Reader, if you are new here, heads up: I voted for Obama twice and Trump twice. If you are also refusing to be divided and conquered, refusing the declaration of impotence that is hatred, if you have eschewed a black & white worldview, then you may appreciate my substack swims in the vast ocean of nuance and empathy, a very gray area indeed.
Look, abortion IS an important issue. I’m pro-choice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. (That doesn’t mean I want you to need an abortion—I definitely don’t.)
But why is the President tweeting nonsense that targets 2 certain groups of Americans in such a manner as to make them feel isolated, attacked and hated, and pitted against each other?
To divide us.
I grew up in a time where pro-choice people didn’t want you to need an abortion (“What a horrible place to be in, between a rock and a hard place,” I can hear my Boomer relatives say, like it was yesterday), but if you had to get one, if it was your last resort, then ok, keep it safe, legal and rare.
I want to tell you something really sick but very important. There’s a shit TON of money in the sale of aborted fetus body parts and organs. As I like to say, all of earth is a dungeon, and then one day you get out via the mercy of death. But while we’re here, we should try to make it less of a shit hole and one of the ways we can do that is to regulary ask ourselves, Qui Bono? Who benefits?
Who benefits from phrases like, #ShoutYourAbortion that make abortion seem as normal as getting the flu shot? I’m not asking rhetorically. Abortion is a big business. And every abortion performed is a source of revenue. As usual, there’s way more profit to be gleaned from treatment than prevention.
So now, let’s go back in time to the fall of 6th grade.
It was the eve of the 1992 Presidential election, and abortion was a big issue. I was watching all the debates with Grandma Mooney (mom’s mom) while sitting on her red shag carpet in the living room 5 inches from the TV set. My baby boomer mom thought all 3 candidates were bad. I was 11 years old when I asked her, “are we pro-life or pro-choice?” These were her responses to my many questions.
#1: You’re stupid if you wind up needing an abortion in this day and age of easily available birth control. If you can’t remember to take one pill a day, you’ve got bigger problems than abortion can solve. And please, do have one so your dumb genes don’t carry into the next generation.
Disagree. The pre-frontal cortex which governs impulse control doesn’t finish growing until age 25. And the drive to mate is as strong as the drive to eat, drink water, sleep, and defecate/urinate. Horniness is also rooted in curiosity, one of our most primal human drives - the drive to discover, to find out more. But this misrepresentation of human nature was surprisingly effective at my young impressionable age. My mom then asked me (rhetorically), “are you stupid, Sarah Louise? No? Then you’ll never get pregnant unless you intend to.” Well, I was pretty smart. I did the math and I knew there was only one way to 100% eliminate the chance of getting pregnant. And that was to not have sex. Thanks, mom. (As an aside, lower IQ people tend to be happier and live longer. My mom died at 52 in the year 2000.)
#2: You’ll feel terrible depression and regret if you have an abortion. It will haunt you for the rest of your life, like it did her friend who committed suicide.
My mom had sent her best friend a photo of her new born baby, in 1969 (a picture of my half sister). That friend, who had had an abortion when she and my mom were attending Catholic high school a few years earlier, then overdosed on sleeping pills a few months later. It was her third suicide attempt. This time it was successful.
My mom was probably right, or mostly right. 2 of my friends who’ve had abortions did feel sadness and guilt. But not regret. They felt relief. We’ve got to teach women their natural fertility patterns & educate them so they know when they can have sex on non-fertile days in order to prevent unplanned pregnancy, which would pre-prevent the sadness and guilt that does sometimes manifest as depression in some women who have abortions, and later in life in some women who had abortions as postpartum psychosis or the inability to emotionally attach to their future newborns. On the other hand, I have a different friend who, years later, still keeps track of how old the baby would be and regrets her abortion daily. She is unable to work and is in therapy and on prescription drugs for depression.
#3: Pro-choice is a misnomer. There’s no “choice.” Women who have an abortion are getting one because they feel there is no choice, that they have to get one — they feel compelled to.
