Monday, January 21, 2013

Blog for Choice Day 2013

NARAL has asked that I share a personal story for Blog for Choice Day this year.   I've never had an abortion.   But here is my personal story.  

I've always been Pro-choice. It never occurred to me to be any other way.  I wasn't raised by liberal, Pro-choice, feminists who marched, protested and campaigned for reproductive freedom.  I was raised by Republicans.  I was raised by Catholics.  I was raised by a mother who took her friends (in college, before Roe) to Mexico or to shady practitioners for abortions.  A woman who told me about the bleeding, the infections, the fear, that she and her friends went through before Roe.  I was raised by a grandmother who, although her church said it was a sin, knew what having child after child did to a woman's health and believed that contraceptives and abortions were a private matter between a woman and her doctor.

They never proselytized. They never ranted.  They just told me what happened when women didn't have a choice.  I still went to mass with them, I still went to catechism, I heard the church's side of the issue.  I read.  I watched the news.  It didn't change my mind.  No one should be able to force me to give birth.  My body.  My choice.

In nursing school,  I started working at a clinic.  I saw women harassed. I saw women afraid.  I saw the security system at the clinic.  I became afraid.  Then I got mad.  Then I got active.  I had taken the job because I was a poor student and I wanted to earn money while learning more about women's health.  But the fear that the clients, the employees and I felt ignited me.  Abortion was a legal, medical procedure.  I didn't want to back to the days my mother and grandmother had told me about.

So I vote.  I write letters.  I tweet.  I post on Facebook.  I escort at my local clinic with my awesome, Pro-choice husband. I march on my state capitol.  I phone bank.  I raise and donate money.  I adorn my car with bumper stickers.  I do whatever I can, whenever I can, however much I can to fight for reproductive freedom.  

I'm getting pretty old, reproductively speaking, and it is unlikely that I will ever find myself pregnant, let alone in need of a termination.  So now I fight on for the younger generations. There are more restrictions on abortion now than there was when I was in my teens and 20's.  I hope to see those restrictions lifted. I want abortion to be safe, low cost and widely available.  I hope to see contraceptives given to all who want them at little or no cost.  I hope to see medically correct, sexual education taught to teens in schools.  I hope that every child is a wanted child.