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The woman’s body is hers alone


pro-choice essay

pro-choice essay

There was a moment, about a week after the birth of our daughter, when all three of us were lying in bed. This was the first. We did this in the hospital, huddled in twin beds pushed together, something very small, smooth on one of our chests, but those few days were foggy. Were they really real? I gave birth? Was I alive? Was he a human? Did I sleep or did I wake up? When one of the Austrian nurses said (since we lived in Vienna), ladies and gentlemen I looked around for my own parents.

So, the night we got home, or maybe a little after that, we found ourselves alone in our own bed, with my husband where we used to live, but now with him in the middle, appropriate if so. – the parable of the nose. We did not know what to do with him. I would have had a vague idea that he was lying next to me, or maybe between us, but now it doesn’t seem easy. choose where to bury him. Everywhere he slept it seemed like he was ending up, so he was among us, wrapped up, unconscious, asleep for a moment. We were all afraid to break him. I looked at my husband, who was as nervous as I was, even though his body was weak. In the words of truly desperate people, I whispered. Do you think we would have waited for him to be with us?

The mother of seven days after giving birth is not in a good mood, and maybe my husband noticed this and just said, There is no need to think about that now, knowing, of course, that we would not be able to bring him back to the place we took him, or at the time we decided to test him, or even the day we saw two rows on a pole, what? felt like eight years ago. But as I said, I was not smart and I had never slept before and was being bombarded with hormones and milk and bleeding and my C-section soon took the virus and put it on two types of antibiotics, and something inside of me. to think, Well, maybe if I look more closely, I can go back and stop the whole process. He can end.

We had been married for about a year and for two years. Didn’t we want to spend more time together? Who does all this work with such urgency? What were we thinking?

It didn’t matter then. The work was done. The evidence in the body and in the bones is our DNA, and in my stomach and firm breasts. When she cried in the thick of the night, a place I had never been before, it was my problem. However, I tried to get our money back in 10 months, the week we told each other, I’m ready. I thought, Try hard enough and you can erase everything.

My point here is that this was a wanted child. So he wanted to. I typed and changed the time and measured my temperature and hoped I would get there. I was 34 when I looked for a good stick. We wept with joy and rest and joy. And yet. That was, our, forever – God, what a terrible word, I could never understand! – and I was seized with misunderstandings and fears.

Nothing took too long, fortunately, for me. Soon, I became his mother, and we moved to a new area of ​​à trois. It was hard, but I began to love her and to love her presence in our lives. My point, of course, is that even giving birth to an unwanted child is painful; earthquake, full of every emotion, including grief, and uncertainty, and shame, and fear;

This moment came to me recently when the Supreme Court was discussing an abortion law in Mississippi; such as the rights of women with our bodies and reproductive choices, again, it is also thrown at six judges who cannot see the realities of childbearing. I decided to sleep in that bed with this seven-day-old baby and I love this man more than anything, and I don’t want to keep him. To be with him compulsory. To not want to be with her dad. So that his father would not want him. Being a teenager. Contraceptive methods have failed. He is too sick, physically or mentally, to help you. Or being forced to give it to her because I know I can’t take care of her, or I don’t want to, or because I couldn’t get an abortion knowing that this is what I wanted and needed. Every time our reproductive rights – and our lives – are shaken to and fro like a weary old bag, women lined up and pouring out our history and hearts, begging us to understand; trying, one story at a time, in anger and pain, to show our system of old parents and men (and sometimes women!) to hear like, being a real woman.

No one, not even Brett Kavanaugh or Amy Coney Barrett, has come to help us raise our daughter or to discuss child support or responsibilities or to pay for my pregnancy or to discuss work in my home. (Or there was never a time when I was so sick that I could not work for the first 20 weeks of pregnancy or have gestational diabetes.) Yes, there are occasional grandparents or babysitters or after-school programs. And for three years there was money from the Austrian government.

But is this a problem?

What does it take for my body to be mine? What evidence do they need?

How many ways can you say: I too am a man.

I am. I am. I am.


Abigail Rasminsky is a Los Angeles-based author, editor and educator. She teaches writing at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and writes a weekly newspaper, People + Bodies. She also wrote the Cup of Jo on marriage, motherhood and her neighbors.

You may also like to read: “I Did Not Have an Abortion” (NYTimes) and “Why I Have an Abortion” (Boston Review). If you can, please consider joining us at Planned Parenthood, ACLU, or the nearest abortion fund. A reader named Kate says: “The cost of abortion and the local hospitals are simply too great to pay for medical care, mental health care, transportation, lodging, and so on. This is a quick way to help those most affected by abortions. ”Thank you very much. xo

PS In bullying, there are five ways to educate children about consent.

(Photo by Lucas Ottone / Stocksy.)





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