I have always been passionate about politics. It is what I chose to study in college. Earlier than that, I remember watching the Republican convention late one weekend evening while spending the night at my Grandma’s as a “tween”. In eighth grade, I participated in a debate in front of the school. At the age of 13, I easily considered myself a Pro-Lifer and Young Republican. In the debate, I was the one defending capital punishment and condemning abortion.
As I have grown older, I have changed. Looking back to that debate 24 years ago, I would even call myself ultra conservative. Years ago, when I first became a mother, I can remember having a graphic on my forum signature stating, “Abortion stops a beating heart.”
In 2004, I started a small online political forum for women. And that is when I became willing to think outside what I had always believed and to look outside myself to reevaluate my views. I remember the ladies and I were debating abortion. I went on with my usual, “Abortion is wrong. People who get them are killing babies. I would never get one!”
Another poster on the board by the screenname of Echo was the “liberal” one of the bunch. Armed with intelligent arguments and respect, she was able to get me to think about why I had my beliefs on abortion and I was able to think not just of what I would do (or think I would do) in a certain situation, but I started to think about others. Not everyone is the same. Not every woman is in a loving relationship and plans for a baby. To think only that irresponsible women who sleep around are just using abortion as another form of birth control is an ignorant thought. I admit it now. My view on abortion was ignorant. I realize that Pro-Life doesn’t just relate to being against abortion. If you are truly pro-life, you are supportive of your fellow living human beings. You want to save lives of people going through poverty, homelessness, war, etc.
And being Pro-Choice doesn’t mean you want to kill babies.
Over the past several years, I have pondered what I would do if I had to make that decision. I married the love of my life and we decided when to try to become pregnant. And when we felt our family was complete, we were able to have control over that as well. Not everyone is in my shoes.
A friend of mine was a victim of rape in college. To see what she endured psychologically and that look of fear and mistrust in her eyes is not one I will forget. What if she had become pregnant? Should she have been forced to carry the rapist’s child to term? No. What about young girls who are the victims of incest? Should they be forced to become mothers when they should be home playing with Barbie dolls?
What if I were to become pregnant again now? It is not in my plan, but I had two high risk pregnancies and spent a good amount of time on bedrest both times. What if I were to get pregnant again and have a very difficult pregnancy and have to make the decision to either let the pregnancy continue or save my own life? I have two children who need me NOW.
Truth be told, and I do not say this lightly, I cannot tell you for certain, “I could never have an abortion.” If it came down to it, I would choose life–the two lives who are depending on me everyday and my own. And I can tell you now that if I were to get pregnant as a result of rape, I am quite sure that I would not continue the pregnancy. Does that make me a horrible person? A wanna be baby killer? No, it makes me honest. And until you are in that situation, don’t you dare say unequivocally or with certainty that you would not consider it either.
Until we are in someone else’s shoes, none of us should chime in with what we feel is the right thing to do. It is treading on dangerous ground.
As women, it is time we all band together to protect our rights as living, breathing human beings. If we do not consider social issues such as abortion key in this presidential election, we could be setting women back decades.
Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and people like Todd Akin and Mike Huckabee are truly dangerous to women. If you think that they aren’t, or that social issues like abortion don’t matter, you are grossly misinformed. On November 6, your vote may determine what happens to Roe vs. Wade — a decision made in 1973. If you believe your vote doesn’t have an impact or that voting for Romney won’t affect women, please, educate yourselves on the ramifications of a Romney-Ryan Administration as it pertains to women.
There is a very real War on Women. What amazes me, however, is that so many of the people shooting from the front lines of this war are WOMEN who do not seem to care that by choosing to support Mitt Romney that you are saying it is OK to take away the rights of women. You are saying that you WANT to lose control over your own body. You are saying that if you have a daughter and she should find herself pregnant as a result of rape, that you would want to force her to carry out a pregnancy. So what if she is just 12. By choosing Romney, who has stated he wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade and get rid of Planned Parenthood, you are oppressing your fellow woman.
This election is CRITICAL for women. For ourselves. For our mothers, our sisters, and our daughters. No one should have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies. No one. If Mitt Romney finds himself in the White House and achieves his goal of overturning Roe vs. Wade, what is next for him, Brown vs. Board of Education?