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My Choice, One Way or Another

For some of you
this might be too much
but for too long we haven’t shared
then complained when others don’t understand.
So here goes:
During the abortion wars of my youth (and by “youth” I mean when I was in my 30s) when the airwaves were filled with demands to ban abortion even in the case of rape or incest, I wrote a letter that, if I found myself pregnant with a rapist’s child, I could leave for my family explaining why I killed myself rather than allow someone to have that type of control over my body.

I remember the yellow legal paper I wrote the letter on. I remember the black ink on the yellow page. I remember writing and crossing out and rewriting, because there were no easy-to-edit computers back then. I remember the smallness of my lettering.

“Women’s issues” mean different things to different people. For me, for a long, long time, they were not theoretical, and, in the place where I found my life, this was my reaction, which I will not now judge.

Would I have actually made that choice? Or was the letter a dramatic way to deal with the suffocating thought of someone being able to make that decision for me? I don’t know. The point is, I could not emotionally tolerate the prospect of losing the right to say what happened to my most intimate, prized possession: my body.

So when Hillary Clinton stood on stage and dramatically, passionately, authentically and FIRMLY defended a woman’s right to choose, I stilled. Then I clapped wildly. I did not clap when Trump stated women “violating” abortion restrictions should be subject to criminal punishment.

I did not write that letter decades ago┬ábecause, during those years, if I had become pregnant, I would’ve had an abortion. Far from it. I composed that letter because it should always be my right to choose. And, ultimately, one way or another, I intended to make it so.

My body. My choice. I choose Hillary.

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