hate mail, idealism, and the right to choose

Bee's picture
Tue, 08/02/2011 - 08:46 -- Bee

Hate mail is a routine and perplexing part of my life. Perk of the job?

Anyway, the best so far today is related to Girl-Mom:

This Web site almost had my passionate inquiry until I read you executed ‘pro-choice’ rationale. Too bad. Which teen moms are pro-choice, anyway? I’d imagine most would have aborted their children before having to endure teenage motherhood.

Huh. Damned if you do, damned if you don't... this is a really typical reaction. And yet another example of why I think that the site is so important.

I was a pro-choice teen mother. My choice was to have a child.

That didn't stop me from actively participating in abortion rights campaigns. The point is not whether you exercise a particular option, but whether you have the right to do so.

I believe that all women should have the right to choose, for themselves, whether they want to be a parent - or not. It doesn't matter whether we are poor, young, sick, single, queer, or otherwise different.

My own political ideology encompasses the choice to be a father. I consider my children my own responsibility, precisely because the other person did not have an equal say about what happened inside my body. Anyone who has helped me parent my children - or not - has done so out of their own free will.

Maybe I am just a utopian idealist, but I sincerely believe that all children should be wanted, and wanted children are more likely to get the care they need to thrive.

I'm part of the first generation of Americans raised with full access to contraception and legal abortion. We're now confronting a real possibility that this precious legal protection will be eroded, or even destroyed. The economy, and wars, and general political chaos have done a good job of hiding the fact that our legal rights are in jeopardy. But it is true, and we all need to be vigilant.

I am pro-choice.

I am also a mother.

Comments

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

Maybe I am just a utopian idealist, but I sincerely believe that all children should be wanted, and wanted children are more likely to get the care they need to thrive.

My sentiments exactly.

You can't please everyone, or even most people. Apparently, Girl-Mom was not for her (I'm assuming it was a 'her'?), and I hope she can find a place where she can get the support she needs.

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

mamanopajamas's picture

I am pro-choice. I am also a mother.

EXACTLY -- and I wanted the choice whether or not to be one & I want my daughters to have the CHOICE and I want every EVERY woman to have the choice EACH and EVERY Time

what is so difficult to understand about this PRO CHOICE?? not pro abortion, pro CHOICE to have one or not

 "Do not speak--unless it improves on silence." ~ buddhist saying (wow - my email on file was so old - it was from the old hipmama email!)

Bee's picture
Submitted by Bee on

Yep, it was a her... though she wasn't looking for support, it was just drive-by cranky.

All the hate mail this week has been inspired by the petition. It is actually of a much higher quality than normal! Usually it is just scattershot hatred, but this week people are thinking about their rants. I've been called "ageist" for calling myself a teenage mother. Because I was a teenage mother.

So tiresome.

Bee's picture
Submitted by Bee on

Yes, exactly.

People also fail to see that the foundation of a "pro-choice" stance is about contraception. All the research from the past forty years shows that access to contraception reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies. But the pro-life forces are trying to limit all funds for family planning clinics, and that is intensely frightening.

When I was a teenager it was almost impossible to get condoms anywhere in my town. The few stores people could get to (and in a rural county, that meant driving vast distances) kept the wares locked up, and it was socially difficult to ask pharmacists who might tattle to your parents to open the cupboards.

My response was to start a condom distribution program out of my locker, for which I was inevitably punished, and almost didn't graduate.

At the ceremony I went down the aisle with condoms pinned to my cap.