What if I told you I had an abortion, as you snidely remarked that there’s a special place in hell for women who murder babies? What if I told you I terminated a pregnancy because it was conceived out of rape? Or because I would die? Or because the baby was in pain and wouldn’t survive and I chose the difficult road out of sheer humanity?
What if I told you I was impregnated by my abusive partner and I knew I would have died in the end? By his hands or by my own. What if I told you I had been trying to get pregnant for years, and then my miracle baby was developing without vital organs?
What if I told you I didn’t think twice about the procedure? What if I told you it haunts me because I wanted that baby? What if you stopped for a moment to realize this issue isn’t black and white? That I’m a compassionate mother, not a murderer.
The problem with the anti-abortion movement is that so often the supporters fail to see the entire story. Women who abort are seen as sexual deviants who can’t let a man pass by without unzipping their jeans. That they can’t stop themselves from sexual exploits and selfishly terminate conceptions.
Women against women because they can’t fathom how someone could do that to an innocent life. But what if you stopped for one moment to think how they would feel if they were brutally raped, then missed their period. Would they choose to carry a life conceived out of hate, feeling every kick as a reminder of what happened? I cannot think of much worse torture.
What if these women were told that the baby they had been praying for was developing without a heart? Would they continue on knowing their child would die inside their body, likely in pain? Is that in any way humane?
What if I said that when women speak out against other women’s choices it comes down to the fact that we have been taught to compete. It boils down to “my way” is better than “her way,” whether her way is reproductive choices, a filled-out T-shirt, lack of makeup, too much makeup, marrying her high school sweetheart, never getting married, being a single mother, never having children.
Ladies, every single one of us has a story of how the world has made it clear that we are here taking up space. We’ve been catcalled and molested, raped and beaten. We have lost job opportunities and raises, been told we’re terrible moms if we work with small children at home, and if we stay at home we are “too lazy” to progress in our career.
On any given day, we are undressed by eyes, called a bitch because we spoke the truth or didn’t speak at all, called passive because we’d rather keep the peace. Every single woman has countless stories of how she’s felt marginalized. Add about a million more for women of color and trans women.
But here’s the thing: We need to call society’s bluff and stop competing. We need to realize that one woman’s choice has absolutely nothing to do with ours. Because at the end of the day, we know what it feels like to be marginalized in one form or another.
As for anti-abortion advocates, I’ll believe they truly seek to end abortion when they pass out condoms and advocate equal access to birth control. When this group realizes that just because they teach their children not to have sex outside of marriage it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they should teach that belief to those outside their family.
So, when you say you would never have an abortion, I can’t believe you. As a human being I cannot believe you would want an innocent life to suffer or compromise your own when you have other children to mother at home. Instead, try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and realize how lucky you are to have never been faced with that decision.