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Every year in my hometown there was a non-profit that did what was called “The Walk For Life.”
They provided shelter and resources for women that decided to have children and who didn’t have the means to food and clothe them. In order to raise money many of the churches in town would raise money and ask for donations.
From the ages of ten through sixteen I was forced by my parents to go door to door to local businesses asking for money. I was extremely shy and didn’t even completely understand what I was raising money for.
I was simply told that I was raising money to prevent babies from being killed.
When I was sixteen I started taking community college courses. One of the papers I wrote for my English 101 class was about why abortion is murder and the horrors that it entails.
I truly believed that abortion should be illegal because of everything I heard from the people who were supposed to teach me.
Being of curious nature and extremely sheltered I asked what would happen if I was to become pregnant against my will.
I was told I would need to keep the child. I was told that there were no exceptions, that no matter the circumstances, even if my life was in danger, that the baby should come first.
As life went on I witnessed couples that got unexpectantly pregnant and got married even though they weren’t ready. I watched as friends stayed in abusive and horrific marriages because they had to stay due to having children.
I listened to friends explain that they had to keep the children because if they got an abortion they couldn’t live with themselves.
I watched as they gave up their dreams, ambitions, and settled for a life with someone because they “didn’t have a choice.”
A thought began to form in my mind.
What if they did have a choice? What if what they thought was right was the wrong choice?
I have quite a few friends that have gotten abortions. I’m sure there are more that have, but with the stigma, it’s not something that is usually openly talked about.
None of them are emotionally traumatized. When I asked one of them if it was hard when she got an abortion a few years ago she answered that she cried, but it was the right decision.
Her boyfriend had just been laid off from his job and they were struggling with finances.
Since then she has visited three different countries and had countless adventures. The two of them want kids at some point but she knew that she and her partner simply weren’t ready.
When I reflect on my friend and other women in a similar situation I think to myself…
What if that choice was taken away?
Imagine the absolute grief of knowing that you had no choice but to have a child even if you knew in your heart that you weren’t ready.
Even though I didn’t know better, it brings me an ache to know that I fought against women’s rights in my own way.
Now, it is becoming a reality in the United States where we are promised freedom. More and more states are making abortion basically illegal or impossible to access.
I’m not ready to have a child.
I’m not ready to start a family and I can’t imagine the psychological toll that it would take on me if I got pregnant and immediately had no choice but to have that child.
I can imagine it in my head. All of the options for the future being ripped away as you and your partner succumb to painting a room and buying a stroller because you are ready. So much for the idea of happily starting a family on your own time.
Our rights are slowly being overturned and if we don’t stop it, women will no lose control over their bodies and the rights that we have fought so hard for our entire lives.
That's what I find absolutely terrifying.