22 January 2007
blog for choice, 2007 edition
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i have a story to tell.. one that doesn't affect me personally, i suppose, but here goes:
sometime between the birth of my father in 1940 and the birth of his brother in 1949, my grandmother got pregnant. her übercontrolling husband forced her to have an abortion, which was still 30 years or so from being legal. abortionists who performed their services on the working-class woman of the 40's were not as scrupulous about certain things (like sterile operating conditions and aftercare) as they should have been, and the result was my grandma getting socked with a wicked dose of septicæmia. it almost killed her.
had they still been living out in corona, she probably would have died. they lived in long beach, and close to what was at the time a state of the art hospital, and she didn't.
i guess the story is personal. i would never have known my grandma, the only grandparent i actually got to know. my father would have been motherless from a very young age, and probably a whole lot more fucked up than he ended up being with the one parent who gave a fuck about him.
no woman, or girl, should have to go through what she went through. they should not have to risk their lives having surgery in someone's garage on pacific ave.
i have never been pregnant. i have been as diligent about contraception as is humanely possible to avoid having to make the choice to abort a pregnancy. no one ever had to tell me that what goes on inside my body is MY choice (and mine alone). it's something i just knew, and no one ever dared tell me i was wrong.
the day cannot come where those in possession of two x chromosomes do not have the choice to end a pregnancy for whatever reason they choose in a way that jeopardizes their health, their lives. if roe v wade were ever to be overturned, we would go back to the way things used to be... where if you had enough money, you flew to some less fucked up country and got a safe abortion; if you didn't, you either gave birth to a baby you didn't want, couldn't keep, or subjected yourself to the indignities my grandma had foisted upon her... indignities that almost cost her her life.
the next time she found herself in that position, she told my grandfather she'd sooner kill him than another one of her babies. may we all have the balls she did, and let it be known that we're the deciders.
sorry for the rant... but i cannot imagine a life that didn't include her.