2004-06-02 @ 10:49 a.m.
excerpt from ďThey Shoot Horses Donít They?Ē by Terri Sutton, published 5/26/04 City Pages
One of the writers on imnotsorry.net describes her abortion as an "induced miscarriage." The phrase works for me because it doesn't keep separate the decisions of a woman's mind from those of her body. Both are weighty and consequential. Both are marked by divinity (however you define it): the god-spark (if you will) of human thought as much as sexuality. The mind creates or destroys just as the body does: the baby in mind growing alongside the fetus, or stopped, unborn. Isn't this our responsibility as humans: to know when we have the physical and mental capacity to nurture? To understand our limits?
A friend of mine tells me she thinks differently about abortion since she's carried two boys to term. "It's not that I regret my abortion, or that I'm not pro-choice," she says. "But seeing the ultrasounds..."
I think I know what she means. I love the uniqueness of my son fiercely. If all that promise hadn't been born...but then I wouldn't know him, wouldn't miss him. I would know another soul, and love its uniqueness fiercely. Or I would love a childfree life with my very unique dearest. It's a paradox of truths: Human singularity is a blessing; we can't possibly catch and hold every star. Each truth rests inside the womb of the other, a seed of dissent. Can we acknowledge them both?
This entire article speaks from the heart of what I find is important to me about being pro-choice. Because each personís life is not about the what ifs or regrets alone. Each choice we make is a fork in the road of our lives- making it a new direction we take towards where we are ultimately going. Itís not a detour but simply all part of the total path. Thereís always consequences for every step, every hesitation, every burst of speed.
I wish every day that I felt that the choices I had were my own to make. I gave too much importance to the feelings and well-being of someone who never valued his own choices, feelings, or well-being. It doesnít make me sorry that I have two daughters but the fact remains I have two children now who have to also come before me, because I considered someone elseís well-being more weighty in a decision than my own well-being. I see now that I was stupid to think that any choice I made could nuture Sal ís well-being, or protect him from any guilt he might feel. The man feels constant paralyzing guilt- and most of that guilt is earned.
I will never forget the holding pattern that pregnancy held my life in, and while I am not sorry that I was able to give a child to a couple who cherish her, I know that I might have been just as grateful to be able to get on with life right away, holding no oneís hand but my own.
I should have made those choice for myself regardless of Sal ís feelings, and I did not. The fact that I donít regret the choices I did make doesnít change that at all.
All of us are just trusting we know ourselves in spite of self-doubt, and sometimes self-hatred, and that pretty much ensures that there is no easy paths in any case. I just want to be sure there will always be a choice of paths to make our own for a long time to come.