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.

Comments (5)

    • I thought, well, this is kind of personal. But I’ve been lamenting my life-long “ignore it and get the job done” attitude, wondering how badly that contributed to the problems not being resolved earlier. So I shared. So glad it resonated with you. ­čÖé

  • It is not my place to judge any other woman on her decisions about her body. We should each make decisions in accord with our own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton tomorrow, too.

      • I was just reading about how journalists have evolved in using words like “pro-choice.” As a Catholic who is pro-choice, I have often had to explain what that means. It’s especially tricky when you are talking to people who think, erroneously, that taking birth control pills is equivalent to having an abortion every month.

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