We have not met, but you have been on my mind since Alabama law makers decided to pass a new bill that would ban almost all abortions in that state.
I will say right off the bat, I doubt that we will ever all agree on when life begins. That is a real challenge when it comes to arguing for or against a woman's right to choose. If I were religious I could leave it up to the church to tell me how I should feel about this medical procedure. I am not so that really does leave it up to me.
Abortion makes me sad. That a woman has to go through one is not a happy occurrence. It should not be taken lightly. It can feel like a terrible dream. Although in a different light, it may feel like waking from a nightmare. It is all about the circumstances.
So I am thinking of you today, with a heavy heart. You, a woman I have never met, who may not even be pregnant yet. But who may become "with child" after a dramatic encounter with a stranger. A rape. Or you have been abused sexually by a family member. Or you are on the cusp of building a life for yourself and discover that the condom your boyfriend used must have been faulty. You want to go to college. Have a career. Have children eventually, or maybe not ever.
Perhaps you are older than is deemed optimal to carry a child. Perhaps there are terrible, complicated health issues with the fetus. Problems which can't be corrected and if the child survived the birth, would have only a short, very painful life.
Maybe you just don't want to have a baby and the reasons why are no one else's business.
Oh You. I am worried about you. I grew up when abortion was illegal. While a senior in high school one of my best friends got pregnant. Her family made her drop out of school and "go away" until the baby was born. She never held the newborn, it was whisked away before her tears were even dry.
She never did return to school. I would guess that the baby was raised in a loving home, but I can only hope, just as she did. There was never any way for her to know. And she was never the same. Sometimes we would talk about what might have been. If she had been able to discontinue the pregnancy and finish high school and go on to college and follow her dreams. Instead, she went down a pretty destructive path. Where she is today I have no idea.
When we speak of "right to life" shouldn't she have had the right to a life?
Yes, another couple received a wonderful gift. But at what price?
There is nothing easy about any of this. And I am angry and sad that we are debating the issue of who has the right to decide what a woman should do when she finds she is pregnant. Shouldn't she have the right? Shouldn't you?
So, Dear You, be careful. Times are changing. They are going backward. This is not new territory, it's old. It is scary. It's dark and mean.
I'm thinking about you, wishing you good luck.