Roe vs. Wade. The ultimate decision that gave women the Choice to navigate the difficult waters of facing child birth. How long must we row before the light dawns and we wade out into new waters for our women and our children? Is the problem the Choice? Or is it about the conditions that lead a woman to Choose?
I was there once. A young 19 something with an aspiring career before me… and pregnant. It was clear to me that if I wanted the child, I would have to do it alone. The father wanted no part of the child or raising it. He already had 3 children and wasn’t doing much financially, emotionally or physically to provide for any of them. I KNEW it was going to be solely on me as the bearer of the child.
I saw no way for me to provide for the child. I mean, I could have given up my job, the only source of income I had to give the child an adequate future. Then what? Struggle to survive and provide some semblance of a poverty-stricken future for the child? It seemed irresponsible for me to choose to bring the child into such an existence. I chose to abort. I regretted it Deeply.
The problem was not that I didn’t want the child. I truly did. The problem was societal systems were not designed with a mom or a child’s need in mind. That needs to change. I watched my daughter raise her baby girl the first many months of my granddaughter’s life without any physical, financial, or emotional support from the father for reasons that are not important to go into here. I witnessed her reach a Choice point.
She was pregnant with a second child. I watched her tears of fears of how will she possibly do it with TWO children?!?! Despite those tears, I heard her say I cannot possibly give up this child’s life! Why? Because of LOVE. She so loved her own brother and appreciated all of their memories together as small children. She could not possibly selfishly steal the experience of a sibling from her daughter. She did not make the same mistake as me and I am proud of her Choice! I would not have this beautiful baby grandson had she not made the Choice for his life.
Here is the Right Choice. We can CHOOSE to do better for our women and our children. We can CHOOSE to make it affordable to raise children. We can CHOOSE to develop systems that are supportive financially and emotionally to the raising of a precious child’s life.
It is NOT an easy choice to stay at home and raise your children, struggle financially and often times have no other children to interact with unless you have another. Nor is it an easy choice to send your child off to day care to spend the majority of their day with another woman, or man, while you spend the majority of your time working to financially support the child with BASIC needs with the astronomical cost of daycare. Never mind all the extras we want to give our children so they can be well-educated, well-rounded children with a strong sense of WELL-BEING.
I once witnessed Marianne Williamson give an informal poll to the listeners at one of her campaign talks. She asked the question… “How many people in this audience are not having children because they cannot afford to?” The hands that went up were overwhelming to me. My heart broke for the women in the audience and men who also raised their hands alongside their partner whose other hand they held endearingly. We come here to experience the beauty of Life and to expand that experience for others. Yet the current environment is so difficult we have people whose only heart’s desire in life cannot even be realized… to have a child. I FELT the weight of their longing.
I think a “formal” poll needs to be administered posing the same question Marianne asked, along with other questions, such as what are the barriers to your ability to provide for and raise a healthy child. Let’s focus on the solutions to those poll questions. Let’s stop focusing on band-aid laws put into place to avoid lives being lost through illegal and legal abortions. Face it! They were happening illegally because women were facing a choice that seemed an irresponsible and impossible choice to make. Well, the SAME conditions exist today. Let’s BE responsible and make it Possible for families to flourish!