Sep 062010

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It’s ironic, as I’ve spent hours on this site for research on the matters of abortion. I never thought my words would grace the pages, other than my praises for it’s existence. Being pro choice and an adamant volunteer for the cause, I get called a racist, nazi, Jesus-hating, baby killer regularly just for my presence. I really could do without listening to more flaming from people that will never understand. But I would rather my story be shared, so maybe at least one person out there who previously believed the views of conservatives can understand that not every woman is stricken with guilt, and not every woman “ignores” the pleas of pro lifers.

I have always been dedicated to contraception. Since I can admittedly be quite forgetful, I opted against the pill and have been faithful to the NuvaRing for some time. Abstinence till marriage is rather moot for me as I never really had intentions of marrying. I still think sex is a very intimate thing to be shared with people that share a connection that they personally feel merits expressing themselves sexually, and hopefully in as healthy a manner as possible. The rhetoric about no sex being the only safe sex irritates me greatly. As obviously no sex is no sex, not the best sex. I think people DO need to be mature enough to understand the risks that come with involving themselves with intercourse. This, obviously, may include pregnancy. And pregnancy involves three options, all of which are taking, what one feels, to be the most appropriate action for the situation (being pregnant.) Thus, child rearing, adoption, and abortion are all taking responsibility for the outcome of a pregnancy.

Many conservatives preach that one should not have sex, even with the safest possible protection, if the result is not to become impregnated. Again, this ignores any views that disagree with their own small minds, including those of individuals that do not wish to ever bear children. I know that might be a hard concept to grasp, but those of us that choose to remain child free should not have to suffer a life without experiencing the glorious experience of making love with someone we, well, love. And unfortunately, because of their beliefs that have been made so common that everyone wants children, finding a doctor to tie a woman’s tubes if she is not of a certain age and/or a mother of a predetermined amount of children is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

Now, off of my soapbox and onto my story.

My father died in 2005, and my mother in 2007. It has left me financially and emotionally in shambles. As soon as I relayed the news of losing my mother to a good friend of mine, he drove 12 hours from his home to be at my side. We formed a strong bond quickly and ended up in a committed relationship that we are still in to this day, and he stayed here with me.

This October, the unimaginable happened. After taking the third test in a month, trying to calm my (what I considered) paranoid mind, there I was staring down at the double lines, feeling myself whirl into an unimaginable panic attack. Although I intended to keep silent until I could think a little more clearly, my mind went a little fuzzy and I told my boyfriend immediately. My circumstances aren’t unique, and in the grand scheme of things not really even important to the story. If someone is anti-choice, me being hundreds of dollars behind on bills is irrelevant. Me being in a very unstable mind state I suppose is pretty unimportant too. I’m ashamed to admit I live in a pretty frightening neighborhood where shootings aren’t rare. Because of my horrible credit, I am unable to relocate (I tried desperately to rent another home.) After losing my mom, I slipped into a depression and cared very little about the crumbling of my environment, and my boyfriend was struggling to pay the bills since I was too distraught to hold down a job. The dogs turned the carpet into a urine-saturated-germ-breeding ground, and I can smell marijuana in my bathroom from my neighbors habits.

Though I have been on the pro choice front for quite some time, I feel I now know first hand that what those pro lifers spew are lies, or at least information sadly misconstrued. Want to hear the spin on this story? I went with one of the pro life protestors to two “crisis pregnancy life centers.” I only felt it fair that I make an informed decision based on all sides of the spectrum and my own heart. I will admit I was a little surprisingly torn with my decision. All I wanted was to better my situation if I was to bring a child into it. I was offered the typical supplies (pretty much the same thing ANY like program would offer, whether state based, pro choice based or pro life based) of formula, diapers, and clothes. Wanna know a secret? Planned Parenthood refers to similar programs to help mothers get supplies, and discuss these programs during your consultation (whether you have made a decision or not.) The “home” I was offered was a religious maternity home, and it was suggested my boyfriend just “find a couch to sleep on” and I find someone to “deal” with my dogs. Now this may not be a big deal to anyone else, but one of those dogs was my mothers. So you can imagine why I dislike the thought of just shoving them in a kennel somewhere and turning away my boyfriend when he was the one person that was there when I truly needed him. After the baby was born I could “leave” him or her at a place while I got back on my feet. They had no solutions for HOW to get on my feet. Mind you, I do have a job, but it just isn’t adequate enough.

