How did you decide to become a pro choice activist and what shaped your views on abortion?
As a child I was very anti choice. I just, like many of our anti choice people here, bought into all the propaganda. I wasn’t mature, educated, or experienced enough to fully understand abortion, pregnancy, or parenthood.
I cringe when I think about what cruel things I must have said to and around my own mother. Who spent her childhood being raped and abused and, because of that, found herself pregnant with me. Who, at fourteen, was forced to carry and give birth to me.
I carried those views into adulthood. And then, at 20, I got pregnant for the first time. It was a wanted, planned pregnancy, but it was still one of the most horrible experiences of my life. I could go on and on about how much I hate pregnancy, but I’ll spare you. Suffice to say, after weeks of puking my guts up, I distinctly remember squatting on a restaurant bathroom floor watching my expensive steak and shrimp dinner go completely to waste when I couldn’t keep it down. I was tired and achy and sick. I was miserable and I thought, wow. How must this feel for someone who doesn’t want to be pregnant to begin with? That is the exact moment my views changed completely.
Later I got to find out how it feels because I experienced an unwanted pregnancy. And it was even worse than young, naive me could have even begun to imagine. I carried that pregnancy to term because I couldn’t afford an abortion. I could make payments on prenatal care but not on an abortion and so the decision was taken out of my hands and my second child was brought into a horrible situation and my first child was thrust into a horrible situation.
Anyway, my own personal experiences with pregnancy helped shape my views. And the more difficult ones – knowing my mother was forced to have me and being unable to access abortion for myself – are the reason I fight so hard.
Honestly, tell me if you can look into the eyes of your ‘unwanted’ child and wish you had killed them. Put your extreme bias aside for a moment and honestly answer this question.