I know this is not happening in my country but it is happening in a country most of the world looks up to. A friend likened it to the start of a new war. And it truly is … there is no telling where this will stop. Today we ban abortion, the right of a woman to do what she wants with her body and her life, tomorrow we remember gay people are the devil and the day after that God is actually, truly just a a white middle aged guy and every other color must take three steps back. And there you have it, back in the ages so many fought to see gone.
The thing is, logically I understand how some view the issue of abortion as only a baby’s right to be born. But I can only imagine that the people deciding this have not been in the situations that seem to be missing from the headlines these days: pressure to have sex or be abandoned, marriage rape, the man refusing protection because the pleasure is affected – his, lack of education, minors having babies, I could fill a blogpost just enumerating these. How privileged to just be able to decide for others when you know what you are deciding about will never affect you! How hypocritical!
I was lucky, I never got pregnant by chance. It was in fact quite the challenge. But I remember being afraid that I was pregnant at 17 when I knew nothing about sex, pregnancy, protection. Communism had been gone for only a few years and sex was tabu. It still is, in many families and educational institutions. Afraid that the guy I was dating was going to leave me and pressured by high school classmates to tell stories, my first sexual experiences, like most of my experiences for that matter, were laced with fear. Eyes closed tight, hoping it will be over soon, not really thinking I could do it. Definitely not the amazing movie scenes I had watched.
When my period did not come, I was in a panic. Nobody had ever talked to me about protection, he never even mentioned a condom (though he was older and better versed), we just … hoped it would not happen to us. Stupid. So I went to the very first gynecologist’s visit and was warmly greeted: “so, you got knocked up?” Turns out I was not pregnant but what stayed with me was the loneliness of the whole affair. I was in there alone, a stranger was poking at my body – and she wasn’t shaking my hand really … I was alone, afraid, contemplating how my life was going to change forever. How if my father doesn’t kill me, I might just get around to.
Years later, as I was actually trying to get pregnant, the irony …, I did get to have two abortions – if I can call them that. The babies had died and this was needed for me to be ok. Different circumstances, same loneliness, same shame, same guilt, same fear. But I was in a ward where I looked women in the eye who were there by choice. There was not a single one that was there because this was just the easy way out. They were there for the last resort.
Now I have to wonder, why, for something that women have to go through on their own, alone, the toll on their bodies, minds and souls, alone, other people (mostly men) get to decide? I know I am a small part of this world … I know in the grand scheme of things I am but an ant and yet… I do believe that we are all connected. I know there are so many women today who feel, once again, as if this was needed, second class citizens. My heart bleeds … . We are devolving …