Pro-What?

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.

Yup.

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.

And yet….

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.

Kiran

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27 Responses to Pro-What?

  • First of all: THIS —–> “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.”

    I think I wore black the entire year that George H. was in office. That is not a lie. I have photos to prove it.

    Second, I think you are brave for writing this and pressing publish. I wrote something political a while back and was told NOT to publish it. Because I am not a political blogger and because it would get a lot of comments from trolls. And I could lose a lot of people who follow me. So I didn’t.

    I am with you on this issue, but my husband tells me I’m a liberal, so I guess you are preaching to the choir. I wouldn’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned because I don’t think any person or part of government has the right to legislate a decision that should be made between a woman and her doctor. Period.

    That is not to say these decisions are to be made lightly. They are big decisions. Huge.

    But they are for individuals to decide.

    We are supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country.

    Just as you said you would choose to have the unplanned baby right now, someone else might make a different decision. I don’t think that person should be demonized or made to feel bad about herself. She will have to live with herself and her decision.

    • Masala Chica says:

      I agree with you 100%, Renee. I still support my friends who would make that choice, without judgment.

      Those decisions are some of the hardest a woman will ever make. None of it is done lightly.

      Kiran

  • Renee said it all. And she said it better than I could have. And I admire you for posting/publishing this!! xo

  • The Bride says:

    Weird, I wrote almost the same post, particularly the so-what’s-my-deal part but didn’t publish. I should one of these days and link to this.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Yeah – must be something with the moon, or just a case of great minds:-) I know its been on my mind a lot since the death of the woman in Ireland. I would love to read your post.

  • Sig
    Twitter:
    says:

    I get you. I totally get you. Ask me 6 years ago and I wouldn’t have hesitated to say pro-choice as there was no glimpse of kids on the horizon.

    At our 20 week ultrasound, 2 weeks ago, the docs found something they want to monitor. They suggested I go for an amnio to see if there are any other underlying genetic issues but it comes with a 25% risk of miscarriage. Then he suggested that if the outcome isn’t good, we have the option of termination. I didn’t hesitate to say no. Whatever this baby has, we will deal. We have to.

    But despite that, even now, I am. Defiantly so.

    I am fiercely protective of every woman’s right to choose. What’s best for her, for her health, for her body. I may not make the same choice, but I can’t deny that choice to someone else.

  • Agree completely! Every woman needs to make her own choice; it is her body and life affected by the choice. I agree as a Mom it would be a harder one to make – but still want everyone woman to have the ability to make that choice. And, it shouldn’t be a political topic, but a medical choice. Great writing.

    • Masala Chica says:

      I absolutely agree that it’s a medical choice and not one that should be used as a political platform to stand on.

      If men had uteri (is that the plural for uterus), this would not even be a question.

      Thanks for commenting, Anne Marie. Love hearing your perspective.

  • Sang says:

    After having kids I think i am even more Pro Choice than ever before. Just becuase I choose to have kids doesnt mean that that path in life should be forced on someone else. Having a child is hard and shouldnt be taken lightly. i dont want abortion to be used as birth control but we also must be realistic about the emotion and financial committment involved in raising kids. and yes though i believe life begins at conception, it isnt sustainable life.
    i love my both my kids, but when we found out that my daughter might have a genetic disorder we made that decision that we would terminate if she had Trisomy 13 or 18. the surviva; rate outside of the womb is soo small that we just wouldnt be able to survive the heart break. i gave birth to her this past June. She has Trisomy 21 which is Down syndrome. she has a slew of medical issues and had surgery on day 2 of life and open heart surgery last month. we decided to keep her but I would not fault anyone for not wanting to raise a child with a genetic disorder…it is hard emotionally, financially, and puts great strain on a marriage and overall family life.
    All women should be able to make this decision without worrying about the role of government in their family life and medical life. i agree with Tina Fey. i dont want to hear or read another thing from an Republican regarding women’s issues UNLESS the republican has a vagina!!

    • Masala Chica says:

      Thanks for sharing that here, Sang. I think that very few people repeatedly having abortions as a method of birth control – though that was suggested to me by someone with a fairly conservative viewpoint last weekend. I think every woman who has experienced pregnancy understands the emotional cost that having an abortion would place on an individual. These are not decisions that women approach lightly and without consequence.

      Love your input!

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    I may not make the same choices as someone else, but I would die fighting for their right to do so.

    Well said, Kiran.

  • Masala Chica says:

    Thanks for reading, Sue. And thanks for the comment. I need to be as concise :-)

  • Pam says:

    I volunteered at Planned Parenthood when I was right out of college, before I had kids, and was very “pro-choice.” Someone there asked me after my first daughter was born if having a child made me more Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. My answer was “both.” For me, having a child made the idea of an abortion tremendously more difficult as I had similar feelings about carrying the baby for 9 months. And it made the idea that anyone would have to raise a child they weren’t prepared to raise tremendously more difficult as I had experienced what having a baby really required of a mother. So, I suppose in the end, I became more pro-birth control, pro-abstinence, pro-adoption, pro-healthy relationship–all the things that keep a woman from having to make that really tough decision.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Hi Pam. Thanks for stopping by – the last time I saw your face was in the Let’s Dish commercial – you look great BTW!

