Sunday, January 21, 2007
Freedom to Choose
This is an important issue for me. If it were not for choice, I may not be here now, and I certainly wouldn't be the person that I am today. In April of 1991, I was raped. It was an awful time in my life, made worse by the fact that I thought I had somehow deserved it, or brought it upon myself. I was 20 years old.
My world was shattered. I was very naive, very innocent for all of my bluster. I grew up in an insular little community, and while I was aware that rape happened, it seemed to happen far away. The kind of thing never touched my golden, carefree life. The worst I had to worry about at that time was bringing up my flagging Poly Sci grade, and to grumble that my jerky boss had put me on the late shift at the movie theater. I was active in community theater, and was excited because I had just scored a coveted role. My life was work, college, and my dearly-loved theater productions.
My world not only shattered, it melted away with lightning-fast speed. Suddenly, not only was I someone who'd been torn asunder physically, but the horror was compounded by the fact that I was now pregnant by the rapist.
Up until this point, I was sure, in my holier-than-thou fashion, that abortion was the refuge of the lower-class desperate. That people who were ignorant chose that avenue instead of the morally upright choice of having the baby, or even having the baby and placing it for adoption. It's funny how my attitude changed when I realized that I was pregnant. It was the worst sort of hell for me. I had always dreamed of the day that I would have children -- I'd imagined my life surrounded by them. And here I was, pregnant with one I did not want, and one that was left with me after a night of rape.
I had an abortion. If that choice had not been available to me, I feel quite sure that I would not be here today.
While abortion was something that I never would have thought I would ever do, I'm glad that it was an option. To the lawmakers who are pushing for a reversal of Roe v Wade: do NOT reverse this decision. It may not be a choice that you would ever make for yourselves, but it is a choice that needs to remain just that -- a CHOICE. I know that I'm not the only woman out there with a similar story. Please do not take that option away from us. Imagine if it were your mother, your sister, your wife. Let the highfalutin' attitude fall by the wayside, and consider whether YOU would want to be forced to bear an unwanted child, maybe at the risk of your own health. To reverse Roe v Wade would be akin to being violated again.