MY $0.02

Blog_for_choice_day_small_1Some of my first memories as a child involve being “dragged”
off to various rallies. I was raised to
believe that certain rights are ours naturally. Period. And in the late 70s and
early 80s there were plenty of these rights still available. So, most of the rallies were about equal pay,
abolishing nuclear armamentation, and yes, peace. As the 90s approached, I as a young adult,
picked up the signs and marched, danced and cried out for the environment.

Now here we are in the year 2006 and while those issues
still exist, the one that seems to be a persistent thorn beneath everyone’s
thumb is that of choice. Rarely will we
see people so polarized as we do with the abortion issue. Everyone feels that they are so right…or
should I say correct?

I am amazed that there are folks out there who will blow up
clinics in the name of life. I am amazed
that people will spend their weekends murdering deer, while feeling the need to
save a cluster of cells. I am amazed
that a bunch of old men have the legal ability to control not only the bodies,
but the rest of a woman’s life with the stroke of a pen. I am amazed that education about birth
control is being squelched at the same time that a woman’s right to choose is
at such great risk.

The fact is that there is nothing I can say here that hasn’t
already been said. I’m not likely to
change anyone’s mind. I know damn well that
no one is going to change mine. But in
this political climate, I think it is important to write how I feel, think
& believe. Because if I don’t I am
one of the culpable.

It would be easy for me to sit back and quietly play it
safe. To know that just because abortion
is not – at this time – a personal issue for me, I have nothing to fear. But it isn’t just about me. It is about the (any) woman who knows, for
whatever reason, that bearing a child is the wrong decision. This is such a difficult decision for a
person to make & I don’t think that one woman’s reason is any better or
worse than another’s. I don’t have that
right…to judge, that is. The right
that I do have is the ability to make
decisions regarding my own body. And I
am here to say that I for one do not support any legislation to remove that
right.

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

To see the writings of others “blogging for choice” please
click here.

Special thanks go to ccw, who alerted me to this
opportunity. I hope that some of you
will join in.

Some who have:

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8 thoughts on “MY $0.02

  1. You are so well-spoken (well written). The concept of applying one single law to all sort of different people always amazes me – it makes absolutely no sense! Whatever happened to being an individual?

  2. First, I love that poem. It has always been a favorite of mine.

    Love what you wrote. I am glad that you still feel the need to speak up for choice, even though you don’t think you would be in the position to have to make such a choice.

    It has always scared me that a man who will never be pregnant and never have to make such a choice gets to make the choice for me, my daughters, and every other women. So unfair that the people most effected by the laws are not given much of a say on the matter.

  3. Miriam:
    First off, thanks for the compliment.
    I, too, am blown away by the homogenized approach to governing that has become the norm in our society. Individuality is not only NOT encouraged. General thought seems to be regarding it as something to fear…or at least that’s what we’re being told.

    ccw:
    I love that one, too. It is, unfortunately applicable to so many aspects of our lives.
    Oh, and I din’t say that I wouldn’t be in a position to make such a decision…I said that I am not currently. One never knows what the future holds. The majority of women who seek abortions are already mothers.
    And as for the last paragraph of your comment, I can only say, “Yes, yes, yes!”
    I don’t know if you spent much time reading the various pieces written yesterday, but I was, frankly, surprised by the various views people have of the whys and hows of abortion. I saw discourse on everything from power to economy to heart-wrenching personal trauma. It was not happy reading. There were no cute stories or fuzzy anecdotes. But it was strong, powerful, important stuff. I’m so glad to have heard of this. It makes me sit up and say, “What can I do next?”
    Thank you.

  4. That poem is a huge favorite of mine. Huge.

    As I said at ccw’s, you need to have choice. Leaving no option is always the wrong answer. And even if you don’t agree on where the line is drawn, removing choice is a terrible thing.

  5. I, too, love that poem.

    I do not understand the people who blow up clinics and the people in the name of right to life, either. However, I also believe that the right to “choose” was given before the act that led to conception. I also think that there are some instances in which abortion is medically and emotionally necessary (ie: for health of the mother, in cases of incest and rape) and because of those and the ambiguous nature of those scenarios, I believe that we need to continue to keep abortion legal.

    You have no idea how momentous that last statement is for me. I have NEVER in my life said such a thing. I consider myself pro-life. I was raised Catholic. For this reason and my current inner struggle with this issue, I cannot write/blog about this issue.

    Thank you for your eloquence.

  6. Running2Ks:
    Leaving people with no choice is not about life, it is about power. It is about limiting options to control masses. I think that is part of what is addressed in that poem.

    Shelli:
    God for you that you are able to express your beliefs, even if you don’t feel particularly “good” about them. I agree that choice should include pre-conception options. Unfortunately, these are also being attacked. I think it was at ‘Alas, a blog’, that he spoke of supply and demand. It was a VERY interesting article.

  7. Rowan, I read many of the posts yesterday. All powerful and very interesting. What truly saddens me about the restrictions is that poor women are the ones to suffer most.

    Also, I did understand what you meant about yourself. I was trying to say, but expressing myself poorly, was that it is always great to see/hear people be passionate about a topic that doesn’t apply to them just because it is the right thing to do. It is easy for us to “forget” when something is no longer a pressing concern in our own lives. Does that make sense?

    Again, a great post!

  8. ccw:
    Yes, that absolutely makes sense.
    I agree. It is very much a concern for poor women. How ironic that these are the same ones who would later be shunned for being welfare moms.
    I often think about my life with Kajsa…all the trials and tribulations with her health. I cannot begin to imagine having done this as a single teen runaway. I can barely imagine handling it if only one of those factors was present.
    Whenever someone I know begins day dreaming about having children, I talk with them about all the myriad of possiblities with mental, physical and emotional health. Babies are cute. But as you said so well in your post – they are not easy.

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