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.