This is the second part of Seven Years and Women’s Health. Yesterday, I wanted to spend some time explaining a little bit of my own experiences with life and pregnancy as a preface to my reaction to an article that popped up on my newsfeed, courtesy of the New Wave Feminists.
If you did not click on the article link the first time, here it is again. If you can’t get through it, I understand. If you did get through it, do not read the comments, because they are vomit inducing. I have a difficult time reading about abortion as though it is so casual. I have a difficult time reading articles about choice when adoption is not a choice.
It is possible that, while I am against abortion for many logical and sound reasons, I am also against abortion because it is a topic that hits close to home. I came into my parent’s lives when my mom was in high school. Her parents did not want to see me born. Had my mother (a scared kid without much support) and my father (a slightly older scared kid) not fought for my life, I would not have had a chance to live it. When folks start talking about kids getting pregnant and the importance of abortion, I instinctively bristle. In all of the seven year lives I have led, I have always found abortion to be unimaginable.
I bring this up because we as pro-life and pro-choice women alike are seriously missing an opportunity (I seriously have the New Wave Feminists to thank for reminding me of this.) While the subject of legal abortion divides us, we should be 100% united behind comprehensive healthcare at every stage of the debate. We should be united in demanding that:
1. While abortion clinics exist, they should be held to the same standards of cleanliness and quality of care as hospitals and other medical clinics. (Yes, plastic surgery centers should as well.)
2. Women should not be made to feel abortion is their only choice. Women deserve support when choosing their child or adoption. They deserve resources and information.
3. Women deserve healthcare (and a culture for that matter) that does not punish them for how their bodies naturally work. Women grow babies. They give birth to babies. We all came to be on earth this way. We deserve medicine that heals instead of irreparably damaging our bodies.
As I have said, given what I now know about the rate of cesareans and inductions, I would have made different choices. Maybe things would have been different, maybe not. I think it speaks volumes that a well-educated woman like me was unaware of how common c-sections have become. Instead, when I search for articles related to women’s health, I am inundated with pro-choice rhetoric as it relates to abortion and contraception. Is that all that women’s health is about anymore? Are our choices so narrow that pregnancy is not important? How many seven year long lives must I live before seeing this change? I have to believe that in the grand scheme of things, most women would rather see comprehensive, pro-woman/holistic treatment options regardless of how they feel about legal abortion. I have to believe that we have that in common, or I will have reached the end of my rope with the abortion/ women’s health debate. If true healthcare for women does not include healthcare that supports what our bodies naturally do, then how can it be healthcare?