“You’ve been getting really political lately” – My husband, in regards to my activity on Facebook, Twitter and yes, this blog.
When John told me this a few weeks ago, I was like “Really?” knowing in my heart (yes, this bleeding, left leaning heart) that he was right. “What do you mean?” wanting him to tell me so I understood what he means by “really political.” You know, versus just “slightly political.”
“Well, you put up a link to a post that is obviously written with a liberal slant on your Facebook page and then you ask people for their thoughts.”
“So? I am asking for an open discussion.”
“Well you never put up a conservatively written link and ask for anybody’s feedback on that,” he countered.
This is, in fact, NOT true. I will put up posts from “out there” Republicans like O’Reilly. Or Ann Coulter. Even Glen Beck. Republicans who I really don’t believe speak for the moderate minded side of the party.
And then I sit back and call them names and talk about WHY they are wrong.
HMMM. It seems like my husband may have a good point.
I know that with blogging, unless you are writing a political blog, it’s best to stay away from touchy subjects like politics or religion. They teach you that in like Blogging 101.
So, sorry. What can I say? Oops?
I have a problem with getting a little too into politics. It’s an annoying habit that I have. Ever since I took a sick day in the 7th grade when Michael Dukakis lost the Presidential Election to George Bush, I have realized that I have issues.
But since I was twelve, I think I have matured a little bit in my political outlook. I have come to the realization that while I identify myself more as a Democrat (oh goodness, this is like blog suicide right now, isn’t it?), I have also come to terms with the fact that it’s not as black and white as that.
I also realize that while I support “the party line” on some issues, it is not always with the same cheerleader type of enthusiasm I may have in the past.
I think I just look at these issues differently now.
I attribute my change of opinion, or at least my questions regarding it, in large part to becoming a parent.
You’re Pro What?
Ever since I can remember, I have always said that I am “Pro-Choice.” I have resented that my stance on being “Pro-Choice” indicated that in some way, I was “Pro-Death.” I would get even more annoyed at that because it seemed like such a hypocrisy since many traditional Pro-Lifers support the death penalty.
“Nobody has the right to tell me what to do with my body,” I have said. And I still say it. I don’t want anybody – my neighbor, my dentist, the grocery checkout lady or the guy in the U-Haul next to me who is driving a little too crazy – what I can do with my fingers, my toes, my esophagus, not to mention my uterus.
I also don’t want anyone telling my daughter what to do with her body either. EVER. Anybody who even tries to better BACK THE HELL OFF.
So What’s My Deal?
Prior to having a child of my own, if someone asked me when I believe that life begins, I used to respond fairly confidently with, “Somewhere between the second and third trimester.“
Since having a child, my view has changed when someone asks me that question. I don’t always answer right away, because I don’t really feel that confident in my answer anymore. It seems at odds with the confidence with which I approach most of my beliefs. Unlike the old me, the post motherhood me believes that it starts right away.
As soon as the bullet hits the target.
It’s weird writing it for me and seeing it in print, but it’s true. A part of me feels like I should be modifying this to say, “After the first trimester” or maybe even, “Once the heart starts beating.”
It’s just that, I remember the voracity with which I would read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” oddly one of the most mundane books in the world to read EXCEPT when you are pregnant. Then it becomes the most fascinating piece of literature in the world to read as you sift through the pages and hungrily absorb the details about your baby being the size of a pea, an avocado and other sized fruits and vegetables.
I remember feeling the exhaustion and the effects of both pregnancies almost immediately. And each pregnancy seemed to have it’s own stamp. As if each child was already making its mark, its imprint.
On me. Really, really early in the pregnancies.
Straddling a Fence?
So it sounds like on the one hand I don’t want anybody telling me or my fellow sisters in this world what we can do with our bodies. On the other hand, I know that the day I discovered I was pregnant each time, I stopped throwing back things like vodka martinis and expensive wine, NOT because of the calories.
Because they were bad for the baby. The one that was growing in my belly.
I fear what would happen if our government were to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
I fear what happens when a woman or young child who is raped no longer has the right to regain control when control has completely been taken away from them.
I fear what happens when a woman finds herself in a situation where she has no other option and must seek a back alley abortion.
I fear what will happen to the many children, now brought into this world where a parent cannot support them or does not want to support them.
I fear what happens when a woman who is faced with the likelihood of death is not given the option to choose whether she can live. I am especially thinking of the death of the young woman in Ireland, Savita Halapannavar, who was declined a D&C a few weeks ago, even though there was no chance of her baby’s survival.
I fear that something as scary and frightening as “rape” will one day be defined for me by a primarily male Congress. I laugh at the Tina Fey quote below, but it’s a truth that I don’t feel comfortable with.
I also fear that if you tell someone that they can only be granted an abortion if they have been “raped,” after it has been defined by the powers that be (see point above) that we will see a frightening number of “Salem Witch Trial” like accusations going down, on innocent people.
So Where the Heck Does that Leave Me?
Good question. I thought I may have lost you there. These are murky waters.
I am “Pro-Choice.” Not because I am “Pro-Death,” because I don’t believe in the opposite of the “Pro-Life” movement. Nobody who is Pro-Choice is against life.
The problem I have with overturning something like Roe vs. Wade is that I can’t count on absolutes. And I greatly fear consequences of looking at the world in absolutes.
The fears that I listed above would all be consequences of Roe vs. Wade.
In fact, both sides (Pro-Choice and Pro-Life) are looking at the value of life and protecting those lives. We are just looking at the issues with our own lenses.
We just don’t live in a world of absolutes. We never will. It’s not as easy as Life vs. Death. Choice vs. Death.
What happened in Ireland a few weeks ago should not and cannot be allowed to happen in this country. The thought of any woman being in the same situation as Savita Halapannavar and not having a choice between life or death is terrifying.
So I support choice. Not lightly.
Not lightly at ALL.
And as I write this post, I greatly even debate whether I have the guts to hit “Publish.”
Closing my eyes. Here goes.