I have been trying to write a blog for the last 4 days, but my muse has been silent. Tonight, she stormed through my dreams and demanded that I give her voice, at 4:35 in the morning. So, I complied, and here I am.
I was blessed with two viable pregnancies, giving birth to two children with ten fingers, ten toes, and a wicked sense of humor. After the birth of Mouse, I knew I was done having children and chose to go on the Pill. I have taken that pill every day for 18 years. If that pill were to fail, I know what I would do next. There is a clinic right down the street that would help me. Since I am grateful for the existence of this clinic, I write for them, I march for them, I give them money, and I signed up to be a volunteer clinic escort to help other women in need.
The idea that life begins at conception is such a Christian idea. Both our Jewish and Moslem brethren believe that the life of the mother always comes first and that the child is viable after his first breath. The ancient Rabbis who wrote the Talmud were very clear about this, and Islam has similar tenets. I cannot believe that Jesus would not have put the well-being of the mother first, as he was well versed in Judaic law and the Talmud.
I grew up in the shadow of an ectopic pregnancy. In 1973 my mother became gravely ill, but her OB refused to believe that she was pregnant and went chasing zebras. This was well before one could trot over to CVS and buy an at home prenatal test. All my mom knew was that she was sick and in pain and things were getting worse. Just before she ruptured, the doctor did emergency surgery and found that she had an ectopic pregnancy that had reached well into the second trimester. That pregnancy nearly killed her, nearly left me a motherless 2-year-old, and would have prevented my younger siblings from having ever been born. Now politicians without the slightest knowledge of maternal medicine are claiming that ending an ectopic pregnancy is wrong and that the embryo can be reimplanted in the womb. Wrong. If this were true, my mother would have had that baby in 1973, and I would have had had another brother or sister. My mom wanted that baby, but it was not to be. Ectopic pregnancies, left to run their course end in only one way, death.
The SCOTUS ruling happened last Friday. Mouse turned 18 on Saturday and I took her and her girlfriend to an Indigo Girls concert. The hall was packed with furious lesbians, activists, and allies. One could feel the rage and power in that room. In November, we will take this rage to the polls, so that every woman has the right to choose.
I chose to have two children, and then I chose to have no more. I continue to take the Pill because mother nature has a sick sense of humor and I don’t trust my uterus not to have one more go, just for old time’s sake. I am 51, Robert is 62. I would indeed be a geriatric mother. I have two autistic children. It is without a doubt that I would have another one, and one with complications. Mouse is about to leave home and set out on her own. Boo will always live with me and be cared for by me. But what will happen if I am no longer there to care for Boo? This thought haunts me at night. It would be irresponsible of me to put another autistic child into the system. I adore my children like life itself, but I do not want any more of them. And, no, I don’t want to put a child up for adoption. The foster system is overrun with unwanted children. Why can’t SCOTUS focus on these children instead of the reproductive health of women?
I wanted this to be a happy blog, celebrating the birthdays of two of my favorite people. But I am not happy. I am upset, angry, furious at old white men who seek to control the reproductive health of a nation. We cannot go back to pre Roe. Women have had abortions since time began. We will continue to have them. The question is if we can continue to have them safely. I pray that we can. This is not the time to despair, this is the time to rally and fight. To fight for women who want to have children, to fight for women who chose not to have children. To fight for women like my mom who wanted a child, but the embryo implanted in the wrong place. To fight for my 12 year old student who was a victim of rape and incest. She got pregnant in 1998. She was able to have an abortion which saved her life and let her graduate from middle school and high school. 12 year olds have no business having babies and she did not want one in the first place. These are troubled times. Continue to fight, continue to march, continue to make your voice heard. And, be a good human being, Boo is counting on you.