This is one of my contributions to the Roe v Wade Blog-a-thon.
It’s weird, the reactions I’ve gotten in the past when expressing my opinion on abortion. I censor myself 90% of the time when the subject comes up because, living in Texas, I expect most people to be horrified by the topic, and a lot of the time when I do end up getting into conversations about reproductive rights and my pro-choice stance, people do end up being horrified. Somehow, a lot of that horror comes from the fact that I dare parent an 18 month boy while being okay with abortion, and while in fact being 100% sure that if I were ever to fall pregnant again (thanks, English people), I would get one myself.
Why does my mama-hood make me somehow incapable of holding a pro choice opinion? I think people expect those of us who have kids to blur the lines between the fetus and the smiling, screaming, sack of crazy that is our kid. It’s a similar attitude that I came across while I was pregnant, when I was expected to read books to my belly and coo at it and shit, while I really had no attachment to the fetus inside me and had difficulty humanizing it until the it became a he after my son was born. And the attitude I’ve gotten from people when they learn that one kid is enough for me and I won’t be having anymore. I’ll change my mind, they say. Don’t you miss being pregnant? (what?? no!) But they’re so cute when they’re little…(that’s why we have cameras) He won’t have anybody to play with (last I checked, there were a lot of kids born in 2007 he can hang around). There’s pressure on all women to breed, but by having one kid it’s like people think that a woman has automatically signed her uterus up for the mailing list. Being pro-choice is consider an insult to our existing offspring, a sign that we might be that dastardly, unwomanly thing…non-maternal.
It’s funny, because most pro-choice mamas I talk to became even more pro-choice than they were previously after they had kids. It’s easy to see why, if you’re already in the pro-choice camp. Pregnancy kicks your ass, and if you understand how hard it is to go through–and how hard it is to take care of the little buggers afterwards–then it’s hard to wish to force that on another person. Especially those of us who got pregnant at young ages in less than ideal situations.