Perhaps no other group of American voters is more categorically vilified by (most of) today’s GOP candidates than those millions of women who have had abortions. And among that group of already stigmatized women, those who have committed the unforgiveable sin of having a “late term abortion” are made out to be the worst of the worst.
But that’s wrong. And unkind. And unfair.
Over at my friend Kristen Howerton’s most awesome blog, Rage Against the Minivan, she’s been running a fantastic series of guest posts from readers called “What I Want You To Know.” In the most recent one, an anonymous reader writes movingly of the unbearable, unthinkable choice with which she was faced in the 23rd week of her third pregnancy:
…the pregnancy was causing my body to shut down. If I didn’t deliver my baby immediately, I would die. As a mother of two small children, hearing this sent me into a horrible panic. They wouldn’t remember me. They wouldn’t remember me. At 23 weeks there was no hospital that would revive the baby and my third son wasn’t going to survive. This time, I wouldn’t be so lucky. This time, instead of waiting for my son to come home, he wouldn’t.
This mother of two little ones at home had to decide whether her children would lose their mother – whether they would grow up motherless…
And she made the choice that they would not. She made the choice that meant that her toddlers’ mother would come home to them, even if the baby in her belly, whom she loved with all her heart, would not.
THIS is the reality of “late term abortion” for the vast majority of women who are forced by tragic, horrible circumstances to have them. In reality, “late term abortions” are almost always a family and personal tragedy of monumental proportions, compounded by the fact that after having to go through it, the mothers who have endured them know that they can never speak safely or openly of their loss without risking personal condemnation and cruelty.
And this anonymous blog reader’s story is the reason that we mamas who love our children, and who know the ambiguity and pain and complexity of a maternal love so inextricably tangled up in our own physicality must become more willing to speak out against overly simplistic anti-choice bigotry.
It’s never, ever simple. It’s never, ever easy. And it should not, CANNOT ever be Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich’s decision to make.
What are your personal views on abortion and the law, and how did you come to the point of view you now hold? Please share your views on this topic in the comments below.
NOTE: this is obviously a sensitive and deeply felt issue of discussion. I welcome and encourage your comments, personal experiences, and points of view. However, let me be clear that while strong opinions are completely welcome, I will delete any comments that specifically attack, shame or insult any other commenters, or that are abusive, nasty, or rude. Let’s have a smart, compassionate discussion about an important issue, shall we? Thanks, y’all – Katie
And in addition to sharing your comments, please consider clicking the Facebook “Like” button at the top of this blog post to share with others. Or if Facebook’s not your thing, you could show my post a little love by giving a quick tap on either the Twitter or “Pin It” Pinterest buttons that are each also located right up top of the post. Much obliged! – kag
READ MORE FROM KATIE OVER AT MAMAPUNDIT (HER PERSONAL BLOG)
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