This Is about Abortion and I Use a Couple Bad Words

Caveat: I know this is an inflammatory issue. If you disagree with me on the subject of Roe v. Wade, write your own blog post. 


One sentence I’ve never heard and will never hear (except possibly as a joke) is this one, “Martha, congratulations. You’re going to have a baby.”

If I had heard that at any time in my life, I would not have greeted it with, “Oh, thank you doctor (or little plastic and paper tool). I’m so happy!” I don’t know how I would have taken it. I like dogs. I like freedom. I liked working. I like privacy. None of my spouses really worked out. I dunno. A baby is something I  never, ever, ever wanted, not even during my “Hello world, I’m a little girl busy pretending and trying on future lives.” Nope, not even then.

Yesterday I watched Kellyanne Conway talk about feminism at CPAC. I am bewildered at how she has had such a successful career when she seems to me to be a complete blithering idiot, but she’s cute, petite, blonde and perhaps, uh, she looks good on her knees. I don’t know. The interviewer asked her about her success, and Kellyanne said straight out that she’d been, essentially, lucky. Luck has a lot to do with success, I think.

She said that the definition of feminist is someone who “hates men and loves abortion.” This is what she said; today it has been changed to “very pro-abortion.” Whatever.

No one on this earth is FOR abortion. It’s crazy to me how something so obvious eludes all the people who don’t want to see it. Even the most ardent “pro-choice” maven KNOWS what abortion is. It is the destruction of potential human life. That thing is a baby. Duh. This is why no one is “pro” abortion. That stance runs absolutely against the first imperative of all living things; mate and spawn.

But… Should someone have the right to choose what to do with a human life they cannot care for? Absolutely. In my mind, that is respect for life.

Back in high school I was compelled to endure Johnathon Swift’s brilliant essay, “A Modest Proposal.” Perhaps because I’d spent my childhood not practicing being mommy but imagining I was Cleopatra, I could imagine the world about which he wrote. It helped a lot when I saw engravings of the streets of London, Dublin, etc. on which drunken, displaced, impoverished grownups lay, bottles of gin all around them, their children ignored, abused, forgotten. One way this problem was addressed was by picking up the children from the streets and selling them as slaves on plantations in the New World. Most of them died, some of them became Americans. Then there was rounding them all up and shipping them to ‘stralia. On those long voyages, many died, but who cared? They were not quite people, were they?

What if?

I’m old enough to remember the time before Roe v. Wade. There were articles in magazines such as Look, Life and Time (with photos) about illegal abortions taking place in Tijuana or Juarez. Those were good abortions compared to those happening in back alleys with coat hangers. Coat hangers today are mostly plastic, but when I was young they were wire and we (seriously) used to joke when we saw one lying in a gutter about how maybe someone had had an abortion. Don’t touch it.

The thing is, desperate girls and women did. Not women using “abortion for birth control” (oh please) but women in circumstances they could not fathom, in which a child should not be born. I thought at the time that no woman who’d stick a coat hanger up her pussy should ever have a child, and, after that, if she lived, she probably couldn’t.

I consider the abortion question to be a ‘non-issue’ one of those distractions from things like a war in which we’re involved and in which thousands of actual living, breathing, useful, viable human beings are killed. Not potential life, but actual walking-around-on-the-planet life, young people, in one of life’s shining moments, dead. But, it seems, that for certain groups of conservatives (and liberals?) war is OK, a necessary evil, abortion is wrong. One could consider war to be “retroactive abortion.”

In my mind, that problem of abortion has been solved. But that’s just my mind. I know there are people who are willing to kill and/or die to stop others (that they do not even know) from performing or having abortions. I might find this absurd but what control do I have over what they think? None.

Would I have had an abortion if the doctor had ever said to me, “Congratulations! You’re going to have a baby!” No, I would not. I knew that I didn’t want a baby, and I took a lot of care throughout my childbearing years to be sure I would not have a baby because I knew if I did, I would have to raise it, love it, nurture it, teach it and basically endure its presence for the rest of my life. I did not want that job. Most women do just as I did. We KNOW abortion is not “birth control.”

But I’ve had friends who found themselves against that terrible wall. It’s a grueling, horrible decision to have to make, and one that no one ever forgets. Yes, it is possible to give birth and offer the child to someone else to raise, to adopt, but that, also, is a painful, grueling, horrible decision. Comments like those of Kellyanne Conway are, in my mind, beyond stupid. They are inhuman, judgmental, and illogical.

“… it’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in the classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male, and it certainly is very pro-abortion in this context. And I’m neither anti-male and pro-abortion,” Conway said.

And yet the conservative right would take away from women a choice that women in the past fought hard to have the right to make. “Love abortion?” I don’t think so, you stupid twat. As for feminism?

I, also, never saw myself as a feminist. Perhaps I still don’t. But the real definition of the term is not “hating men and loving abortion.” It’s “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” I do believe in that, even as I acknowledge the obstacles presented by biology.


22 thoughts on “This Is about Abortion and I Use a Couple Bad Words

  1. I missed that comment by Clownway, just one of many abhorrent comments from this bitch on wheels. I am on roll having just witnessed the speech at the CPAC by Hit…Trump.

  2. I remember before we had “real” contraceptives. When we had “sponges” and other “stuff” that could work, but didn’t always. It was an ugly time. Many of my friends had abortions because they wanted to go to college and have a life and they were not willing to give it all up, no matter how awful it was. Abortion was not and is not ever a “happy choice.” It’s what’s left when you run out of choices. Good piece. Painful, but good.

