Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yes, My Choice Remains the Same

I have been wanting to write about a topic that may be controversial for some time now. I hesitate to write about it because I do not want to offend my readers or anyone else for what it matters. I understand that there are so many varying perspectives, beliefs, and feelings involved. I do not want any of my readers to take away from reading this, thinking what he/she believes in is wrong, or feel that they must defend themselves for believing in what they believe in. I want to stress that it is okay to believe in what you feel strongly about, and be vocal about it as long as you are courteous about it. At the same time, I am not the one to shy away especially when it comes to my beliefs. Being pregnant, and becoming a mother has reinforced my beliefs. For my child, I am working hard to stay up to par with politics because it will shape the course for my child's future. I want my child to become an informed citizen for the time when he is ready to vote. This means he will be exposed to our beliefs. 

A question that I have gotten, from time to time, from many people is whether my opinion has changed after having experienced pregnancy, labor/delivery, and raising my child. My answer remains the same. To some people, it comes to them as a surprise, and to some others, it does not. 

My answer is yes, I am still pro-choice.

Matter of fact, if having a baby changed my opinion then that would have meant I have never been pro-choice all along. I have always been the one that firmly believes in autonomy of women's right. Matter of fact, ever since I went through the whole process of being pregnant, giving birth, and raising my baby; this belief has grown even stronger, and I can't imagine taking away that choice from anyone else.

Matter of fact, the only thing that has been reinforced more strongly is that I would never do it personally. It is not something I can do for myself, and it is okay to feel this way while being supportive of the cause.

My feeling about being pro-choice remains very strongly for several reasons.

In high school, I did a research paper on abortion, and it was a very tough topic. The reason I picked it was because I wanted to understand why I supported this, whether it were for the right reasons, and why it was such a strong topic for many. Through my research, I read a lot of heartbreaking stories that women were forced into it, or women that had made a choice to go through it without really understanding the ramifications of making that choice. Only very few women were able to openly discuss that they made a choice that they were comfortable with, and did not regret doing so. I saw very graphic pictures of how the procedure was performed. I saw even more graphic, grisly pictures of black-market abortion procedures, or those who took abortions into their own hand. That part took me a long time to process what I saw, and read because they were very disturbing, for lack of a better term, especially for someone like me, who was "vanilla", to this type of stuff. 

I learned about different types of abortion, and where they took place. I took it even further by looking into what type of specialization, certifications, and licenses the doctors needed in order to perform abortions. I interviewed some women, that had gone through the procedure, for a medical reason to save their lives, and those women, who had willing go through the procedure, that ended up being okay with their decision. I explored even deeper, and obtained information about men's view because I was really curious. After all, they had helped to make that baby, right? Interestingly enough, I found that men were completely hands-off or very hand-on on this topic. To make this even complicated, religion, and politics became intertwined with being pro-choice, and pro-life. I appreciated reading all perspectives to help me understand what I believed in.

I took this whole learning experience to further reinforce why I was a pro-choice. I did not want to be the one to become the vote to take away a woman's right to make a choice. I did not want to imagine that woman go through unsanitary procedure with a doctor that was not licensed, or experienced, and have her life to be lost because of unsanitary practices. I saw a film called, Baby It's you, by Anne Makepeace. It was about a couple that battled infertility, and wanted to conceive a baby through IVF that had failed. The reason why it had failed was because Anne had undergone abortion procedure when she was in college. Unfortunately, she went to a practice that was performed by an unlicensed doctor that had no idea what he was doing. I felt very sad for Anne. If she had gone to a practice with a licensed doctor with sterilized equipment, and environment then the outcome may have been different? If we had asked our government to take away the clinics, that happened to be sanitary, and practiced by doctors that were licensed/specialized, then we were essentially setting women up for a death sentence or a lifetime of infertility. 

I am not saying that even with a doctor that is licensed to do this procedure will prevent a woman from facing the same issue down the road. There are still risks associated with this. At the same time, with those risks in the place would be minimized with a licensed doctor. Would you rather take away that practice, knowing that there will still be many women yet to come that will want to make this choice, to go into black market, and set them up for inevitable dangers? Or would you rather preserve something that is already in the place that will protect them by undergoing this procedure? Making abortions illegal will not stop abortions, period. It is something to think about.

Because of this, the idea of completely banning this made me very uncomfortable. 

Religion, and politics are inevitably caught up in this topic. There is no way of going around this without running into religion, and politics. Some people will argue that religion forbids this because it is a life that someone is taking away. Some people will argue that the higher power in their religion has given a free will to people to make decisions for themselves. Some people will argue that it is better to give up a child for adoption. Some people will argue for abstinence instead of safe sex.  Politicians will claim that they know what is the best for our people, and try to create laws in the place to either prevent or allow the act to continue. There is no one right answer.

A pregnancy is very sacred time. It is also a very tumultuous time. I can't imagine having someone to go through that period of time if that person is not ready to undergo the pregnancy for many reasons that we are not privileged to know. I am not the one to scream abortion as the first choice, or to have it to be used as a "birth control". Matter of fact, I'd be the one to tell you to look into counseling to help you to make a sound decision, and with clarity while getting a support from a therapist to figure out what you want instead of what others are trying to tell you what to do. I won't be the one to tell you to look into keeping the baby, looking into adoption, or terminating your pregnancy. It is not my decision to make for you. I do feel that if you want to become sexually active, then you have to understand that there may be consequences, and you will have to live with whatever choice you make for yourself. If you feel you can live with that choice that you want to make for yourself, then I am the one to tell you go for it. I am not here to preach or judge.

I firmly believe in free will. I believe that there are stories behind their choices that we do not know fully about. Therefore, who are we to judge them?