Yesterday was an interesting day to go on Facebook. Roe v. Wade was decided 40 years ago. A number of my friends posted links or strongly worded sentiments to convey their opinions about the ruling. Some of them, due to the manner of expression not the opinions themselves, offended me. Some of them made me curious, namely this article (fact check strongly needed), this one and, most tragically, this story, which took place along my commute to and from school. I think that the best way to not be heard would be to post another argument so, I assure you, this post is merely personal anecdote.
One day, but not today, I will write about my infertility diagnosis. We received medical help in order to achieve pregnancy. I look into my daughter’s face, I admire her small hands and feet and the healthy rolls of brown fat around her little thighs, and the idea of life without her is unfathomable. We are so lucky.
And then I think about a conversation I had with one of my physicians a little over a year ago when we were concerned about hyper-stimulation and risks of multiple gestations and what our plans would be if we conceived more than twins. Reduction of pregnancy is recommended for the safety of mother and the other fetuses.
And I think about the women I met during my OB rotation. I think about the woman who had over three previous c-sections, fallopian tubes completely inaccessible due to scarring–another pregnancy was a serious threat to her health, yet, after discussing her options, her physician helped her continue with her pregnancy without judgment. I think about the woman living in abject poverty who was pregnant less than four weeks after her last delivery; she couldn’t imagine doing it all again. She chose a dilation and curettage, and then she scheduled an appointment for the Mirena.
Abortion sucks. Everyone thinks so. This summer I briefly worked with a physician who said that the only doctor who had performed more late-term abortions than he had was dead–he too thinks abortions suck. I’m hopeful that people and systems are offering alternatives, and I hope they continue to. But reason informs me that neither their access nor their impact will improve should abortion be made illegal.
Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, I doubt very much that anything I say could sway your opinion. So, if you’re still reading, I think that the face of abortion is varied and profound, and the arguments surrounding them cannot be summarized by the extremes. Psychopaths on either side exist, and they scare the shit out of me. But neither Scott Roeder nor Dr. Kermit Gosnell is representative.
It saddens me deeply that we have, in part, stopped tolerating each other, that our arguments only serve to anger rather than challenge each other. I am, by all accounts, an open book, yet the topic of abortion has become the only taboo in some of my friendships. In my Facebook newsfeed, I feel shear rage emanating from some of the profiles. I hope you’ll let me know what I can do to improve our conversation styles, to show you respect, as I hope you’ll show me. In my humble opinion, this might be a good step in reducing abortions.