A Must-Read, especially for the ambivalent
Today’s recommended reading is “The Ambivabortion Rant,” the first of three parts written by a blogger who was kind enough to invite me to read her work. I am impressed by her grasp of the complexities of abortion, before and after.
“The simplest central tenet of feminism – that being female is a full human plenitude, not a shameful lack – had saved my soul. Abortion, I believed, was a woman’s business. My body, my choice. Case closed.
Then I had one.”
She is a self-described pro-choice woman who has come to understand that the life lost in her womb was a separate, real, individual human being, even while she struggles with the practicality of the choice she made not to have a child at that time in her life.
Her post-abortion dreams inspired this heart-wrenching poem for her lost son:
“My ghost son keeps pace with me,
long-legged as I am.
He’s twelve, or would be,
the age he was when he left me
in the third dream, in the subway,
lifting his cool boy’s hand from my shoulder
and crossing the stream.”
Still, our AmbivaBlogger is torn by the rationale that led her to abortion – the quality of life for the woman who must bear the child or destroy it:
“The truth about abortion is that sometimes an embryo’s right to life conflicts with a woman’s right to live. And yet to cancel one or the other cannot be the answer.
And that means that just as the Right can’t wish away the real woman – so newly and precariously the owner of her own life, with consequences that will ripple out to the ends of the earth – the Left can’t wish away the real embryo and fetus.”
“Sometimes two opposing truths have to be held in mind at once.”
The paradox of life – the truth is always inside the paradox, and it is our own limitations that keep us from finding the center. I would add one caveat – the lives of mother and child do not have to exist in opposition of each other. The answer is not in destroying either life, but in creating the circumstances that will support both lives. A woman is not merely a vessel for reproduction. But neither is her reproductive role a thing to be feared or rejected. It is part of who we are as women, to nourish and protect. When did we start telling women that they had to become like men in order to achieve equality? This is a biological impossibility – hence our feelings of inadequacy and failure, which sometimes feed our desire to abort the fullness of our womanhood and our children.
Her thoughtful essay has invited calm and cool commentary, the kind of dialogue that inspires solutions instead of ill will and hatred, as so many do. I will wait for the other two parts before commenting further. Her insight is developing, and her writing is skillful. I know I don't have to ask you to be kind in your comments, because my readers are compassionate. She is post-abortive and deserves our attention and respect for her feelings. She has given us another opportunity and forum in which to discuss it, and for that I am grateful.
Read the whole story at: