On Women

I’ve started and stopped this blog more times than I want to admit. I’ve spent several days skirting my thoughts on the overturn of Roe v Wade. At first, it was because I didn’t want to believe that it was possible. That this dystopian America we’ve been living in could continue its downfall back to the 1950s when women were walking vessels for other people’s choices. Then I got mad. I got so angry that words vomited from my lips and fingertips and I wanted to lash out at every person who even thinks about controlling a woman’s rights to her own body.

When I was 14, my foster sister had an abortion. She told me she was pregnant, her tear-stained cheeks said all I needed to know, she was heartbroken. I asked her what she was going to do? How could she take care of a baby when she couldn’t care for herself yet? She’d been shuffled from safe-home to the foster system, running from her drug-addicted mother. On more than one occasion, she told me that she’d never known what it was like to feel safe and secure until she moved in with my family. My introduction to what abortion truly was came from her. She held my hands and cried and told me she was scared to tell mom and dad. I was convinced they’d be understanding and only want what was best for her. They had to see what I saw, a girl who was too young to be a mom. If she wasn’t ready to have a kid, and definitely couldn’t take care of one, she had addiction problems of her own to face, it made sense that she’d choose not to bring a child into the world where it wouldn’t be cared for. Through her own drug and alcohol use, she could still see, that she didn’t want to continue the cycle of abuse she was trying to escape from.

After the procedure, she told dad and I assumed mom. While I have no memory of mom feeling one way or the other about it, my father decided that it was time to have “the talk” on a Tuesday afternoon, while I was sitting in the backseat of a car.

“Are you having sex?” he asked me.

I was stunned by the question. I’d never even held a boy’s hand let alone been kissed. I couldn’t even fathom having sex with someone. “No.”

“I’ll buy you condoms, put you on birth control, whatever you want but let me be clear. Abortion is killing. If you have an abortion you’ll no longer be my child. Do I make myself clear? No daughter of mine is going to murder a baby and come back to my home like nothing happened. You don’t get to murder my grandchild. Understood?”

I just nodded. I was blindsided by the whole conversation. The idea that he could stop loving me so easily. At fourteen I came to understand that my body was never mine. I had been sexually assaulted for years and my cries of “no” meant nothing to my abuser. If a relative wanted a hug, I had to obey, regardless of how that relative had treated me, so said my father. I understood at a young age I had zero body autonomy. When my dad said he could stop loving me so easily, I was hurt, and confused, but not surprised by the continuation of this idea that my body belonged to someone else before it ever belonged to me. I don’t have a great relationship with my father and there are many reasons for that. It took me more than thirty years to learn how to always choose me and what I need over his version of love.

I stand with a woman’s right to choose because it’s her body. Her body belongs to no one else and the audacity that some men (and even women) have to believe that they can take that right away from us is mind-boggling. I am not pro-abortion, I am pro a woman’s right to choose. I’m pro-women’s lives first. I stand with the 70% who believe that women should have the right to choose and not be made to feel less than. Regardless of the situation, the reason, your personal beliefs, your sky daddy’s lightning bolts, it’s her life.

It’s her body.

That should be enough.

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