Saturday, March 5, 2011

Being pregnant has made me more pro-choice than ever.

Ah, my poor neglected blog! It's been nearly a month! I'm sorry :(

I have composed several posts in my head but none here. Bad Bridget.

Anyway, on to the topic in the title.

I just read this article via Feministe, it's written by a woman who works as an abortion provider. It has inspired me to share my story.

When I suspected that I was pregnant this past November, my boyfriend told me that he would support me in any choice I wanted to make. He knew I was applying to grad programs and he didn't want me to have to give that up to have a baby if I wasn't ready. But we both also knew we wanted children. The question was, is now the time?

Our relationship was (and still is) relatively new, and we are not married.

I honestly did not know what I would choose to do if I turned out to be pregnant. But after experiencing several signs that indicated that I might be, I bought a home test. I remember talking to a friend once a few years ago, who was telling me about her first pregnancy, when she was still a teenager. She said, "once you see the positive test, something in you changes immediately." Her words were in my head as I unlocked my door, returning from Walgreens with my pregnancy test in hand. I took the test, and got a plus sign.

I know not everyone's experiences are similar, but for me, my friend's words turned out to be true. Once I saw that sign (which showed up IMMEDIATELY), something transformed in me. In fact, I somewhat bizarrely became terrified of having a miscarriage, even though just minutes before I'd been hoping the test would come out negative and I could continue with my life as usual.

Having said all that, I do think that several factors lead to my wanting this baby. Probably some kind of natural maternal instinct was involved, but that certainly wasn't everything. I knew I had a great partner. I knew he was supportive. I knew we could provide a child with a home and with everything else necessary. I was about to turn 30.

The thing is, I've had pregnancy scares earlier in my life, when all of the above things were not true. I don't know that I would have made the same decision back then. I am happy it turned out that I didn't have to.

I believe that choosing abortion can be the most responsible choice. Early in my pregnancy, both my boyfriend and I had doubts sometimes that we were doing the right thing by choosing to have this baby. We turned to our families for advice and they were all very supportive, which was helpful. But every situation is different, and I believe that women must have the right to make her own choice in this matter.

Pregnancy is tough. I've had to cut back on my hours at work, and I sure do miss the money I used to make. I'm giving up living here in New Orleans, my favorite city in the world, my chosen home for almost eight years, to move in with my boyfriend near Baton Rouge because he owns a house and I do not. I've postponed my grad school plans.

I chose to make all of these changes in my life. I would not appreciate being forced to do so.

That's my story, and that's why I'm pro-choice.

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