This post was triggered by the discussion of an attempt by a conservative American Republican female, who introduced a bill to criminalise abortion – by the mother. That’s right, if a woman has an abortion – for any reason – she can be charged wit tampering with evidence, which carries a jail term of not less than two, and not more than five years jail.
A Non-Fairy Story…
I’m adopted. I was also the result of one of “god’s gift” – the rape of an under-aged girl.
She was ostracised by her parents, forced into a church-run sanatorium for “wayward girls” (that’s actually what they called rape victims here in the 1960s), give birth at the age of fourteen, and put me up for adoption.
Luckily for her, her parents continued to love her, though the birth process damaged her vagina and uterus terribly. That’s what religious love will do for your child.
She later married and eventually had two kids of her own.
Luckily for me, she put me up for adoption, and I was placed with a great couple, who told me most (but not all!) of the story.
Eventually, I was able to track her down with one of the (sadly few) adoption meeting services available in Australia. Then I heard the whole, unvarnished story of my “immaculate” conception.
It wasn’t exactly rape. She had no idea what she was doing, and just let the guy (my shining example of a father) have sex with her half a dozen times or so.
My birth mother was (and still is) an ignorant, unteachable “free spirit” (she hates the word ‘slut’, although she admitted she was the town bike). She wanted to marry my father/sperm donor (although she had so little contact with him, she’s forgotten his name, or what he looked like, or even where it happened – though she does remember it was in the back seat of a “really nice” car).
This puts me squarely in the unenviable position of seeing at least three sides of this situation. Am I glad I was born? Absolutely. I intend to make a difference to the world. Am I glad my mother was (and still is) the town bike? No. That makes me feel worse than someone’s vomit on the footpath. I was ‘ejecta’, an unfortunate and unwanted side-effect (not her exact words, but close enough). But do I love my birth mother? I’m still thinking about that. So far, no. On the other hand, my desperately hard-working adoptive parents I would gladly die for. My sadness there is that I’m not genetically related to either of them. Luckily, I’ve learned more than I can say from my dad!
But (from my incredibly privileged position as a fully-grown foetus of 49) then do I support religious or conservative views that abortion is ‘evil’, ‘sinful’, or ‘wicked’ in some way? Hell, no! Then do I support a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body? Absolutely, to my dying breath.
Well, having been there, been that, do I believe a foetus is a human being? No, no, no, a thousand times no, unless it can survive outside the mother’s uterus and become a useful human being. Until then it’s nothing but a bunch of cells with no more right to life than a wart. End of discussion. Don’t even think about arguing this point with me.
Would I have written this if my birth mother had been given such a choice as abortion instead of adoption? – unfortunately, I know the answer to this one. When she was “in her cups” one night, she admitted she wouldn’t have gone through with the birth if she’d had an alternative. She later apologised to me if she gave me the wrong impression… But given the physical damage she suffered thanks to her parents being christianists, in hindsight I can’t really blame her. Anyone who does is a monster!
My point is, there will always be people obsessed with ruling over other people. They use anything – lies, deception, holy books written by illiterate goat herders, their own deep sense of disgust at anything to do with someone else having sex or freedom (in other words, the usual conservative and fundamental christianist reasons!) – to gain and maintain control over other people, especially vulnerable people. It’s how they get their kicks.
But they must NOT, ever have the ability to tell anyone, man or woman, what they can and cannot do to or with their body, or who they can or cannot love.
Those people disgust and sadden me even more than my spare mother does.