Monday, January 22, 2007
Blogging for Choice
Today, the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, is Blog for Choice Day. On this day bloggers far and wide will be sharing why they're pro-choice. I'm sharing for the first time ever, why I'm pro-choice. And it's not easy.
When I was growing up, I didn't date much. I grew up in a small town of 1,200, and there were only 52 people in my graduating class. I rarely liked anyone, and if I had dated it would've been a bit icky--like dating a relative. As one might imagine, when I began my freshman year at Baylor (upwards of 13,000 people on campus) it was like a new world opening up! I quickly dove into the dating pool and started seeing a guy from another university not far away. I would drive out to see him a time or two every week and he knew of my inexperience. He took advantage of my inexperience and incredibly low self-esteem (this was a few months after my father died) when he coerced me into sexual acts. That is, when I made it clear that I wasn't ready, he intimidated and harassed me until I gave in. I blamed myself for years. I thought my giving in was simply weakness, but now I understand that coercion is indeed a type of sexual assault.
I was one of the lucky ones. He stopped just short of penetration. I'm sure on our campuses combined there were a staggering number of girls who were violated or similarly abused and coerced. Some may have even become pregnant as a result of the experience.
If I'd gotten pregnant and waded through the emotional wreckage, I would've had a loving, caring, supportive family to help me emotionally and financially. Many women don't have that. I would've still been able to get an education. Many women don't have that.
While I do understand that there are options other than abortion, sometimes things just aren't as black and white as we wish they were. There are variables in everyone's life that dictate the choices that they make--indeed the choices they feel they have to make. And these variables are the biggest reason why I'm pro-choice. We simply can't understand a person's life until we've lived it. We can't understand the seemingly impossible decisions until we've had to make them.
If that moment in my life had turned out differently I honestly don't know what I would've done, but I take comfort in the fact that I would've had a choice.
Listening: "Ghost in This House"...Alison Krauss & Union Station