Monday, January 22, 2007
Blog for Choice: The Choices of Mothers
It's the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade Day and I'm ruminating on what choice means to me - as a mother. For all of the statistics & facts that we hear: 61% of women seeking abortions are already mothers; women who have abortions and women who have children are the SAME women at different points in their lives, I still don't see mothers, as a force, organizing strongly enough, to make a deep dent in the reproductive rights landscape on behalf of all mothers.
When I talk about my perspective on reproductive rights, there is no way I can even begin to frame the issue outside of my role as a mother.
When we throw phrases out like "My body, my choice" and "Motherhood by choice", I think not only of my vehement stance that abortion should be safe, legal and accessible to all women in order for women to be free but that the ways in which women birth, the resource available to women before motherhood, during birth and post-birth are plentiful and accessible.
Right now women in this country are given very few, abominably few options when it comes to making a decision about when and how to have children. Most women in this country are not even given the proper pre-natal resources to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Postpartum care is available to the most privileged among us which leaves a great majority of women in this country suffering in silence, thinking that the myth of blissful motherhood must be their faults. Midwifery is barely an option for most women in this country, cesarean sections are becoming standard regardless of what a woman may ultimately want. Paid - or even unpaid maternity leave (or paternity leave) is far too rare to ensure economic security for families with babies, affordable childcare is even scarcer.
The truth is, the idea of "choice" for women when it comes to much of our sexual and reproductive health and lives, is a dream we have chased for far too long. I am not talking solely of ensuring that abortion remains an option available to pregnant women (which, we all know, is not truly an option for most poor, teenage or non-English speaking women in this country) but that our ability to make the best choices for our sexual and reproductive health and lives is being severely hampered in our country - still.
So, on this anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision, when we acknowledge the tenuous platform on which legal abortion balances, we must also be aware that we have not even begun to remedy the threats to motherhood on multiple levels in this country.
Check these out...
- my friend Alex' words
- New Moon Magazine
- A Year in Namibia
- Shakespeare's Sister
- Reproductive Health Reality Check
- Mothers Acting Up!
- Progress Now: Maternal Might Not Just a Celluloid Fantasy
- Amie on Seattle's KUBE radio station
- Taking Mother's Day Back to its Roots
- Women's enews article I'm quoted in!
- I Had An Abortion Stories
- Our Truths, Nuestras Verdades
- A Year in Namibia
- ▼ 01/21 - 01/28 (4)
- ► 2006 (25)