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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Friday, February 24, 2006


Taking the shun out of abortion

I am pro-choice.

Thanks to Badgerbag's post yesterday, I took my suburban head out of my suburban sand pit long enough to realize that I need to dredge up unpleasant memories from my past and make them part of what I believe in the present. I am angry and this is what I am angry about:

"South Dakota lawmakers approved a ban on nearly all abortions Friday, setting up a deliberate frontal assault on Roe v. Wade at a time when some activists see the U.S. Supreme Court as more willing than ever to overturn the 33-year-old decision."

If I told you that I had ten abortions would you be shocked? Probably. If I told you that I have never had an abortion would you be surprised? Probably. The reason why is because many women--women that you know--have had some number between zero and ten abortions. If I told you that I've had one abortion, you most likely would not be shocked. You might, however, be surprised that I told you. And that's a problem.

In our society, we don't talk about our abortions. We do take advantage of the fact that they are available to us. We scurry into clinics on Saturday mornings scared, sad, and pregnant, and come out on Saturday afternoons relieved, sad, and no longer pregnant. But the rule of Fight Club most certainly applies to health centers and doctor's offices across the nation: What happens at the abortion clinic, stays at the abortion clinic.

And that's okay. I certainly am not going to break that code of silence in this public arena. But what I don't want to forget about my past is how supremely happy I was that I lived in a country that allowed me the opportunity to right my wrong when I decided that I did not want to bring an unwanted child into this world. My past: a time in my life when I wasn't able to care for a kitten let alone another human being. My past: a time in my life when I barely was able to care for myself. And I want other women--young, old, black, white, rich, poor--to have the choice to experience that same sense of relief that I felt once upon a time in my past, when I left that clinic on that sunny Saturday afternoon.

I don't care what circumstances brings a woman into an abortion clinic. I don't care if she was raped, or if she threw caution and condoms to the wind during a night of wild abandon, or if she is using abortion as a means of birth control. I do care that she have access to a safe and decent, well-lit clinic filled with kind, caring, non-judgemental people and a copy or two of Our Bodies Ourselves.

I am pro-choice.

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