January 22, 2007

Blog for Choice Day, 2007


(I'm having trouble making the link to Bush v. Choice, sponsors of Blog for Choice day, to work. So it is here.)

In case you don't know, I live in the Washington DC metropolitan area. And this day is the "March for Life" day. They are all over, babies bussed in with their nuns from parochial schools. But whatever deity they believe in must have a hell of a sense of humor, causing Roe v. Wade to be decided in January. Today the high was in the 20s with a layer of ice over snow on everything. It does my heart good.



Choice is essential for a lot of reasons that are essayworthy, but the one closest to my heart is that it is my body, my mother's body, my daughter's body. I am old enough to know a time when abortion wasn't legal, when women died with some regularity obtaining what we call back-alley abortions. They are called that because somebody knew somebody who knew somebody who worked in a room in the lousy part of town. A pregnant woman went alone, no support and no help. The fee might have been small but was most likely equivalent to a month's rent, not easy to come up with. Yet women went. Some survived, knowing not to breathe a word to anybody except the next women who whispered "Do you know ..."

To many it seems long ago and far away. To me, it was yesterday.

I've never told anyone this story. Most of you don't know my gender, marital status, or anything much about me. But it is way past time to say what matters. I was one of the lucky ones. I was married with children and terrified of another pregnancy. Three children under five was enough to make any woman terrified of another pregnancy. I was a regular and loyal user of sometimes unreliable birth control.

And I was late. One day, two days. There were no over-the-counter tests. Three days. Four days. At which point I discovered that my decision had already been made, one of those things I didn't know about myself until it was tested. Remember, abortion was illegal unless the life of the mother was in danger. I asked everybody I knew. And I found that if two psychiatrists testified that I would commit suicide if forced to carry a child to term, I could obtain a legal abortion.

Seven days, eight days. Through very good friends and with no disclosure to my then husband I lined up one psychiatrist. And had an appointment with a second. Day 12, my flow began. Maybe it was one of those little miscarriages or just a quirk in my system.

That day in 1973 when Roe v Wade was decided I knew I'd never go through that again. Nor would anyone else. I'd do almost anything to keep it that way.

10 comments:

Lisa McMann said...

Thank you for sharing this story.

Kim said...

It's stories like this that confirm my fervent belief in choice.

Nick Burbules said...

Thanks for linking to Progressive Blog Digest! I have added you to my blog list as well.

Nick Burbules

Sasha said...

Thanks Nick. I link to folks I read.

gothmog said...

Yet another reason why you have my utmost admiration and respect. Thank you.

I sincerely apologize that my institution is one of those which annually send poor, misguided souls into your city this time of year. Just know that I'm doing my level best to undermine the brainwashing.

Sasha said...

Thank you Gothmog.

Once upon a time the busses and young things inside them really pissed me off. These days I find myself overwhelmed with sympathy for those who are too young to understand but who are the victims of brainwashing. I really think it is child abuse. If I weren't so damn pro-freedom, I'd be inclined to oppose anybody below the age of majority in participating.

One of these years I remember a correspondent from C-Span sticking a microphone in the face of a high school student and asking "Why are you against Roe v. Wade?" The student struggled to formulate an answer and finally fled in tears. I think that would describe many of them in the same situation.

Jolene said...

Thanks for telling this, Sasha, and what Kimm said.

Puffy said...

Thanks for sharing and teaching me about this. I did not know about March for Life and the buses into D.C.

Anonymous said...

I am reading these comments and feeling quite sad..quite sad that truth is so hidden. I am an abortion survivor. I can tell you first hand from personal experience, A LOT of research that the abortion industry is LYING to us as women. Please I urge you to study the facts for yourself..don't believe the hype, so to speak. Make sure you carefully study all sides. We live in a fiercely pro-choice society, but w/most having very little understanding of "the other side of the story" so to speak. It is undeniable that abortion is the taking of a life...it is a medical fact that life begins at conception. Once the sperm and egg meet, it becomes a zygote which in turn then gets it's own genetic code and it's ANOTHER human being. Ladies and gentelmen...this is not just ONE person's choice that solely affects only one..no it's ONE person making a choice for 2 and that choice of abortion means choosing that your "choice" is more important than life. See unfortunately, that newly created baby cannot speak for itself, although you may find it of interest to check out a google search on "silent scream" by Dr Bernard Nathanson...actually a founding father of NARAL. (who happens to believe the 60,000 abortions he performed were all murder after he observed a sonogram, leading him to realize it is truly a life, therefore, abortion is murder. He played a major pt in legalzing abortion and now vehemently fights to overturn Roe v Wade) the baby cannot raise his/her voice for you to hear that he/she wants to live and deserves a chance. It is a gift to be able to bear a child...some of you may have heard the saying, "there's no such thing as an unwanted child, just unwanting adults" The national adoption statistics show that last yr there were 1.3 million abortions in the US...there were 1.3 million couples who were on a list to adopt, but unable....hmmm..shouldn't think mk us think? Less than 2% of all abortions committed in the US are bc of rape, incest, etc, SO that is a weak defense for legalized abortion.
How do you feel when you reflect on slavery? When it was legal, do you remember the unpopularity in opposing it? What was the arguement? "They aren't human, they're just property" "They're my property and I don't want anyone telling me what to do w/my property" Just b/c the law stated that African Americans pre 1865 were NOT completly human didn't MEAN they weren't human!!! No, they were 100% human who deserved freedom. Don't you see the similarities that Americans argue today for the right to abort legally? "It's my body, it's my choice..it's a blob of tissue..." No, just b/c the law says it's legal, doesn't mean it isn't murder...
Do you feel the Holocaust was great? It was legal to kill Jews, in fact, you risked your own life if you believed otherwise...Hmm...are you seeing the similarities??
Please fellow Americans....we need to wake up and see what we our doing to our children, our future, our families, our nation...ourselves. I urge you to research conditions of abortion clinics...if you think legal abortion is a way to improve women's healthcare, you must not be aware of many clinics not having to follow standard healthcodes, do you know how many have been shut down due to the awful conditions/? Study this. Abortionists are not required to disclose any information about themselves, their credentials, education, etc...yet this is req of any other dr performing a routine surgery...why do we accept this women and men? Why do we buy into this idea that this is really a better alternative? Do we not weep for the many women's lives abortion has stolen? Perhaps we should truly be pro-women and being protecting our own..instead of destroying.
I challenge you...read abortion73.com

Sasha said...

Ahhh, an anonymous concern troll. Thank you for the visit.