Posts Tagged: Abortion Results 98
When I had my first child, I learned how to be a mother with chronic pain. The learning curve was so steep that my husband and I adjusted our expectations: instead of having two children, as we always assumed we would, this would be our only child. But after a few years, and an operation that successfully treated one aspect of my pain, we began talking about whether we should try to have a second child. After months of discussion, we decided to go for it. At the same time, I began a wide range of new pain treatments.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week but for me, every week since December 13, 2011 is infertility awareness week. That’s the day a surgeon removed my lentil-sized embryo and the fallopian tube it was stuck in. Left to grow, the embryo that I wanted so badly to be my first child would have killed me. The time I spent in infertility hell coincided with a time when I, a third-generation New Yorker, lived with my then-husband in Mississippi, where citizens had just voted down personhood legislation, which would have outlawed both my life-saving surgery and the subsequent interventions that gave me hope of conceiving again.
On June 22, 1989, I had an abortion. I’ve kept it a secret for almost 28 years. Why write about it now? On October 20, 2016, during a debate with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton said, “I will defend Planned Parenthood. I will defend Roe v. Wade and I will defend women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions.” I tweeted the quote, and seconds later someone had tweeted me an image of a dismembered embryo.
In Slate, Ruth Graham explores the surprisingly extensive history of pro-life rhetoric comparing abortion to the Holocaust. She traces the phenomenon to an analogy made by Pope Pius XII in 1951, a time when the specifics of Nazi ideology were still fresh in people’s minds:
Oklahoma legislator Justin Humphrey is making the news rounds after telling the Intercept that pregnant women aren’t people but rather “hosts.” How progressive of Humphrey not to use ‘hostess’, or maybe this was about referring to women as non-human objects, which, in the English language, aren’t gendered? The question up for discussion in the Oklahoma legislature — whether a male partner can veto an abortion — lends support to that possibility.