My mom followed this statement with the story about her best friend who committed suicide after having an abortion when my mom was 16 and the friend was 17 (the friend I referred to above — did I mention my mom helped pay for it and drove her to the doctor who was illegally performing abortions off the books for cash under the table?) Adoption wasn’t a choice because it would have meant revealing this terrible shameful secret — no, not being pregnant, having sex before marriage. And raising a child out of wedlock would have gotten her kicked out of her family’s house. She had “no choice.” I can’t totally disagree with this because it was true at the time, in 1964, for my mom and her friends who grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school. It’s not true today. Again, teaching women the nature of their own fertility would truly empower them and instill the autonomy necessary to prevent getting pregnant in the first place. But this would mean that getting pregnant in the FIRST PLACE would become a choice. And there are those who want only 2 choices for women: abstinence a.k.a. chastity or motherhood. Not the true freedom of true body autonomy (body self-governance).
Brief aside, for the under 25 ladies: I don’t want to mislead you about using cycle beads, the fertility awareness method, or any other non-pharma way to prevent pregnancy. If you think you and your boyfriend will actually be able to keep yourselves from part b into slot a sexual activity for a little less than half your cycle (every month! All year!!), great. But be honest with yourselves and each other. You, the female, are going to be most horny when you’re ovulating and if you’ve already had sex with your boyfriend, it’s going to be super hard (like, rock hard) to resist that magic penis when you are literally in heat. So, if the Pill would be easier, then for crying out loud, that’s what it’s there for! Or the IUD! Or the shot! Lol. (Remember, the penis is a mystical key that unlocks the door to the survival of humanity itself, the womb! Be careful with such power, young ones!)
#4: Safe, legal, and rare. If you’re young and dumb, one abortion is ok. But people who use abortion as birth control are people who have mental illness. For some reason, they aren’t mentally able to process that there is an action we can take to prevent pregnancy. We should have compassion for these crazy and/or low IQ individuals and not judge them. We should also be thankful that no one has to wake up in the morning and call these women “mom” and be dependent on them for food, shelter, or sense of self.
Agree. Let me as vaguely as possible share the stories of the two mentally ill women I knew who each had more than 3 abortions. They both abused drugs; the one I met as an adult had a baby who had fetal alcohol syndrome and was an active sex worker. Her own mom legally adopted that first baby (the one who had fetal alcohol syndrome). The woman then aborted her next 3 babies: her pimp paid for 2 of the procedures but a mutual female friend paid for the third. The other woman I met as a teenager: she was an adult and had been in and out of the foster care system as a child, sexually abused by - literally - all and sundry. She was unable to make decisions that would affect her life more than 24 hours into the future. She had SIX abortions. My mom used this second woman as a cautionary tale about the horrors of drug addiction, by the way.
#5: Paying money for someone to kill your own child is the most unethical part of the whole issue. If abortion doctors were offering free clinics, it would be a different story. But when money becomes a factor, it changes the motive (she was referring to “people respond to incentives,” I would guess, but using criminal terms instead of economic ones). If you pay someone to take a life, you’re taking out a hit, and a hit on an unborn baby — and/but the killing is no crime of passion, no act of vengeance. Being alive may be a case of a punishment worse than death, where living a life of being unwanted would be its own living hell, but then the abortionist should not take money for performing the act of preventing a life of pain.
#6: Every child a wanted child. See above.
Agree. There is a punishment worse than death and that is existing as a walking, talking, living, breathing reminder of one or both of your parents’ biggest regret: meeting someone and making the mistake of having a child with them, a mistake that would keep them from being free to choose to never have to interact with that person again. (A weird power dynamic is established wherein the child acts as a de facto warden, keeping two people in contact with each other for an 18 year prison sentence.)
As a society, we would ideally prioritize PREVENTION. Let’s teach women their natural fertility patterns & educate them so they can effectively discern fertile and non-fertile days of our cycles and take action accordingly
I’ll have more to say on this, but take it from me, a 2 time Obama voter and a 2 time Trump voter, there are millions of people who don’t see the world in black and white, or only red or blue, who take the time to see the world for what it is: a horror movie that we are all living in, day in and day out. I am one of them. And there’s oh, so much gray.
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We never discussed abortion, but by her actions, my mom taught me that abortion is evil.
The story is too long for a comment section.
But I was born in 1964, and I’ve never met my father.
Even as an infant, I never laid eyes on him.
So, yeah, as a teenager in the early sixties she some decisions to make.
Thankfully , she chose not to murder me.
Great work Sarah. Miss seeing you on Twitter!