while I have you all riled up

It was almost five years ago that I
received a forwarded email from my father in law asking me to save the murdered unborn
– or something of that nature. Now, I
had only been dating Chris for about six months at that time, and worried about
how to respond to this email without alienating myself from this man for whom I’d
already developed much love and respect. 

After a moment, I sent off a reply
stating simply, “I am pro-choice.” To which I received a prompt reaction. “Is this an April fool’s joke?”

“No,” I answered, “it is not. Your son and I have agreed to disagree
regarding this. I hope that you can
respect that, and do the same.”

I got no response to this
email. Nor did he ever bring it up
again. I don’t know what he thought of
our brief interaction. I never will, as
he passed away in 2003. But he often
told me that he thought I was an intelligent woman, and that he was glad his
son had married me.

Over the years, I’ve  thought a lot about that short communication.

I know that most of Chris’ family shares his
father’s political and religious views. And I know that they have at least some understanding of mine. But it is rarely brought up. And for the most part, I like it that
way. I don’t have to feel too
uncomfortable in my role as insurgent newbie relative. I think the feeling of ease is mostly

But sometimes, when I meet new
people, it comes across that I am both pro-choice – and – very supportive of organ
donation.  I often see the
veiled look of questioning behind their eyes. And I’m glad that they don’t always ask me how this can be.

Why am I relieved? Not because I am unsure of my
convictions. But rather, because, we
live in such a climate of fear based politics, that when questioned, I clam up,
get sweaty, and my mind fills with a grey, fuzzy, panic.

But I found someone who doesn’t
share my lip-tripping political stammer. Molly is absolutely
fantastic at cutting straight to the heart of an issue. And yesterday she wrote a piece entitled “Which
is it?
” that truly resonated with me. It addressed clearly and succinctly not only the differences between
the politics of The Death Penalty, Abortion, and Organ Procurement, but how someone can logically
have very disparate views of each.

I completely agree with her point – which,
simply paraphrased, is that it is all about individual responsibility and the rights of a
person over their person. Whether you agree or not, her blog is
definitely worth taking a look at. I
know that I’ll be back.


For what it’s worth, I found Molly
through Bitch

She is also a great read, and highly


8 thoughts on “while I have you all riled up

  1. I didn’t realize that being pro-choice and believing in organ donation was mutually exclusive. I am not saying that in a negative tone as I just realized it may sound that way. I just don’t understand why it would be. Am I ignorant?

  2. Many people have expressed to me that they feel that saving lives – is saving lives – is saving lives.

    In other words, How could I want to save my child, but support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

  3. You know, Shelli, I don’t have answers. I do have lots of questions. I hope to always wonder.
    I think that as long as I am questioning myself, and the world around me, I still have room to grow.

  4. Okay, I guess I can see why they say that. I disagree with them though. I used to consider myself pro-life and now would say that I lean more toward pro-choice (stop gasping all you other Catholics out there) but it doesn’t mean that I have a different view on organ donation. My reasons for being pro-choice are not that I don’t think that terminating a pregnancy is terminating a life. My reasons for being pro-choice, sadly, are more political than that. Because I cannot imagine having a politician, most likely a man, tell me that my reason for having an abortion is valid or invalid. I would never choose abortion for myself, but that isn’t for me to say for someone else.

    And organ donation just makes sense.

  5. My sister donated her organs, though I don’t know what they could use because of her cancer. I hope something, and in a way I am curious who she helped, in a way I don’t want to know. Both for the reason that part of my sister might still be out there. (Does that make sense??)

    I use to think I was pro-choice. I would never get an abortion, but why couldn’t someone who felt they weren’t ready for a child have one if they desired. Or if there was a rape. Or if there was a fatality to the mother if the child continued to grow.

    Then I married my husband. He can’t have kids because of testicular cancer. And I hear about women having abortions when they could have been practicing safe sex. My friend did this. And I kind of feel angry about it because that could have been a child my husband and I raised as our own. (I get mad about dumpster babies and children that die because they are abandoned also, for the record.) So, here I am not really sure how I believe.

    Then I found out someone really close to me also had an abortion. The reasons were good, but my desire to have children one day kind of made me a little sad about that one too.

    And I guess I am still on the fence. I don’t think a child should be born at the risk to the mother unless the mother chooses that. I think a rape victim should have the right to abort a child, because it wasn’t their choice to be raped. Also, I think the stress and rage of a child conceived from violence could be harmful to the child. (I really believe that the child and mother share a lot in the 9 months they are together.) But I am definately against using abortion as a form of birth control. If you do the deed and don’t, you should take the responsiblity one way or the other. (Raising or adoption) But then again…and I end up questioning myself.

    As for your father in law, I think he chose to agree to disagree with you. He must have seen how wonderful a person you were, and decided that this one little difference wouldn’t be a relationship dealbreaker. I bet he was a wonderful man.

    (Maybe I should have made my own blog entry. lol.)

  6. hi. i just come across you on scousers page. i liked the name! anyway i will go read that now but i just wanted to say hi, i like what i read here so far so i’ll be back, and i wrote a couple of pieces myself on this whole issue recently if you are interested….

  7. I’m the one in the families (my family, hubby’s family, and my ex’s family) with the “out there” views. They aren’t what they woudl do– but I respect their values, and they respect mine- but not pressuring me and watching me boil over! I agree- we do/say/act on what’s right for us. Now to hop over to molly’s blog…

  8. Keda:
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ll have to swing by and a take a peek at your writings, as well.

    Always good to find another of like mind.

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