      I felt like as I was writing this piece that I wanted to just get my thoughts down. As I started writing, I kind of came to the point where I started walking myself through the logic that would get me to where I currently am, which is “Pro-Choice” lite?

      But there is no such thing as Pro-Choice lite, is there? I will do everything I can to continue the support of education and showing a woman all of the many options she has. It’s not a choice any woman savors and I would like for it to be avoided at all costs.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. And thanks for volunteering at Planned Parenthood! Programs like that need to remain to increase awareness and education, as you so clearly point out.

      Kiran

  • Ilene
    Twitter:
    says:

    I 100% get this and my views come from the same place. I am pro choice because this is not a black and white issue. There is too much gray here to EVER let the gray haired male powers that be – or a jury for that matter- decide who gets to have an abortion and why. At the same time, I am extremely grateful that I have never been in a position myself where I have had to consider terminating a pregnancy. Well said, as always.

  • Dixya says:

    this is such a difficult issue to talk about both emotionally and society wise and I think government should try to stay back and allow women to decide what she wants to do with her body and the baby. I was heart broken about the Ireland incident- it sounds so cruel and she died very unfairly. Abortion should definitely be used as a means of birth control but in case a woman gets pregnant and due to certain circumtances, health reason or whatever the reason maybe- should have the right to abort the baby I think. What I may decide when i have kids may not necessarily mean that is how i feel about the topic. But in general, I do not like to judge people who are all about abortion because if you are not in the position financially and emotionally to raise a child or even get pregnant before marriage- it could mean a life and death situation for her then is the child going to have a better life? that is one question i always ask myself. What if i get pregnant now? Am i able to give better life to that life growing inside me? its tough choice. you are very brave to post this because we need to talk about this issue more often and not let any politicians decide what we need to do.

    • Dixya says:

      edit- i meant to say abortion should definitely NOT BE USED AS A MEANS OF BIRTH CONTROL.

    • Masala Chica says:

      As always, Dixya – thanks for sharing your opinion here. The question about whether you can give a child a “better” life or any life at all outside of the womb is important to ask.

      I don’t know how brave I am. I understand and hear both sides of the argument. But in the end, I choose to go further towards the direction of Pro-Choice. And since you can’t really be Pro-Choice the Basic Edition vs. the Premium Edition, that makes me Pro-Choice.

      Thanks for posting your thoughts here!
      Kiran

  • I’m an independent and have always considered myself pro-life for me and pro-choice for everyone else. What has kept me from going to the left are friends that tell me the govt shouldn’t tell us what to do with our bodies, but they should prevent me from defending myself by owning a gun. Also, playing devil’s advocate, your Ireland example may unintentionally prove to be a good argument against socialized medicine. Perhaps she would have been granted her operation by a private physician?

    • Masala Chica says:

      I hear you on a few of your counter-points. I think for me, I have always been pro-gun control regulation, not full gun control. I think there are a lot of things in the Constitution that don’t make as much sense in the context in which we live today. Like having the right to raise a militia against the government. That’s dumb as shit and I can imagine some people having a Tea Party right now plotting one, sadly.

      As someone who has never owned a gun, I understand that gun owners are passionate about this topic. I just think that the amount of involuntary manslaughter that occurs as a result of guns needs to examined and the laws should be regulated to minimize those deaths regularly, not based on a document from hundreds of years ago. Our founding fathers never anticipated AK-47s being invented, I am fairly certain.

      That being said, I can understand the devil’s advocate argument that you can’t leave government out of one of these and not the other. How I would defend that is that within my own body, which should be in my sphere of influence and control, my choices cannot hurt the general population. Owning a gun could.

      Again, we get to tough ground. Driving a car can hurt others irreparably, so at least there is some kind of control around who can legally do it. Do you think that should be warranted in the case of guns?

      In terms of Ireland – it is only one country that has moved towards universal medicine. Several other countries do it and do it successfully. Ireland has been living with the knowledge that they don’t prevent abortions – most women who have the ability, travel to Wales or England, within the UK to get their abortions.

      Ireland’s position is very heavily influenced by its Catholicism. Which also reflects the importance of separation of church from state to maintain a secular government.

      If it wasn’t against the law across the entire state, she may have received an abortion, but the private physician would still be operating outside what is considered “legal” in Ireland. So again – who are these private physicians who would be willing to perform surgeries under the threat of being incarcerated? The idea of the back alley abortions is not a Kafkaesque concept – it is what happened in this country before Roe v. Wade.

      I understand the flipside of this conversation. I can see it with your gun control point. I don’t see it in terms of Ireland’s socialized medicine. Her death was a result of a law that is neither practical nor prevents what Ireland is ultimately trying to prevent. Not socialism.

      Thank you for your point of view. I both appreciate and hope my responses back don’t seem glib.

      Kiran

      • steph says:

        I am so glad I found this blog! I appreciate you replying with a thoughtful, non-combative response. I don’t think we’ll ever agree, but it is delightful to discover someone who is willing to have a dialogue and craft a reasonable argument. I look forward to reading more from you!

        • masalachica says:

          Steph,

          I am glad that you are here. Your comment was the only one that offered up some opposition to what I had written, and I respect that. It would be a really boring world if we all thought the same way. But I think we can all learn from each other or maybe open our eyes up to why someone has a differing opinion than ourselves. Thanks for speaking your mind here.

          You are always welcome here and look forward to hearing more of your thoughts!
          Kiran

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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