What Does “Pro-Choice” Look Like, When “Choice” is All-inclusive?
October 12, 2012 § 3 Comments
A few months ago, I wrote on the exclusive tendency of religious communities in my blog “Church Deacons, Blue Bras and The Revolutions We’re Writing.” This ended up being a fantastic experience for me, as women from Christian, Catholic, and Muslim communities, among others, reached out to me to speak of their commitment to spiritually and relationship with God, but their rejection of the way their communities were doing it. Their stances had cost them all kinds of things, ranging from familial relationships to their safety – but something they all shared in common was that their communities had labeled them as outsiders – they were no longer considered to be Muslim or Christian or Catholic because they did not conform to certain ideologies.
And, these women were grieving.
These women have found solace in love: for the communities they’ve come from, despite disagreements, for each other and for a God that – fuck what the rest of them say – they still believe in. Strongly.
These woman have become my community, and I have fallen in love with all of them – one by one.
One such woman reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked me to write on her platform about a current issue, and my struggle with it.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, I chose abortion.
I wrote about it from what I believe to be a true “pro-choice” perspective – one that supports not only the women that choose to end pregnancies they do not feel they can rightfully continue, but women that oppose that choice. I believe those women have a right to oppose choice, to feel strongly that abortion is infringing on human rights. And, in the same breath, I believe that women who choose abortion also, deserve the choice to discontinue a pregnancy they feel they cannot continue, in good conscience. And so I come to an impasse – and a request, yet again, for more love.
Kisses to my mother, who is a shining example of, “more love.”
When I was seventeen, and my boyfriend wanted to sleep with me and my father wanted me to break up with him, a friend of mine told me about the time a priest had told her it was a mortal sin to kiss a boy.
“I knew I was fucked,” my friend laughed. “I was headed straight for hell.”
When my friend took her distressed self to a nun, she told her, “what he meant was that it was a mortal sin to kiss a boy if you didn’t want to.”
I didn’t understand “want to” for four years.
I was raised in a closed environment with half opened doors. And what I mean by that is that my church community dictated a role of strict submission for me, but my mom told me I was born to be a CEO.
It was those half opened doors that vaulted me into the New York sky from Northern California – running, running, running for people like me, and running, running, running from the judgment of a past that broke me wide open.
I am a winding way. My mother is a linear line running straight to expected results from calculated decisions: abstinence, marriage, children.
Mom’s the evangelical residue spread on my insides – like years of gum on my bones.
Mom’s a Pepsi drinker and a lap swimmer, a river baby and a lover of american literature. Mom loves Vivaldi. Mom loves to dance in the kitchen with me. Mom doesn’t get how anyone could feel sad to be a mom – confined? Struggling? She gardened and cooked and taught my childhood away, happy, more than anything else, to be a mom.
Mom loves to call me her Pearl.
Mom also feels strongly about women’s issues – things like sex outside of marriage, abortion, planned parenthood. Mom believes abortion shouldn’t be necessary since nobody should be having intercourse outside of marriage.
Mom believes in a God that gives enough grace and love to wrap around you after rape, and any pregnancy that might ensue thereafter.