I am 35 years old, and I just terminated a second pregnancy in my lifetime. The first time I was 24, moneyless, in a scary and tumultuous relationship, and I had a physically traumatic surgical abortion. When I was 31 I gave birth to a daughter whom I wanted and had planned for. Now at 35, I was shocked to become pregnant, that my birth control method failed me. At first I thought -- Why is this happening to me? This shouldn't happen to women my age?
Though I fantasized about remaining pregnant and allowing a baby to grow with me, my partner and I, after tears, fights, and long talks, decided that it was not the right time for us emotionally and spiritually to have a child together. I decided, though the idea of parenting another child had felt "easy" since I am already a mom, that it really wasn't right for this time to open my life to a new baby and child and that if I am going to have another child in my late thirties, that I would want it to be planned and for me to prepare my body and spirit for such an incredible, and challenging, experience.
I have completed the hardest part of a medication abortion, which luckily for me was really quite painless and emotionally non-traumatic. I really felt like I was having an unusually heavy period, that I had chosen to encourage my body to let go of an unwanted pregnancy on its own in some way. I am not sad. I feel relieved and clear.
I also wanted to share with women who might read this story my view of the choice of abortion which is a radical, spiritual view, and one in which women are allowed a power which is rightfully ours. I do believe that women have the right to choose because we are women. We DO have that power over life and death in matters of heterosexuality, pregnancy, termination or giving birth. I think that the patriarchal cultures that we live in want us to believe that we shouldn't have such power, and that the efforts to criminalize or to limit abortion options represents a fundamental mis-recognition of the very intense and very serious power that women possess over our bodies and over the business of creating new life in the form of new human beings.
There is NO WAY that every woman should be made to feel that her ability to become pregnant should compel her into motherhood every time. It simply doesn't make spiritual sense, if one is attuned to the realities of love and power in the universe beyond earthly religion and patriarchal practice. And motherhood is a lot of hard work that should be done consciously.
As a mother of a five year-old, whom I wanted, nurtured and cared for since I decided to grow her in my womb, I know that motherhood is serious business. We all need to take parenthood more seriously than we do in U.S. society, as children need parents who are present and more spiritually attuned and society that fully supports their welfare, growth, and development.
On the individual level, we women need to learn to use our power more wisely and confidently, both in matters of love, sexuality and choices, how and whom we love, and in matters of choosing or choosing not to become mothers. The option of terminating an unwanted pregnancy is only one in a range of choices that we need control over. While for some, abortion is an emotionally and spiritually loaded and often painful decision, it is part of our power as women to make such decisions when warranted for our lives.
Peace to all,
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When I think about Roe v. Wade, I think of the women's lives it saved - not just their physical lives and health (thousands died in back-alley abortions before Roe v Wade), but their hopes and dreams, their plans and futures.