Don’t Preach

It has been 40 years since abortions were made legal in the United States via the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Case in 1973. We’ve made great strides. We’re continuing to fight. We also only represent half of the battle. 53% of Americans still believe abortions should be illegal.* There are loop holes and “only ifs” and “special circumstances” but regardless of any of the fine print, the majority of Americans want to take away a woman’s right to choose. Yes, the year is in fact 2013.

I am adopted. I am pro-choice. This is mind blowing for some to comprehend. You see, in my opinion, adoption isn’t always an option. Every situation, home environment, mental health status, religious beliefs, level of financial stability, along with countless other factors are different for each individual. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, and in even the most bleak situations the stars can align and a woman is given enough help to assist her with the incredibly difficult process of giving their child up for adoption. Sadly, guardian angels tend to just exist on the Hallmark channel and for most women experiencing the above setbacks in life a pregnancy can be devastating. (For those of you saying “prove it” there are some hypothetical examples at the end of this entry)

I admire the women who are able to give their child up for adoption immensely, I wouldn’t be here without one of them, but I am not going to make the statement that ALL women should/could choose adoption. If my own birth mother had been in an unsafe/unfit situation to choose adoption I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be asked my opinion. She was alive and I wasn’t.  It wasn’t my decision to make, and I wouldn’t have known any better. As morbid as that sounds, it is the truth.

No one goes skipping into the abortion clinic. Women walk in with their faces hidden and their hearts heavy. They do their best to maneuver past angry picketers holding signs damning them to eternal hell and keep up enough strength to walk in the door. Women who endure this hardship face exhaustive emotional stress and must continue to live in a culture that would rather shun them than support them. Abortion is never anyone’s first choice. An unplanned pregnancy is undeniably stressful and taxing for an equipped and well cared for woman to go through; for a woman with other financial and emotional issues facing her as well it is crippling. Assuming that every woman who finds themselves in such a compromising situation as deciding what is best for her and her unborn child is able to endure the incredibly grueling and sensitive process of adoption is ignorant is unfair. Please think of these women who have already been through so much and allow them the dignity of making the final decision in something that will change the rest of their lives no matter what the outcome.

 

A woman with a deeply religious family who wouldn’t hesitate to cease all contact and communication with her after discovering she had premarital sex and became pregnant would likely find herself completely alone emotionally and financially if she decided to have the child regardless of whether or not the child was adopted. Women in this situation are often very young and uneducated, meaning finding a means for supporting her new family would be incredibly difficult. There is a possibility of the Father being in the picture but statistics show that children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to grow up in a single-parent household, experience instability in living arrangements, live in poverty, and have socio-emotional problems.** In this case, adoption would mean the birth mother would have to come clean to her family and risk losing everything. For women in this situation, there is no “always an option”.con

There are women who are raped and have suffered incredible trauma, why is it anyones place to require them to carry the baby conceived by such a catastrophic event for 9 months. It is their decision and should depend on their own mental stability and level of support they receive based on their unique situation. Yet 53% of Americans at this very moment want to take away their right to do so if need be.

*Survey done by Pew Research Center

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/Abortion/Roe-v-wade-full.pdf

** http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/196

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3 comments

  1. Sally Scott · · Reply

    Abby, This is a very thoughtful piece. What prompted you to write it?

    Mom

    1. Hi Mom, it is the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade verdict and I got into a couple discussions on various blogs about the importance of a Woman’s Right to Choose. Rather than reply to the individual comments I decided to write one big entry on my blog. I just rewrote a lot of it though so read it again, how did you find it?

  2. a face in the crowd · · Reply

    A fellow adoptee-pro choicer here. When people tell me I’m lucky my mother chose adoption instead of abortion, I tell them I’m just glad she had a choice.

    After my mother gave me up, she went on to abort numerous times before finally bringing my brother into the world (this I found out after reunion, of course). While my heart is saddened at the loss of my siblings, I am also reminded of just how painful giving up your child can be. So painful, that for my own mother, aborting was preferable to giving them away. I don’t particularly admire women who give up their children – although I do feel very sorry for the fact that they are faced with such a horrific and painful situation in the first place. I think many are either brain washed (you are so heroic!) or coerced (You can never give this child what he needs!) into a decision that if given time and the proper resources, counseling, and support, she wouldn’t have to make to begin with.

    Anyway – sorry for the little tangent. Just wanted to say I appreciate your post, both as a “could-have-been” abortion (gag) and a woman.

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