Wow, did this thread really start in 2005?? Anyway, I am so touched and amazed at what a caring, nuanced, non-polarized dialogue this turned out to be.
you all. I want to start by sharing that I had an abortion at age 19, supported by my dear mother, and although I'm not sad about it, it is definitely an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. ITA with the poster that said that there's a stigma around talking about it, whether you're sad about it or NOT sad about it it's hard to say ANYTHING without getting jumped on!!!
I'm confused by one POV that came up a couple of times - I just picked a couple of quotes, and I know that these posters aren't saying things are black and white, but I think the grey area they illuminate is really interesting/important:
Originally Posted by Anglyn
On the whole, I still believe it should be legal because I do not claim to know the circumstances of anyone else and so I dont feel I have the right to make that choice for them. On the other hand, having carried babies to term, I can totally see the prolife pov.
Originally Posted by Miatagirl
I never had an abortion, but really didn't care if other women chose to have one or not. When I gave birth to my dd in October, my views changed.
A lot of people seem to feel this way, so I DO want to understand it, or maybe clear up a misperception - does anybody think that pro-choice people don't have babies? I'm a birth doula and aspiring midwife, and I have the deepest respect for the miracle of pregnancy and birth. I also work in an abortion clinic, where I give women and girls a very different kind of emotional and physical support. I just don't see why those two things would be mutually exclusive. Most of my co-workers have kids, and we have pregnant staff (including OBs!) that continue to work until they go on maternity leave, and then yes, they come back to work (and we all ooh and aah over their little bundles). One patient decided to continue her pregnancy after meeting with a visibly pregnant counselor, and they had a lovely bonding moment over it. In fact, many of our patients decide to continue their pregnancies after coming in - teens and adults, in abusive and healthy relationships alike - and we support them all, obviously. We do everything we can to make sure people are sure about their decision, and if there's any doubt about that at any step along the way we WILL NOT provide them with an abortion, but we will give them referrals and resources. And lots of people are sad about it, but they're still sure - and that's ok. Others are not sad, and that's ok too.
So threads like this one are so important for me to read because they address the real grief that people feel after abortion. For some reason, I was able to go through the grieving process beforehand - and it was HARD - and then go on with my life, without regret. But of course, this process is unique and individual to every woman, and MANY women feel sad and traumatized by it for the rest of their lives, and especially around their future pregnancies. We need to support these women as best we can, without extrapolating to other people's experiences.
I really apologize if this comes across as polemical in ANY way - I don't mean to single out one particular view point at all - I just want to speak up for the view that birth and choice don't have to be mutually exclusive.
ETA: ITA with Tammy that the modern Buddhist ritual around pregnancy loss/abortion in Japan is amazing. There are a couple of great books about it, one's called Liquid Life, I can't remember the other one. Need to add to my re-reading list!