I cry a little bit almost every morning. As I drive to my usual bagel and blogging stop, I pass by an abortion clinic. No matter how nasty the weather, there is at least one person there with a sign and a picture of a fetus, usually at 8 weeks old. I am unable to stop the tears.
I am pro choice. I would never take away a woman’s right to choose. I know many people disagree, and I get it. This is a hard subject and a hard choice.
So while I am pro-choice, I still I cry. I can’t help it. I think of the little babies that I have lost. If I am being 100% honest, I think of who those tiny beings might have been. I think of the pregnant women who have made this choice and imagine them pulling in past these signs and driving past the protesters. I do not think they deserve this. I cry for their pain. I think of all the people who can’t have babies. I remember the feeling of elation as my own body made it past the first trimester and I felt I had some grasp on a successful pregnancy. A million feelings rush through my head and heart. I even cry for the man holding the sign, because he cares so much that he stands there every day. I’m not saying all the feelings make sense, but they are there.
Those are just my feelings. If you are curious, I had these same feelings (minus the pregnancy related ones) before I was married or pregnant and had the pregnancy scares like anyone else. While I cannot ever know for sure, I do not think I would choose to end a pregnancy. I think I would be all kinds of crazy if I did. But that’s just me. Remember, I’m pro-choice. That would be my choice.
I remember dating Ross, my husband, and being terrified of getting pregnant. I knew that I would not want to end a pregnancy but I also knew that we would probably not get married simply because I was pregnant. I knew that it would change our relationship forever and that if we disagreed, the consequences on our relationship could be devastating. I felt like it was a lose-lose situation – for us. I was ready to get married to Ross before he was ready to propose. I know I am not the first gal in this position. So if we had the baby, I would want to be married. But I would want him marrying me for the passionate love and friendship and want to have babies with you kind of reasons and not for the baby is coming right now kind of reason. If we chose to end the pregnancy, I don’t know if our relationship could have withstood the pain of what would have been something I would never forget. Again, that’s just me. We were never without 2 forms of birth control while we were dating and people might laugh but what did I care? An unwanted pregnancy is just that – unwanted right? An unwanted pregnancy should be avoided.
* I should have added that I am Pro Choice with a Side of Tears and a Huge Batch of Birth Control. It works most of the time – I want to help make sure people who want it can get it.*
In my opinion, every women has the right to make her own choice and to have that choice be respected whether or not I would make that same decision. I am not a judge, I am not God. I was a girl, I am a woman and I hope to be a friend to other women no matter our differences or situations in life.
So basically, I am not a fan of the roadside guilt. I think for most women making the choice to end a pregnancy is difficult at the least and can be a devastating decision for some. Even for women who do not want to be pregnant at all, or may not ever want to have children, or are not ready for children this is not, in most cases, a fly by the seat of your pants decision. After thought and counsel and soul searching, a choice is made. Whatever that choice is, I don’t think the side of the road is the place to demonstrate one’s differing opinion.
We all know that there is disagreement surrounding abortion…disagreement so strong it threatens to smother our love for others and our ability to show compassion and understanding. I hate seeing those signs because to me they are meant to cause guilt and pain and I want people to avoid causing pain when they can. I certainly do.
Maybe I cry because this issue is so difficult and so raw and because really there is no compromise. There is not a grey area, a nice place where we can talk around our differences and find some common ground. We are pro-choice or not pro-choice, even if it brings us to tears. We either have the abortion or have the baby, even though both choices change us forever.
I do not write this to cause anger or to change opinions. I know that many of you will feel differently than me, and that is okay. Again, I get it. Of all my opinions, this is the most difficult one to have. It does not sit easy with me, it does not make me proud or make me want the debate. It just lays heavy on my heart. I suppose I write this to encourage compassion and to remind us that not all opinions are easy. We can believe strongly in something and still struggle with all the implications. So yes, I am pro-choice and it makes me cry. Because it’s a choice no one wants to make.