"[A]ll women should have the right to decide whether and when to become a mother. Every woman should have the right to shape her own life and the right to care for herself and her family with dignity."Does this sound like a statement you could support? Believe it or not, this is a direct quote from the National Network of Abortion Funds and I stand behind what they say with every ounce of my being. Yes, I believe in a woman's right to control her body and choose what path to follow.
This weekend, a self proclaimed right-to-lifer demonstrated his support for the sanctity of life by entering a house of God and assassinating an usher in that church. That man, Dr. George Tiller, was an abortion doctor. He was one of the few doctor's in our entire country that would provide late second trimester/early third trimester abortions. Prior to this Sunday, Dr. Tiller had been shot, had his clinic repeatedly vandalized, and had protests not only in front of his clinic but in front of his home...all for providing a LEGAL service. Despite this harassment, he continued to provide this service because he believed it was critical to the health and well-being of women to have this option. Now, this option has been removed from a whole segment of our population unless another doctor is brave enough to continue in his footsteps.
Yes, I am the mother of three boys. Yes, I was devastated and mourned each one of my 8 losses even though they were all first trimester losses. Is this outlook at odds with supporting a woman's right to choose? HELL NO.
I'll let you in on a *little secret. Once up a time, I was one of those fertile people that drive people going through infertility bat-shit crazy. I got pregnant after I missed a couple of birth control pills...and I had an abortion. I won't go into the reasons why. That isn't relevant. What is relevant is that the decision was not made with a light heart. The decision was made after a lot of discussion, a lot of tears, and it was made by both Vic and me because we deemed it best for us. And, despite the sorrow it caused me going through the abortion, I do know it was for the best. At not even 8 weeks pregnant, I was already having spikes in my blood pressure. And, I did end up being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia when I was pregnant with Marty (my 2nd pregnancy). When I was was pregnant with Marty, I didn't start showing signs of pre-eclampsia until the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. If I was already having spikes in my blood pressure at 8 weeks along, I have no doubt I was headed for a full blown eclamptic pregnancy and I probably would have faced the heart break of a late 2nd trimester or early 3rd trimester termination. And, when you progress to full blown eclampsia, termination is not a guarantee of saving the mother's life but continuing the pregnancy is a guarantee she will die. Looking back at my decision to have an abortion, I can accept the argument that my reasons for it may have been weak or shallow. However, they did not seem that way at the time and still do not seem that way to me. And, knowing what I know about my medical history and pre-eclampsia, I fully believe I made the right decision even if it was for the wrong reasons. The availability of an abortion saved me from a lot of medical trauma and, if that first pregnancy had continued, I believe a late term termination would have been necessary to save my life. I hope and pray women are never forced back into having a choice between an unwanted or medically dangerous pregnancy or a visit to a back alley clinic.
I have to admit, when I started having loss after loss, I went through a brief stage where I wondered if that wasn't God's retribution for my earlier choice. But, a talk with my pastor and a reminder that Lutherans don't believe in a vengeful God put those doubts to rest. I am horrified that SOME (not all) right-to-lifers are calling on a vengeful God and using Him for the justification to assassinate men like Dr. Tiller. If you are a Christian, you believe in the Bible. Most right-to-lifers proclaim them selves Christians. And, the new testament in the Bible they profess to follow says that it is no longer and eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. Well, whether you support the right to choose or not, the assassination of Dr. George Tiller definitely falls into the realm of an eye for an eye and is wrong.
I am open to debate on this topic. I am not open to people who show up here spewing hatred and vitriolic rhetoric. If you are polite and well spoke in your beliefs, I'll be happy to address them. If you are nasty about it, there is always delete.
*yes, this is what I was referring to in this post...not how I intended to tell the story but necessary considering what happened this weekend
BTW, both Cecily and Julie have brilliant posts on this topic.