Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog For Choice

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Today is Blog For Choice. You can read more about it here.

I have hesitated about putting up this post this all day, just because I'm a little concerned about the reaction I might get. I think I'll probably moderate comments, or at least disallow anonymous ones. This is a touchy subject.

I had an abortion when I was 18 years old. I was a sophomore in college and completely ...insane is too strong a term, but I certainly wasn't what anyone would consider mentally healthy. I had just ended a three-year, emotionally abusive relationship the summer before going back to college and was in a continuing love/neglect relationship with my father. I was desperate for some affection and when I met D, we just clicked. We were both fucked up and we became immediately inseperable. And then I got pregnant.

In my rational moments, I knew I was incapable of taking care of a baby. I was in school. My mother would kill me. The fact that I had smoked pot and drank like a fish in the 6 or 7 weeks before the penny dropped and I realized I'd missed my period also had something to do with it. But mostly, I just knew I couldn't handle it. I knew that D couldn't handle it. Even if we'd had a healthy relationship, instead of this desperately needy one, we were both too immature.

D and I talked about it and both decided we weren't ready. We weren't ready to start a family, we weren't ready to be that committed to each other. We didn't have the desire to have a baby. Not then. It was not an easy decision to reach. We both cried about it, talked about it endlessly, questioned ourselves and each other to make sure we were making the right decision. In the end, we agreed it would be better to not have a baby.

So I went to the clinic. It's all sort of a blur. I remember it hurting a bit and that I fainted after, but that's all I remember of the actual procedure. After was the worst. I had doubts. I had second thoughts. I cried a lot. D and I drifted apart and I quit school and moved back home for a bit. D and I talked on the phone now and again. We both sought counselling, seperately, without telling each other. Eventually, we got back together and stayed together for another two years or so. I don't regret not having a child with him, or not having a child at that time.

I do think about it sometimes, though. What my life might have been like, had I decided to have a baby. I don't think it would have been a very good life. I don't think I would have been a very good mother.

I'm glad I had the choice. It's not a decision I made lightly, which, I believe, is how it should be. Abortion should not be used as birth control. It should, however, be readily accessible and inexpensive. It should not be opposed because of religious beliefs. If you don't believe it's the right thing to do, then don't have one. But don't impose your religion on me. I firmly believe that it is a woman's choice and that the government should stay out of it.


Jess said...

J -

I'm sorry you were afraid how people would take this - turns out my reasonings are much the same.
I'll post tomorrow.

Andrea said...

Like I said over on PunditMom's site: No one WANTS an abortion, but the women facing such a decision will, more than likely, not be taking such a decision as lightly as, say, buying shoes. The women faced with the decision are the ones who know best what their situation is and what their capabilities are.

That said, while I'm pro choice, I don't know if I could have an abortion myself. I was never faced with the decision (and am not naive enough to think that because I'm happily married that I am now exempt from the possibility in the future even though it is statistically less likely for me) and so I don't know what I would do. I don't know that I could do it.

My point is that some women feel that way about becoming mothers.

Who are the politicians and government agencies to think they can tell a woman what is best for her?

I cannot WAIT for 2008. Then the rampant revoking of so many rights (from the new eavesdropping laws to the mail opening squeaker Bush snuck in there) will stop. If it keeps up, I fear for the state of the country and for my child(ren) who will be forced to regain the freedoms they had when they were born that were taken by an unscrupulous administration.


bethany said...

julia thank you so much for writing this. i have my own beliefs (as everyone does) about having an abortion and they're very mixed. i do feel that everyone should have that right to choose ... but then i'm also right there with andrea saying that i don't know if i could actually go through with it ... though being a 21 year old college student who isn't financially stable and probably not mature enough i don't know what i would do if i had to make the decision tomorrow ... i do know that there was a point where i thought i might have to make that decision and i was scared out of my mind ... but it's nice to know that there's people out there who are able to help you and to be there for you ... thank you for having the courage to write this ... <3

SUEB0B said...

I'm glad you were brave enough to post your story.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

I am in definitely pro-choice. Look no one wants an abortion and it is definitely not a means of contraception, but each woman MUST decide for themself if at this point a pregnancy is right or wrong. I had an abortion after my two children were born. I had two healthy children. I became pregnant although we were using contraceptives. What if that child in my womb were to have diabilities? Is that a fair burden to load onto my children? Is it fair to give birth to a child that has not been given all the chances available for a healthy start in life? Pregnancy and D have to be planned, even more so back then than now. Going through that abortion was HORRIBLE. I wanted that child, I just though it was not fair to that unborn child or to my kids already born.

mark said...

I'm glad you posted this, and it's very courageous of you. Though I have no personal experience, I know several people who have have had abortions for various reasons and I completely agree with you in all your points. Great post.

Lyrehca said...

Thanks for posting this and having the balls to do so. I'm completely pro-choice and while I've never been in a situation where an abortion was needed, I think it's crucial that women be able to make their own choices about their own bodies. And as others have said, no one is pro-abortion, they are pro-choice. It's not an easy decision to make, but it sounds like it was the right one for you to make.

Kerri. said...

Julia, thank you for having the courage to write this. Like Lyrehca, I have never been in the situation to have to make such a decision, but I agree with her fully - a woman should have the right to decide.

Shannon said...


Don't ever feel like you have to stifle a controversial subject to avoid negative reactions from people who don't agree with you. NEVER give them that power.

I'm glad you posted your experience. You never know when a woman or girl may find your post and in doing so find the power to make the decision that is right for her.

Kelsey said...

Very well said Julia.

I've just recently learned that someone close to me had an abortion as a teenager... and I now fully appreciate what a painful and difficult decision it is.

I know I could never have one myself, but like you said, I get the right to make that choice... as every woman should.

MsCellania said...

I may be one of the few to actually have memories of life before Roe v. Wade. Making abortion illegal doesn't stop abortion. It just stops LEGAL & SAFE abortion.

ms blue said...

I'm sure that this was very difficult to share. I'm sorry that you had to go through that experience.

It is so very important to have the choice.

Lara said...

i, too, thank you for sharing your story. i think it's a wonderful way to explain your views, and i also agree wholeheartedly with them. i would never want to be told i *had* to have a baby, any more than i would ever want to be told i *had* to have an abortion. thank you for writing that.

Debbie said...

I've had one. I'm not ashamed of it.

Neither should you be, and I don't think you are, but you don't need to defend your reasons. (Although I've defended mine in explaining it, too, so I totally get it, your explanation. I just wish it didn't feel somehow necessary to explain, because it should be something people understand and respect, abortion-having. It should be understood that choosing an abortion is not easy and not something one wants to have to do and that, when chosen, is obviated by necessity. But... sigh.)

Anyway. Thanks for having your usual level of chutzpah and putting it out there, J.