When I unexpectedly found myself pregnant a year and a half ago, I was in a country where abortions weren’t easily obtainable. A country where you have to have the money and the connections to get a SAFE abortion. A country where thousands of women die each year because of botched abortions. A country where a tiny ball of cells is worth more than a woman’s life.
I didn’t want to keep that tiny ball of cells at first, so I immediately began exploring my options. The first doctor I saw told me that this was God’s plan and she couldn’t help me. The second doctor I saw told me I couldn’t have an abortion at 26 years old because that was the perfect age to have a child and God would not forgive me. I contacted Marie Stopes, where they could help me but would be unable to sedate me during the procedure. Ultimately, we found a doctor who was willing to help me terminate the pregnancy (a decision I was already wavering on) but I had to have an ultrasound first. The second I saw MY tiny ball of cells and its heartbeat on the screen, I became a mother. The fetus became my baby, and my decision had been made.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR EVERYONE.
Which is one of the reasons why I’m so against the laws that force ultrasounds on women before they are allowed to have the procedure done.
I can’t put into words how I felt when I saw that little fetus. It was like I was being torn in two. Like the choice had just been ripped out of my hands. I wasn’t ready to be a mother, but I knew I was capable of it. Not everyone is, and they shouldn’t make the decision as a snap judgment because they were forced to see their unborn fetus. As the technician described everything she was seeing on the screen, I cried because I no longer had a choice.
Life beginning at conception is all semantics for me. Obviously, something existed that wasn’t there before. Even though it cannot feel, has not developed into something completely viable, etc. A seven-week-old fetus can mean EVERYTHING to one woman, and nothing to another—and that is okay.
The anti-choice lawmakers don’t deserve to be called pro-life. Taking away safe and affordable abortion isn’t pro-life. Allowing women to die because of botched back-alley abortions isn’t pro-life. Requiring a woman to carry a fetus with a terminal (and potentially very painful) diagnosis isn’t pro-life. Forcing a woman to carry the product of rape because she can’t “prove” her rape isn’t pro-life.
It can’t be argued that it’s the Christian right that is responsible for the fact that 23 states now have mandates that regulate the provision of ultrasounds by abortion providers
I have plenty of Christian friends and family members who are pro-choice. It’s not my goal to generalize an entire population but unfortunately the negative voices are often much louder than the positive ones. Politicians are playing dirty with women’s bodies to further their anti-choice, pro-Christian agenda.
Religion shouldn’t dictate what women do with their bodies in a secular nation. I wish that was something we could all unite against.