Friday, January 22, 2010


The theme of Blog for Choice Day 2010 is TRUST WOMEN.
I write about choice from the perspective of one whose choices were a bit unconventional. I have never been pregnant, oh, not for lack of carelessness in my youth, but just because I have been lucky. I know, though, that had I found myself pregnant in my 20s, I would have been hard-pressed to have an abortion. However, that would have been MY CHOICE. Like it or not, our society is a patriarchy. Men: doctors, politicians, clergy, whoever, believe they have the right to make suggestions and demands about what women do with their bodies. The truth is, people don't trust women.
When I was looking to build a family, I had choices. I could have opted for donor insemination, I could have gotten pregnant by traditional methods, or I could adopt. I chose adoption because it felt right to me. I was single, and although healthy, I knew that if pregnancy left me incapacitated at all, I would run the risk of losing my job or worse: being alone and having to stay in bed, or not perform physical tasks that my single life called on me to perform. I had a very good friend at the time who was on 4 months of bed rest in order to carry her baby to term. What would have become of me?
But some people did not trust me with my own decision to adopt: it was too expensive, I didn't know what "kind" of child I would get, on and on. "Why don't you just be a foster parent? Then you could change your mind if it didn't go well." While I welcomed the support of my family, who were all wonderful, I was frustrated by others who acted as though I had not thought my decision out and weighed all the options.
My hope is that my daughters will also have the choice to build their families-or not-by choice. They must be trusted to make these important decisions about their own bodies and futures.

I don't feel very eloquent on the subject, but I feel very passionate. The choice must remain with the woman.


Anonymous said...

I think you are as eloquent as you are passionate and it was a wonderful piece to read.

kathy a. said...

hear, hear!

if i had become pregnant at a time when i could not commit to bearing and raising a child, i would not have continued the pregnancy. some of my friends and one of my sisters made that choice. others decided that they would handle it. still others have built loving families in unconventional ways, like you.

and i have known women who really had no practical choices available to them, and who came to believe that they failed the children they produced. yes, in this country, and within the memory of living people. those unwanted children are still being born; plenty want to "save" sets of cells too small to be seen, but there is not a huge amount of interest in providing the already-birthed with what they need to succeed. we build more prisons, and cut more children from the rolls of health care and early childhood education.

it is profoundly disappointing that all these decades later, it is still necessary to talk about why women need the power to decide about their own bodies.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I love your passion. I also love that you lived what you believed out loud for everyone to see.

Susie K. said...

I love what you wrote, Yankee. Not much saddens me more than the fact that how women decide to create (or uncreate) families for whatever reason is controversial. Trust women to know what's right for themselves people!

liz said...


Vertigo said...

very good!