I have always been a very, very flaming liberal. That being said, I personally knew that I would never choose abortion for myself. I cheered on Senator Davis, and her supporters, and feel victorious as the Texas bill died. I follow the celebrations on Jezebel but was surprised at my mixed feelings about this article, discussing the concept and relevance of fetal pain.
I don’t dismiss my daughter as a “nonviable fetus”. She was a person, loved and cherished by me, and a member of my family. I don’t know if she was able to feel physical pain yet, and I really actually hope she wasn’t. I hope that she was unable to feel any pain at all. I do know, however, that we had a connection, a mother-daughter bond, that I would be unable to feel with a non-living being.
So despite my mixed feelings about the dismissive sentiments of my fellow feminists when it comes to “nonviable fetuses”, despite the fact that they have never known what it is to love beyond measure a child who is only 20 weeks gestation, I ended up agreeing with them based on this:
“There’s no evidence that nonviable fetal pain is a thing, but there’s TONS of evidence that full-grown women (so, not innocent unborn angels) who are denied abortions are majorly fucked; they’re three times as likely to end up below the federal poverty line two years later, to cite just one negative consequence. These women literally can’t afford new restrictions — they already have a hard enough time accessing reproductive care.”
I don’t want to limit access to healthcare for these women who have grown up without access to education, in poverty, with unspeakable tragedies perpetrated on their own selves during childhood. I don’t want them in back alleys, bleeding out, dying of septic shock, when they pay their last dollars for illegal abortions. I don’t want their children growing up to repeat the cycle, in poverty, turning to crime, bounced around in foster care, in extreme psychic pain their whole lives.
And yet… I am so glad that Jo Jo’s bio mom chose not to have an abortion. I have a beautiful, charming, precious child who heals me every day because of her choice. It was her choice, though. I’m so glad it was. But how would I feel about it if I knew that she bore the child against her will? I don’t know, honestly. Conflicted, I’m sure.
I’m a foster mom looking at the cycle of poverty and crime through generations, I’m a baby loss mom who loved my baby of 20 weeks gestation as much as I could have loved her at 1 week old, and I’m a feminist who wants women to be able to choose what happens to their own bodies.
It’s just not black and white, either way you look at it. It’s just not, and I can’t claim to subscribe fully to the whole set of beliefs on either side. At times I feel confused, but that is how one should feel when it comes to complicated moral and ethical questions. Neither side is fully right, but neither is fully wrong, either.