I have had two abortions and, if you’re anti-choice, we can’t be friends.
The first pregnancy resulted from sexual assault, although it wasn’t quite as crystal clear as that to me at the time. I was young. The boy lied and said he used a condom. He did not. I got pregnant. He denied it was his. He was the only boy I’d slept with at the time so it was undeniable. He denied I was even pregnant and never talked to me again. His father threatened my mother when she tried to sort it out. There was no way in hell I was going to give birth in that scenario. I still had years of college to complete. I never wanted kids anyway. I certainly didn’t want to have one with someone who tricked me, treated me cruelly, and threatened my family.
For the second pregnancy, I was head over heels in love and planned to marry the person. So, when I did accidentally get pregnant, we decided we’d keep it if it was viable.
It was not.
I had an ectopic pregnancy. There was no way it could survive. They cannot transplant ectopic pregnancies into the womb to make them viable. If left untreated, both will die. If I could not have had an abortive pill then, I would not be alive today to write these words.
I felt when it died. The spark of life snuffed out like a candle flame. But it was not viable. There was nothing to be done about it.
Oddly enough, I never felt the first pregnancy. I had no idea until my mother pointed out the symptoms and had me take a test. I was truly shocked. I felt nothing. But the second time I knew the moment it happened.
What does that mean? I have no idea but it has forced me to draw a line in the sand. What do I consider a life? When do I consider something else’s life over my own body?
For me, especially after the second pregnancy, it’s viability, but to me that extends to… If it can survive outside the womb then it is a baby. Before that, it is merely a clump of cells. Even if there’s a spark, even if there’s a feeling, if it’s not viable, it’s not a separate human life. If it can’t exist outside my body, then it is of my body, and if it is of my body, then it is my choice and my choice alone.
For example, let’s say they determine that the only way to stop unwanted pregnancies was to stop it at the source: semen. What if they wrote a law that called for mandatory vasectomies that could only be reversed if proof was provided that someone was ready to be a parent?
Would you scream, “My body, my choice?”
All we want is body autonomy. All we ask is to be able to make our own decisions about what we do with our own bodies. Just because we have a life inside us, does not mean that anyone else should ever have any say over what we do with our bodies. Let medical professionals sort that out. Religion and politics have no place in my doctor’s office.
YOU disliking what I choose or YOUR religion going against it has absolutely no bearing on what I choose to do with my body and my life. Nor should it.
We have a separation of church and state for a reason.
We have freedom of (and from) religion for a reason.
My body. My choice.
And if your choice is to take my choice away? Well, then we aren’t friends anymore. There’s my other line now drawn in the sand.
By Melissa St. Hilaire