The woman at the first place was pleasant, and seemed to be somewhat open minded. She tried to “educate” me about abortion and breast cancer (among other things,) though I believe the slew of top nationally recognized sources (such as the American Cancer Society) that shot this myth down ages ago. Never did she mention the emotional and physical trauma of raising a child or putting one up for adoption. As a matter of fact, I have NEVER heard a pro lifer mention Post Adoptive Depression, though it is recognized by adoption organizations, professionals, and agencies. While toting on about the dangers of abortion, they fail to talk about the statistics on child trafficking in the adoption industry (which by the way is a 6.2 BILLION dollar industry.) Come to think of it, they fail to talk about any dangers of adoption or child rearing, physical or emotional. I find it important to add that there where very few facts she presented (such as the breast cancer claim) that I had not learned from Planned Parenthood. So I am once again led to believe these centers exist to coerce or “scare” women out of their abortion, mostly with religious laced “counseling.” They do nothing else that Planned Parenthood does not.

I had already been to my initial appointment at Planned Parenthood to verify my pregnancy and give me my consultation. Never did I catch drift of even a slight bias from the nurse. She asked me what I wanted, and I told her I was a bit torn, but swaying strongly toward abortion. She mentioned adoption, which I immediately rejected, as it’s not an option for me (she still insisted on discussing it and handing me a brochure.) We then went over two fairly thick pamphlets, one on the procedure (as well as the pill, though I declined that option as well) and one on pre natal care. She told me that the clinic offered services for any choice I make, would support me, and counseling was offered regardless of my decision as well as a place to go to deal with abortion grief if it should arise if that was my decision. The next statement caught me a little off guard: she told me that if I wasn’t comfortable using the services at Planned Parenthood, they would refer me elsewhere. Hmm, doesn’t sound like the money hungry organization the pro life crowd raves on about.

I ended up turning to a famous pro life advocate I had met a few weeks prior as I was volunteering at Planned Parenthood (he was giving pro life speeches on the sidewalk) who had told me he would “give his life for me to see the truth.” They expect me to throw this life I have fought so hard for into the dirt, preach that they will help, but when it comes down to it, you know what sacrifices they really make? None. This man has money to burn and still turned a blind eye when a girl turned to him, giving him the chance to truly show how “compassionate and helping” pro lifers are to women. As did the rest of the crowd.

From the time I took that at home test to the day of my procedure was about two weeks. I had an ultrasound at my final check-up a few days prior. Two more pro life lies. I wasn’t able to just stroll right on in, though I would have preferred that to two weeks of bawling, yammying, breasts that hurt even from just wearing a bra…..only 7 weeks along and I was miserable. Might I also add the cost of the procedure would not have risen because of these two weeks, so their reasoning for that waiting period could not have been a monetary one.

Was the procedure easy? It was eight minutes of pretty intense pain, though not the worst I’ve ever felt. I was just petrified at the thought of surgery. I found out I was RH positive, and despite not wanting the shot, the doctor did practically demand it for my own safety (if I was to choose to have children later.) But as I sat there in recovery while they made sure the bleeding was normal and that I got the medication and whatnot that I needed, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a while. Hope. I was also never more proud in my life to be an American. After Prop 8 passed, a prop based on hate and fueled by lies, I had lost hope in a country that I was never particularly patriotic about in the first place. But that day, I was so happy that I didn’t have to resort to drinking bleach or relying on some concoction online to get that fetus out of me.

After all of the time, the extensive research I have done on both sides (including watching things such as the Silent Scream and videos on abortion), and the pro life propaganda I was subjected to, I walked into that clinic without a doubt in my mind I did the right thing. Period. And I left without a single trace of guilt. Between my recent research, the pro life experiences, and the Planned Parenthood world, it’s evident beyond anyone’s denial that I made an informed and educated decision with MORE then enough time to back out.

Speaking of denial, many would claim I’m blinded by it. After the passing of my parents, I experienced many levels of denial actually. All of which were pretty easily identifiable, and all of which I was strangely aware of.

At first I was leery to say ‘she’ or utter the name I had selected as I feared it would give the wrong impression. Keele. One doesn’t have to be physically alive for a name. I believe I have spirits around me, and they are not attached to a life form of their own. The archangels bear names as well and have never taken human form. I love the spirit that I relate to the fetus. I don’t worry much of seeking forgiveness. I don’t believe the simple act of life is the highest accomplishment for a spirit, or that spirits are capable of human ego emotions such as resentment. I also believe God would likely value quality of life over quantity, and would rather see less suffering from those given the breath of life.

For the first time in a long time, I see a new freshly paved road over my horizon. I can laugh, I can cry, I can write, and I can feel a unique love for Keele. I stand by my choice to return her spirit to the hands of God and the arms of my parents and say “not yet.”

Coming from a girl that came full circle, heard both sides, and took advantage of seeing (and getting a copy of) my Planned Parenthood ultrasound, I can hold my head high and say I’m not sorry.

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