A military wife and homemaker, and already mother of five, my mother was surprised by the news that she was pregnant (again) with me in the fall of 1972 (affectionally leading me to later be labeled the “oops child”). However, far more pressing than an unexpected pregnancy was that my mother was nearing the age of 40 in a few short months. Today, most folks wouldn’t scoff at someone starting a family at that age (even if still not being medically encouraged). Yet during those years, it was considered extremely high risk, compounded by the fact that my mother suffered from severe hypertension. As a result, the latter raised great concerns for her medical team regarding the impossibility of a successful pregnancy, stating that her placenta may not properly develop and/or separate from her uterus, thus depriving me of oxygen and leaving me severely mentally impaired. Because of this, her doctor—and without question in light of the then newly legalized abortion rights for women—presented my mother with this very option.
|Me--the Miracle Baby|
|My loving parents. RIP.|
Although most would look at my mother’s decision as her being Pro Life, the irony is that being allowed to CHOOSE to be Pro Life is in itself Pro Choice. Am I grateful for my parent’s decision? Of course. But would I have been disappointed if they chose not to make that ultimate sacrifice just for me, and undoubtedly impact their own lives and those of my siblings? Of course not. How could I be when I would have had no existence or knowledge of a world with me in it? It is because of this reason that arguments “on behalf of the unborn fetus,” have always felt both audacious and flimsy, but I digress. Without a doubt, I am certain my mother made her choice because a life of “what if’s” would have been far harder for her to bear than any hardship of caring for me but, again, it was a choice she was allowed--and had full governmental rights--to make.The Janes,” so captivatingly explored, remembering the past is not the problem; forgetting we need to fight to keep from returning to it is.
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