When I was twelve years old I knew that one day I would be a mother. Sure most girls around that age dreamed of doing the same, but this was something I truly felt in my heart. One might say this feeling would be normal for a child that’s the eldest of her siblings and close relatives, who would sometimes have to play the third parent, but that was not the case for me. This feeling was more of an obsession. If bored, I would spend countless hours googling or making up baby names to add to an never ending list. Everything from the nursery, to the school they would attend and even how i would raise them, I went above and beyond planning out the future for my imaginary children. In my mind I thought who wouldn’t want to have children? It’s the most fascinating and supernatural thing a human being could do. Who wouldn’t want to experience the unbreakable bond that could only be felt between a mother and her baby? What kind of sick minded person would think about killing their baby? Who would ever have an abortion?
Murder is murder. That was my stance on anything that involved taking a life for no reason. In Christianity were told that taking a life is a sin and committing sins would condemn you to an eternity in hell. That’s the well deserved consequence for throwing away a blessing that God gave you. In my eyes I couldn’t see a plausible reason for ending a pregnancy due to your own “selfish” needs. Like most ignorant people I fed into the whole “you could be killing a future president” speech. After all, people like Maya Angelou and Arethra Franklin had children at an young age right? So it couldn’t possibly be THAT hard. My mother had me at the age of 21 when she really shouldn’t have. At this point she had only been in the country for a couple of years, started community college, had little to no money and like most adults at this age, still working out how to get her life together. Instead of making the quick decision to end a pregnancy, she CHOSE to take on the responsibility of raising me. My mother didn’t go on to sell millions of records or become an icon in any way, but she did manage with the help of my father to successfully raise two children. We were never hungry, always had proper clothing and had a safe place to sleep. She did what a mother is supposed to do and put her children first. If she could do it, then so could I.
In my first year of High school I was required to take a health education class. They covered everything from healthy eating habits to mental health and lastly sex ed. We learned how to use condoms, protect ourselves from stds and most importantly how to engage in safe sex with a partner. Admittingly most of the stuff they taught I already learned from the media on both television and social networks, but it gave me a great opportunity to ask more questions and learn what was true from false. Additionally I also took a class on anatomy, where we got to explore the human reproductive system and got even more detailed info on conception and how it happens. A couple weeks into the school year I was having a conversation with a male friend, when they mentioned that a classmate of theirs worried that she was pregnant. Out of curiosity I asked why and the response he gave me was totally ridiculous. Apparently this classmate of his, had her boyfriend perform oral sex on her, while he masturbated. After he ejaculated, she became panicked after she realized that he had used the same hand to penetrate her. I guess she was scared that somehow the sperm on his hand swam ALL THE WAY to her egg. I began to explain to him how conception works and why it would be impossible for her to be pregnant. It surprised me how surprised he was about the information that I told him and even more when he asked me “Where did you learn all of that?”. It was mind boggling how some people knew every sexual position in the book but didn’t know how the sperm meets the egg. As it turned out his school had not offered that class to him or at least at that point in time anyways. But then again it did make sense. I was in a pre-med program so every once in a while my science based classes would discuss the human body. But this was one program of the the many they had to offer to the 4,000 plus students that attended. My high school was also known for having a high amount of pregnancies, we even had our own nursery.
In my Junior year I took a course in AP English. My teacher gave us an assignment in which we had to pick a random article from a book and write about how the author demonstrated rhetorical strategies throughout the text. I decided to choose the article “ We Do Abortions Here: A Nurses Story” by Sallie Tisdale. This article told the daily responsibilities of a nurse at an abortion clinics and the encounters she had with the people there. I never knew much about abortion but I was very interested in knowing what the author had to say about it. This is where my whole point of view began to change. Tisdale was responsible for providing her patients with all the information they needed to know including a safe environment to have their procedures. There were the usual patients that she’d see every couple of months, the ones hopped up on drugs and sold their bodies to keep them going. After awhile these women were completely unfazed by the procedures. They signed their paperwork, listened to the doctors advice with closed ears and repeated the cycle months later. However Tisdale also had patients that were just regular everyday women or housewives The ones that went to all the town meetings and parent teacher conferences. The ones that did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and had dinner ready by 6. Before getting the procedure Tisdale often inquired why and their answers were either similar or the same. Abusive husbands who beat them senseless and didn’t want to bring a child into it, partners forcing them to get rid of their babies claiming that it’s their fault they got pregnant, or too many kids and couldn’t afford another mouth to feed. These women assessed their situations and decided to do what was best for them AND the people around them. However what broke my heart the most were the patients that didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t decide for themselves. An undeducated 16 year old rape patient carefully listened and paid attention to Tisadale as she used her plastic models to mimic the procedure. Once finished she asked “when women get so big, isn’t the baby in your stomach? Doesn’t it hatch out of an egg there?”. A 14 year old once asked if she could actually see the babies fingers and toes after the procedure was done.
Around the time I read this article, coincidentally the #metoo movement started as well. Bill Cosby and Brett Kavanaugh were front and center on all media outlets. I began thinking harder about the women who didn’t speak up and actually HAD to keep their babies. YES, children are a blessing from above, but what kind of blessing would actually come from rape? Even if it wasnt from rape, why bring a child into a terrible environment? And for the children that were taken advantage of and molested, why should they lose their childhood to raise a child of their own? These were things I never considered. These are things that people need to think about. I no longer believe that abortion is wrong.