Nov 14, 2012

Politics & Pregnancy

I'm not sure if it is being pregnant, the election or in some cases a combination of the two, but I have been more opinionated than usual lately (and its not like I'm passive most the time).

The example of a gift from Obama that I mentioned in my post earlier this evening, sparked the want to write another post.

Since becoming pregnant, there have been a couple social issues I've started to feel more strongly about (I'm sure raising children will spark a few more).

First, the Texas law requiring an ultrasound at least 24 hours before having an abortion. I'll start by saying I'm pro-choice so the general right to an abortion is one I support. However having had ultrasounds very early in my pregnancy which are incredibly invasive, my outrage is multiplied. First, are women so stupid that we don't understand what an abortion is doing? Second, is the state under the impression that the decision to have an abortion is akin to deciding what to have for breakfast? Goodness! Give us a little credit. And to the multiplying of my outrage, this is, I repeat, an incredibly invasive procedure and for very early in a pregnancy, really the only option. That the government believes it is OK to require something of that level of intimacy is mind-boggling.

Second, affordable contraceptives. I'm very excited for my little one to arrive. We're married, we own a home (ha, 2 soon!), we are gainfully employed, we finished college. In short, we're ready. Even given all that readiness, there are some elements of having a baby that scare the hell outta me. If two ready and excited people are still scared sometimes, imagine the poor couple who is not ready. Having a baby should and can be very exciting. Let's help as many people as possible have that experience and not a terrifying one. Also, a wanted, loved and prepared for child is ultimately better for society and, crass as it sounds, our financial state. When families can plan their children, they can better prepare to care (emotionally and financially) for those babies. If you want to save dollars on the government budget, affordable contraceptives are a much less expensive option than caring for a child.

Third, again affordable contraceptives. This time the idea that it is a "women's issue." We are not having sex by ourselves thank you very much.

Fourth, abortion. (Warning: this one gets heavy.) When we were doing our genetic screening, there were two conditions that were checked for that were fatal. Whether or not I could carry the baby to full-term would remain to be seen but the bottom line was the baby would not live outside the womb. At the time, I frankly just stuck my head in the sand and refused to consider the possibility that my baby could have one of those conditions. (And very thankfully I have a healthy, active, growing baby in my belly.) As I grow  and pass milestones like the halfway point, I can't fathom knowing with such certainty that the baby I was growing would never grow up at all. What a terrible thing to know. How do you even begin to survive 6, 7, 8 or 9 months knowing that? How do you answer the questions about your baby and pregnancy? How do you do anything but mourn to the deepest depths of your soul?? It is for that reason that my commitment to pro-choice laws is infinitely stronger than it was before becoming pregnant. Because if God forbid, my baby boy were not healthy, I would want the choice.

The expression "all politics is personal" is so incredibly accurate.

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