republican calls for forced sterilization of women on welfare

Original article – http://tinyurl.com/on5nsor

“You put me in charge of Medicaid,” Pearce told one caller, “the first thing I’d do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”
I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that there are people in this “modern day and age” who still not only have thoughts like this but are in positions where they can put those thoughts into action. It’s equally frustrating that people like this former senator don’t seem to understand that what they’ve said was actually very judgmental, misinformed and potentially oppressive in actual legislation. They only react to the negativity they receive, working on damage control as the article points out rather than re-evaluating the issue itself.
Here’s a novel idea – aren’t politicians supposed to be public servants? Maybe we should demand that they subject themselves to all of the oppressions they keep trying to use against everyone not them.

 

 

beginning excerpt from “An Understanding of Reproductive Health and Justice from a Grieving Mother”

April 27th, 2014

We looked at the pictures one of my nurses, Lisa, took of you tonight. You would have been a week old yesterday. It was hard to see you from different angles and to see our parents grieving over you, but I needed to know. I needed to know the totality of what we have of you. Now everything is accounted for. We have your little shirt and swaddling blanket, your crochet blanket, your beautiful locks of hair, the mold impressions of both feet, the ink impressions of both hands and feet, the little hat they first put on you, the ugly bonnet I took off the second they put it on, and a disc with 54 pictures. . .

*~*

A Letter to Pro-Lifers

October 5th, 2012

 

Dear Pro-Lifer,

Let’s get a few things straight so that we may discuss this sensitive and important topic without any lies or slander flying around. Abortion is a horrible thing to have to contemplate. It doesn’t matter which side of the issue you fall on, no one wants a single woman to find herself in a position where she is carrying an unwanted child, a child she fears she cannot care for, a child conceived because of rape, etc. So if you have ever thrown names like baby-haters or baby-killers at someone else – stop it. Being pro-choice does not mean being pro killing babies. You are the reason that ambiguity exists, because you didn’t have the decency to keep the facts straight. You allowed this significant little obscurity into the debate, and even supported it. How can we have a real discussion when we cannot stop playing the name game like fourth graders?

We have a common goal. We both want a world where abortions are a thing of the past, we just differ on how to get there. Now, virtually everyone out there has an opinion on abortion, and most people are passionate about their position. Imagine if both sides, all those people, were to realize the actuality of their goal—abortions no longer being a necessity—and work together to see it happen?

The women in these positions are pushed up against a wall. They are desperate and without help. They want to be strong, but there are too many things stacked against them. Do not condemn the woman who contemplates and eventually has an abortion in your god’s name; you do not know where she stands with god. Blame the system that did not support her enough to have the child. Blame the education system for not providing adequate means to prevent a child in the first place. Blame yourself; if you wanted her to have that baby, why did you not go to her, tell her that no matter what she was dealing with you would help her? Why were you not there for her?

At this point, you may feel personally attacked, and allow me to reassure you that is completely my intent. When I say you, I mean YOU. Not your political party, not your community or your church. You. You are to blame for her abortion. Your soul will bear the mark of her decision. Your conscious will be plagued by could-have-been’s. If you disagree with the way I have categorized you here then flame the hell out of me and then go do something about it! Please! You have let others represent you and these are the lies they have told to muddy the water. You are silent, and in the absence of voice you become a statistic, a number used to support ideas you had no part in creating. Feel appreciated?

We want a world where women’s inalienable rights to our own bodies are recognized and respected. You want a world where babies are not killed. The two are not mutually exclusive.

*~*

One of the biggest problems women by and large have with the reproductive health, contraceptives and abortions argument is that many of the people voicing their opinions should not be. Men speak often as if they have legitimate understanding of what it is to be a pregnant woman. Political men, ideological men, men who think they carry power enough to sway the world, men on the streets, men in their pulpits and the men in our lives. Everywhere an inkling of this discussion exists there exists a man who has never been pregnant and who has never been in an intimate relationship with a woman while she was pregnant, who feels justified in speaking his mind and demanding that his vision of the world be met.

Let me first establish my right to speak and write on these delicate and tremendously important topics. I am a woman. I am a woman who has periods and is biologically and physically capable of carrying and giving birth to a child. I am a woman who, in April of 2014, gave birth to a daughter who only lived for forty-seven minutes because her lungs were underdeveloped. I am an eternally-grieving mother who is still staunchly pro-choice. For those who have never lost a child, there are no words that I can write and you can read that can explain the agony, the never-ending totality of being without your child. Even carrying this grief as I do, though, and hating even more than I ever have the idea of a child lost, I still support each and every woman’s right to choose for herself if and when she will be a mother. My first question to you, as my reader, is simply this – do you still feel justified in voicing and attempting to force your opinion on another?