Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blogging for choice day.

Today is blog for choice day, see details here.

I don't have anything to say you probably haven't heard before.

So I want to tell you a story okay? And this event is what cemented my stance of being Pro Choice.

I had a very dear friend who was terribly afraid of getting her lady parts looked at by a gynecologist. I was quite preachy about this sort of thing at that age and spent a lot of time lecturing and generally bothering the fuck out of her until she agreed to go because she was sexually active.

So I convinced her that the two of us should take a day together and go to clinic to get examined, get her birth control and then we could go out for tea and cupcakes or something.

We were teenagers and felt like grown up responsible empowered ladies. At that point we felt like the very embodiment of WOMAN. Granted we were quite terrified as it was a first for both of us but, we were ready.

Until we got to the clinic.

We were greeted by red faced angry people waving signs with pictures of dead babies, ruined uterus(es? what is the plural of uterus anyway?)and probably worst of all, at least for me was picking out each person who called me a murderer.

People I'd never seen in my life were calling me a whore, telling me I was going to hell, someone managed to push me. There were people throwing fake blood, what I think might've been meat or something. But the most horrifying thing was the rage.

I had never in my young life been the target of that kind of unreasoning rage and I was so scared. We were so scared and wound up being ushered into the clinic (which had just opened at the time and has since closed) by some nurses and we were hysterical. I have never been so afraid in my life.

The hatred was palpable, every person outside of that clinic seemed to be ready to beat the shit out of us and worse we weren't even there to get abortions. I remember trying to tell a woman who was screaming in my face that I was a "dirty whore" that I just wanted to get a papsmear.

We called my friends Mother who came swooping in to get us like a very very angry mama bear. She took us home after giving the protesters a piece of her mind. We were taken home and put to bed and fed treats.

After that I started looking for reasons why anyone would do that. They didn't know me, they didn't know what I was doing there. After the fear passed I was pissed off.

This is why I'm Pro Choice.

I would never ever dream of treating someone I didn't know this way. Not under the guise of doing "Gods Good Work" or whatever.

I remember later on I was asked to not come back to a church with some friends because, I didn't want to protest a clinic and I told the church members that I thought their postcards with pictures of dead children were obscene.

The fact is, I am not certain if I would ever have an abortion for any reason aside from the possibility of my own demise or other serious health risk. But, I would never ever treat another woman this way.

I would not treat someone this way because I don't know her situation, her mind set or even what her beliefs and values are.

I would not because I don't want to see women in back alleys bleeding out, getting infections and the like.

No matter what you would do for yourself, please don't leave the rest of us in the wind.

I think that's about all.


randomquorum said...

Great post. I'm sorry you had to have such an awful experience - I can't imagine how frightening that must have been!

I’m pro-choice too. The main reason I’m pro choice is that I have no trouble whatsoever imagining circumstances in which I would want to be able to terminate a pregnancy (not saying I definitely would, can't know for sure until you're in that situation - which I hope I never am!). I would not do it for convenience etc and don’t really agree with those who do, but I think it should be their choice.

But what if I were raped and became pregnant as a result? I’m not sure that I would choose to keep it in those circumstances. Or what if I was very ill and keeping the pregnancy was a serious risk to my life?

And those who do consider abortion to be murder, what happens if it was accidental? My sister in law is recently pregnant and during her first scan the technician made an error, causing them to think that the pregnancy was 7 weeks when it was only 4. She was told to prepare for a miscarriage, or to go and have the D&C procedure - if she had followed the doctor’s advice and had this procedure (as she very nearly did) the pregnancy, which turned out to be completely fine, would have been terminated. Who is responsible in this case? Who should be punished?

I really don’t think its as simple as pro-lifers believe, and I don’t consider that they should have the right to impose their views on everyone else, just as I shouldn’t be allowed to impose mine on them.

That’s why it’s called a choice.

Humans are allowed bodily autonomy - we can refuse medical treatment even if that would be fatal. So if the doctor who performs an abortion is a murderer, what is the doctor who follows a patient's wishes and doesn't treat them? Couldn't that also be considered murder? And yet we can currently prosecute a doctor for NOT following those wishes.

Perhaps it could be made compulsory that a woman speak to a counsellor before undergoing the procedure to ensure she's making the right choice for her. I do not think making abortion illegal will serve anyone well, and it certainly won't stop some women from self-inducing the abortion anyway.

DavitaCuttita said...

I come from a borderline 3rd world country (Jamaica) where abortion is illegal and is also extremely taboo because it has a lot of historial links with colonialism and slavery (some slave women used to use special herbs to induce miscarriages so that their children wouldn't be born slaves). It is very painful for my people.

Currently, there are a lot of very unkind, cruel and unreasonable procedures and tactics from European Unions going on in my country trying to force abortion legalization while not providing any additional funding for sex education (people still believe if you touch a person with AIDS you will get infected so they are outcast from society, fired, impoverished, etc if people find out). They also refuse to provide additional funding for hospitals in general where many people still die from commonplace operation procedures and illnesses here in the Western world--my grandmother was one of them. They won't even help with the high crime, murder and drug rate (women and children being killed 30% more each year); which is one of the highest in the world. They just want to give us abortion clinics and be on their way.

So, I am definitely not pro-choice as in the climate where I'm from, the invasive European Union just seems to value the legalization of abortion clinics more than the people who are already alive, starving, sick and need help and the young people who are in very desperate need of proper, informative sex education that is currently; not being provided well enough.

However, I would never stand around protesting, yelling and screaming at whoever went into a clinic about it--especially in the manner you describe and I'm glad you got out of there.

Piffle said...

I too used PP as my gyn health provider when I was poor; they have my eternal gratitude and support for that alone.

My family, however, is not pro-choice at all. I suggested that one of my sisters get some gyn exam at PP at one point and was told that despite it being affordable that she would not go there because PP performed abortions.

Haddayr said...


Margaret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

I used to be a pro-lifer until recently. I finally realized my position was essentially putting fetuses above women, and how shitty that was. I am now very pro-choice.

Even in my pro-life days, the people who protested at clinics disgusted me beyond belief.

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