Becoming a Mother Made Me MORE Pro Choice


For any of you who have been around since I was pregnant with my oldest son, you would know that my pregnancy was no walk in the park. From the very get go, I was in and out of the hospital repeatedly with dehydration, pre-term labor, kidney stones, and various other complications related to a cervical surgery I had in 2003 when I was 18 years old. Needless to say, my journey into motherhood, especially that pregnancy helped to re-shape my pro choice views.

As a teen, I talked with amazingly close family members about pregnancy before Roe V. Wade, teen mothers in my family who were whisked off to other states, married off, and forced to bear children that would have otherwise been unwanted.  The women I love and respect never pulled any punches with me. And it certainly helped to shape me into the most liberal pro choice woman I probably could be.  While others in my family had children and became pro life, or at least pro life for their selves, my views continues to become increasingly pro choice during each of my pregnancies, and birth experiences, especially with my oldest.

I want to explain my line of thinking further.

I believe in choices. Choices in childbirth, pregnancy, reproduction in general, parenting choices, lifestyle choices. Choice… all around choice.

My difficult pregnancy made me realize that women should never be forced into a choice, like pregnancy and childbirth, unless it is something they truly want, are prepared for, and consent to. On a sidenote, consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy. I cannot imagine being forced to go through the ups and downs, emotions, mood swings, physical changes, swollen ankles, aches and pains, contractions, birth, especially surgical birth, when a woman did not wish to be involved in any of it from the get go.

Not only could it be mentally damaging, it could shape her view of children in general for the rest of her life.

Of course women that make the rash decision to abort before she has fully examined all of her options, and made an informed choice could really feel the same way, but that is another post in itself. Because I care about all women, not just those who agree with me.

Moral of this story?  While I was pro choice before, I am even more pro choice now, as a mother, by choice, of two amazing little boys, and of course more children in the future by choice.

Shout out to all my pro choice moms!

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  • bookbear

    Thanks for a clear and reasoned statement on pro-choice views. One of the arguments I’ve sometimes seen for pro-life is that to be pro-choice you must somehow be an unnatural baby hater who doesn’t appreciate the beauty and miraculous wonder that is a new life.

    New life is a miraculous wonder. That’s why it should be something chosen in love and acceptance and joy. If a woman really does not want a baby, it will likely not be a miracle to her. How can that not affect the dynamic between the mother and child or the way a child feels while growing up with someone who never wanted them?

    Every child who is born deserves to be a wanted miracle for the one who birthed them. Every woman deserves to choose whether she wants to experience that or not, it is never something that can be forced upon you.

     

    note: I realize many women keep children they didn’t think they wanted and wound up being very happy with that decision. However, many women do not.

  • radicalhousewife

    Moms are the ones who know how terribly difficult and emotionally draining parenthood is.  You gotta WANT the job to be able to do it right–how else to explain new studies that say kids of same-sex couples are better adjusted?!  No gay couple becomes accidentally pregnant!

    We need to keep telling our stories.  I’m glad to have read yours!

  • tonikt

    I have had a thankful abortion, the stillbirth of a much wanted child, and two healthy live births. I am the daughter of a teenage mother whose parents wanted to send her to New York for an abortion (pre Roe) but she wanted to continue her pregnancy and prevailed. I work at an abortion clinic, I am a breastfeeding advocate. I think pregnancy, birth, parenting are very complicated and very personal, important and demanding, and not for everyone.  I desire a world where women are celebrated and children are brought into the world thoughtfully and lovingly by women who are ready, in whatever way THEY need to be, to be mothers.

    From one pro-choice mom to another, thanks for the shout!