Why Can't Pro Choice also be Pro Life? Virginia Politics

5 years ago
I usually leave the political talk to Susan who is MUCH more of a political junkie than me.  She studies politics.  She reads books, watches tv shows, subscribes to websites, wants to join the Virginia Women's Political Action Committee (newly formed), etc.  I, on the other hand am not as informed, and many times just go with my gut feeling regarding candidates and issues.  Many times this means I cross party lines.  I believe in some things that are "Republican", and I believe in some things that are "Democrat".  I suppose that makes me an Independent. That is not what I want to talk about however,.  What I want to talk about is the crazy stuff that has been going on in Virginia recently.  It is much more than just the assault on women's rights and freedoms headed up in Richmond.  It is going on in the homeschooling/public school sports forums, and even in my local school board government.  I read things, and I just shake my head.  The legislation that just passed in Richmond concerning Abortion and mandatory Ultrasound makes me want to go march and shout! I do want to go on record as saying that I personally abhor the terms "Pro Life" and "Pro Choice".  I think that just because I believe in abortion rights for women does NOT mean I am not Pro Life.  I value life.  I value conception and babies, and procreation.  However, I also value a woman's right to choose what she does with her body.  When I hear "Pro Life" movement it makes it sound as  though those of us who are "Pro Women's Rights" are somehow "Anti Life".  (rant ended)

 

So, as I am sure many of you have heard, there was legislation on the floor of the Virginia Senate (sponsored by Rep. Kathy Byron) which would require women to have an ultrasound prior to having a legal abortion.  Of course of the abortion is to be performed at a very early stage, then an external ultrasound wouldn't cut the mustard, and the woman would need a transvaginal (a probe inserted into the vagina)  ultrasound.  The theory of the mandatory ultrasound is that the women needs "all the information" about the fetus before making the final decision to abort or not.  This somehow implies that a woman does not know what she is doing when she goes to the doctor to have an abortion.  That somehow she is unclear about exactly what it means to be pregnant, and that by seeing the fetus and possibly hearing a heartbeat it will somehow change her mind.  AND THAT is exactly what the anti abortion crowd is betting on.  That somehow a woman who has already been through the agonizing wringer of deciding whether or not to go through with a mentally traumatic, and physically uncomfortable procedure will change her mind upon seeing and hearing the fetus.  I say we should provide women with blindfolds and earphones prior to going in for the ultrasound so they don;t have to see or hear. Why make an agonizing experience more difficult??  Women I know who have had abortions (including myself I might add) did not come to that conclusion lightly.  It is a difficult and gut wrenching decision to make.  I don't believe women make that decision lightly, and I can tell you form my own personal experience, the heartache of that decision never completely leaves you.  I had an abortion when I was 18, and I still find myself all these years later (I am 46) thinking to myself at times, "Wow, I could have a 28 year old child. I could be a grandmother....."    I have two wonderful children, and I could have a third.  That thought is never far from my mind.  It still makes me sad.  However, at that time of my life, (I was at Hospital Corps school in the Navy) a child just didn't fit into my life, and the father of the child was also in Hospital Corps school.  A baby would have derailed both of our careers.  It didn't work. He agreed with my decision. It was still agonizing, and I cried... a lot! Women don't go skipping into an abortion clinic.  As a matter of fact many have to wade through a gauntlet of anti abortion protestors to even get in the doors.  I know I did.  Can you imagine...18 years old, scared to death, and people shouting horrible things at me as my mother and I walked into the clinic.  Thank God my mother was with me.  Thank you Mom!  Although I know that was a hard day for you too, you did an amazing, courageous thing for your daughter! This was not the direction I planned on this post going when I sat down to write this morning.  Sometimes posts just have a mind of their own, and the words flow out, and you end up in a different place than you though you were going to go. The lawmakers in Virginia did end up passing the legislation to require ultrasounds prior to a woman having a LEGAL abortion, however, the transvaginal ultrasound part was eliminated. AND women who have become pregnant due to rape or incest are also not required to have an ultrasound. So although I am NOT a political junkie by any stretch of the imagination, I did join the Women's Political Action Committee, and you might see me standing outside an abortion clinic handing the women headphones and blindfolds.....

 

Carol Rood

Coffee, Clutter and Chaos

 
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