I never know exactly what to think with articles like this: http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/features/15249/index.html. (Courtesy of Dana.)
On one hand, I believe that what I do with my body is my business. Same goes for everyone else. I also don’t think that people who cannot get pregnant and who, based on just about every statistic ever published, do not share equally in raising children, should be allowed to make unilateral decisions for those who can and do.
However, thoughts of late-term abortions make me uncomfortable. If I can imagine it as a human body, I’m going to have a hard time with the idea of its destruction. I will see the death of the potential Mozart or Gandhi alongside the death of the potential Hitler or Dahmer. I also don’t have a lot of patience for aspects like a lot of the reasoning in the article – the whys of how a lot of women end up in the position of needing abortions at that point. It’s not the money or the logistics, it’s things like the “flakiness”. Again, it’s my body, I should be able to do what I want with it – but – that also means its my responsibility to take care of it. (That said, I’ve never been impoverished or a minority, and my thinking might well be very different if I were.)
There is also a key point in my mind that isn’t common in those I know, which is that I could have been an aborted fetus. Early-term, late-term, whatever. My parents didn’t intend to have me, didn’t want me, plus my mother was not a young woman, so the pregnancy was riskier in general, and my risk of being born handicapped was higher. Why go through with it? My brother’s mother was a teenager, as was my brother’s father. They couldn’t take care of a baby. They couldn’t give it any kind of advantageous life. Why go through with it? It gets weirdly personal when you think about not existing. It’s a “what if?” scenario anyone can do – what if Mom and Dad had never met? what if they couldn’t have children? what if one of them had married someone else? who would I be then? But it’s a little more personal when there is logic behind you not existing. When you dying was a viable alternative to the option of you being born. When you can never ask why your parents chose column A instead of column B.
It’s part, I think, of my paranoia around sex. It’s nothing like what it used to be. I used to obsess madly in the days leading up to my period if I’d been sexually active during that month. Even though I’ve been on the pill for years and am religious about condom use unless I’m with someone long-term. It’s possible. It was strange when I hit my early 20s and realized that if I got pregnant now, I wouldn’t be the same kind of “statistic”. Granted, being adopted, I have a bit more insight into the various options in those situations. If the what if scenarios of my life had included an “accident”. Would it have made my choice easier or harder? No idea. The luxury of never having had to make that choice is one for which I am very grateful.