    • Well, you know, you weren’t supposed to “do it” without the sanctification of marriage etc. ad nauseum. Absolutely right; abortion is when a woman runs out of choices. But then I got thrown out of a college in 1972 for writing an article saying the college health services should both educate girls about birth control and provide it. Underneath everything is the biological imperative that we are supposed to fulfill our biological destiny. Unbelievable that is still an issue in an overpopulated world in which children starve, die of neglect and are shot on the battlefield. Grrrrrrrr….

  3. I am glad you wrote this. I have never been one to get excited about babies. Puppies? Kittens? Oh, my –can I hold them? Babies. No thanks. Not a flaw. Just me. And, obviously a lot of other woman, also.

    • I have realized that some people actually regard women like us as a “threat to the family.” As long as we’re an animal species, there is no “threat to the family.” 🙂

  4. I was a single woman who chose to have my child. She’s always known that I had options and I exercised mine to have her. I will not stand by and allow anyone to legislate my daughter out of the right to make a thoughtful, educated decision for herself. I sympathize with women who regret their decisions. We all make regretful choices in our lifetimes. That does not give us the right to enact laws to prevent others from making their own choices. 😉 xoM

    • Beautifully expressed! I would have done exactly the same if I’d been in your situation, Margarita. ❤

      It's true what you say about "regretful choices." I've made some horrific ones, but some of them that looked craziest to people on the outside were absolutely necessary for my life to follow its proper course. We really cannot know about the destinies of other people.

  5. I’ve seen situations where another mouth to feed would bring down the whole family. There’s a single mother in my community that has 8 children–all on welfare–and she defends her decision to bring these children into a life of poverty. I know this because I help with their Christmas. I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for abortions, but I don’t want to pay for children brought into a life of poverty by a broodmare mentality either. To demand women have unwanted children, and then demand that the taxpayer help them raise the unwanted children is just crazy.
    It takes two to tango, but the decision must be the woman’s; it’s too easy for guys to skate out.
    There’s something that’s bothering me, and it’s not abortion. It’s this idea of throw-away people. The idea that people can be used for monetary gain or self-gratification and thrown away like so much ass-wipe paper. I’m thinking about the two little girls from Indiana who went for a hike and were killed by a predator. I’m thinking of the 12 year old boy who was kept locked up by his mother for years and weighed 40 pounds when he was found. God help us.

    • I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago and security at Trump Tower. That fucker is a billionaire. I’m a little lady in the middle of nowhere on a fixed income. 🙂

      Personally, I think every couple should have two kids, no more. You see how much power my opinion has on the decisions others make! 🙂 I also think no child should be unloved, mistreated, abused, neglected, murdered… Some people are just twisted, mean assholes.

  6. Agree with everything you say about feminism as well as abortion (although I did once know someone who’d had four abortions because she didn’t like using contraception). What I don’t like is the popular argument that a woman should have the right to choose ‘because it’s her body’. If she’s pregnant, it’s not just her body anymore. She’s sharing it. This might not make any difference to her final decision, but there’s a lot more involved here than ‘my body’.

    • I agree and, honestly, I think most women understand that and see it that way. I don’t think the language used for this topic is very good or very clear. I don’t think it’s “Pro-life” because that implies the opposite is “pro-death” which is not just illogical but redundant (ha ha). I think the real point is not that it’s the woman’s body and she should have a right to do what she wants; I don’t even think that’s the issue. I think it’s that there’s nobody better able to make that decision than the child’s future mom.

      I think many (normal, not like your friend 🙂 ) people who find themselves having to make this decision are thinking about the kind of life they’d have to offer their child.

      Even though I never wanted kids, if I’d gotten pregnant I’d have had the baby and loved it because there would have been no objective reason for me not to — even if I could legally have an abortion, I wouldn’t. That’s still the most common “choice” made by women. The choice thing seems to go right over the heads of the “pro-life” people. It’s so weird to me.

      And, the “pro-lifers” ignore the fact that the number of abortions has decreased steadily since abortion was legalized. Better birth control, better education, all those things affect it AND out of the total, at least 1/3 are medically mandated abortions.

      I think it’s just a non-issue, except for the person who finds herself having to make that decision.

      • Again, totally agree (and she wasn’t a friend, fortunately). I think the bottom line for me with people like the pro-lifers is that it’s a form of arrogance to demand that other people conform to your beliefs. Might try a post on the subject 🙂

      • I agree — how can they know what another person is dealing with? And, yeah, total arrogance, as if another person wouldn’t have the same conscience and ethical center — or even one more demanding! I was afraid of writing this and that’s why I did it. I realized I was afraid to broach such an inflammatory topic. That’s given me a lot of pause for thought…

      • More demanding – or possibly just different. But who has the right to judge whose conscience and ethical centre is right and whose is wrong. They would probably say ‘god’, suggesting they have a hotline the rest of us don’t. More arrogance in my opinion. (But is my opinion on this more valid than their either?)

      • I don’t think all opinions are equal. Opinions based in rationality are superior to those based in superstition and faith. I think a person has every right to direct his/her own life based on superstition and faith, but no one else’s. When it comes to abortion, there is a very rational argument that women who desperately want it will find it, legal or not, and that’s dangerous. And there’s the rational argument that MOST women do not seek abortions. It’s a comparatively rare event. Anyway, you and I are not going to make this tempest in a teapot go away…

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