Abortion is a constitutionally protected right in this country. Whether you are on one side of the aisle or the other, short of overturning Roe v. Wade, this will not be changing. However, in 1992, the High Court allowed states to enact to their own restrictions. Recently, specifically in a heated election year where women’s rights seem to be under fire, and political and religious ideology often trumps reasoning and science, an alarming trend in Republican legislature around the country is testing to see just how close they can get to banning abortion.
In several states, access to abortions are becoming highly restricted under new laws. Stricter clinic regulations in Virginia are being passed in hopes of financially impeding the operations of women health care centers. Doctors that work in clinics in Mississippi have been denied hospital admitting privileges. Texas has implemented many barriers included the Abortion Sonogram Bill which requires women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram 24 hours prior to the procedure. The doctor is required to describe the limbs and measurements and play the heartbeat aloud.
I support well made decisions, but not by scare tactic. Abortion isn’t the right path for some, certainly, but the decision should be available to each woman, made of her own volition, considering her own circumstances, as she will be the one who has to live with the consequences, whatever they may be.
When women get desperate, they will turn to dangerous alternatives, as history has shown. While there may be exceptions, and counseling is a perfectly acceptable path in learning which recourse is best for each woman, personally, I don’t believe women come to the decision to have an abortion lightly. I know I did not.
I was sixteen and I was pregnant. I felt foolish for having been careless, but I knew that I did not want to have a baby. I never even told my best friend for fear of her judgement on my decision, but I never even considered having it. I wanted to finish high school. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to have life experiences beyond being pregnant in high school and raising a baby in, what would certainly be, less than ideal circumstances. Frankly, I wasn’t sure that I even wanted kids.
I spoke to my boyfriend and my mom. We all agreed that an abortion was our best option. I’m glad that I had that option. I was seven weeks pregnant and my mom took me to the clinic. The nurses and doctors were kind, considerate and non-judgemental. I was not traumatized. I do not daydream about what my child would have looked like. I did not need counseling afterwards and have always been at peace with my decision. I did not regret it then and I still do not regret making that choice today.
Does that make me a bad person? No. Was I selfish? Maybe. But I truly believe I did what was right for me and my future. Maybe being selfish in that decision was the best for everyone involved.
I was able to get my education. I was able to get life experiences. I had kids, but when I was ready-when I could have been the mother that they deserved, not some kid growing up with them. I am thankful that I had that choice and I will fight for women’s rights because I know that we deserve to be in charge of our bodies.
This Curvy Girl Guide Contributor wishes to remain anonymous.