Among those of us who share the goals of liberation... there can be no hierarchies of oppression. I have learned that sexism (a belief in the inherent superiority of one sex over all others and thereby its right to dominance) arises from the same source as racism - a belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby its right to dominance.
An Open Letter to Pro-Life Activists
[Ed.Note: from the blog RavenWareConsulting; used with kind permission.]
I respect your passion and dedication to something you believe in so strongly, I only ask that you respect my position, even if you don’t agree with it. I am not pro abortion; I am 60 years old, and fortunately I was never faced with that decision, and if I had been I am not sure what my decision would have been. But I can tell you this, there are instances where I would not have wanted a child.
Rape seems to be discounted so easily; as if it does not happen often and should not be taken into consideration. Incest is another situation where young women of child bearing age are exposed to a potential unwanted pregnancy. Rape does not have to be violent, and done by a stranger, it can be nothing more than you told someone No, and they forced you anyway. But you were afraid of pushing back; he is bigger and stronger then you are and you are afraid. You did not want to do it, you laid there just waiting for it to be over and you would never have to see this person again.
Or you laid there, knowing that this person would do it again and again because he thought your body belonged to him, and you were afraid to leave. There was no love in this act, and any pregnancy that came as a result was not a wanted or loved child. So lets say you got your way and abortion is illegal, do you really think that would stop me from terminating an unwanted fetus? Maybe I am only 15 and my family would kick me out. Maybe my boyfriend abuses me physically and I am afraid of what he will do if he knows I am pregnant because it would be my fault. What are my options? Find a back alley doctor that will used dirty implements to remove this unwanted fetus? So maybe I do carry this child to term; rejected by family, boyfriend and friends; do you think I am eating healthy? Do I have the money to see doctors and take care of myself? Probably not, and when I have this baby, more than likely unhealthy at birth, and certainly not loved or wanted you will send me out on the street to try and take care of ourselves. You can certainly judge me, I should not have had sex outside of marriage; you can try to force your morals and religious beliefs on me, but this is not the Jesus I read about in the Bible. The Jesus and God that I read about is loving and caring and understands that we are human.
And the Republican party is against social programs, so where is my child that you have forced me to have going to be loved, fed, educated and raised in a stable environment. Healthcare will not be available; programs like Head Start will be gone; and I don’t have a high school education, where am I going to find a job?
And what about the woman who is raped by a rapist; do you think she wants to bring that child into the world? Do you think she will love it? Do you think her husband will love it? Do you think you are bringing these children into beautiful lives and loving families? We cannot educate the children we have that are in loving homes; we have to cut back our education budgets every year; how do we educate these children who are likely living in unhappy homes and are unwanted children. Have you ever visited an orphanage in a country where they force women to have children? I have.
I lived in Iran in 1975, and visited an orphanage on a regular basis. These children were born to Beduin women who would come in from the desert to give birth; and if the child was not a male, would get up and walk out of the hospital. You might think this is horrific; how could they do this, but we have women who do it in this country all the time. Is it better to bring these children into a world where they are not wanted; loved or cared for? Why would you do this to a conscious innocent child? At least terminating an unwanted pregnancy early prevents the level of suffering a child will have with full awareness that they are not loved or wanted.
And that brings me to my conclusion of this; if I had access to the morning after pill after I was raped it would be a non issue; or if I had access to birth control as a 15 year old in a very bad relationship; even with a relative, I could have protected myself and not even gotten to the point where I needed an abortion.
All of these scenarios are happening today to women who are frightened, alone and out of options. You may think you are doing something righteous, but it is only righteous if you are making the decision for yourself. You cannot make those decisions for me, or anyone else because you do not live our lives, or deal with our challenges.
I am not for abortion; but I am for the freedom to make the decision based on my faith; my morals; my ethics; my family and personal situation. You do not have the right to take that away from me. I have my own relationship with God; and you have no right to interfere with that relationship.
How many of the women you “convinced” to keep their child are doing well, have healthy loved children and are happy you changed their mind; or do you even care or know? What about that child? If you want to save people; go work in the slums of America and help those people who are already born and miserable.
This is not a righteous cause; it is a self righteous cause with selfish being the key word. There is no love in what you do except self love. God is not pleased with the pain and suffering you have propagated by your selfish actions. Let individuals make the decisions they need to make and stay out of it. If you want to provide help, then provide healthcare; food; housing; and love for the thousands of unwanted children in this country.
A Pro Choice Advocate