Table of Contents
TW/CW: rape and miscarriage.
I think it’s time to be honest.
Disclaimer: If you don’t want to read an opinion on the overturning of Roe v Wade today, go ahead and pass on this post. Save it for later, or don’t–whatever you need is okay.
But if you can read it, take a deep breath first. I certainly am. I did a meditation and body scan after reading the news, and it was just what I needed. I kept a hand on my heart, and another on my belly—two things I do not typically do—to offer comfort to those places that have been beaten up these past few weeks. The SBC scandal and the Roe v Wade leak broke in the same week last month, and I wrote about the first here. Now, I will write about the other.
How I Grew Up
I grew up in the South, in the Bible belt, in the SBC. I grew up believing certain things about life and death, and for the tiny dash in between those dates carved into stone. I grew up always a little politically-minded, a little liberal. I grew up reading Time and Newsweek, every week, for my entire high school career. I grew up as a “good girl,” at least when I kept quiet and didn’t voice my opinions.
But I’ve now grown up and out of those areas, expanding my view of God, of politics, of policies, but most of all, perhaps, of life. Of that tiny dash I calculated and defined so narrowly.
So as I hear the news of a constitutional right being overturned, I react differently than I might’ve growing up. My body shakes with energy and feelings I know I need to name, and so I hold them gently and turn to this page. A friend calls hers “overwhelming empathy,” and I say, “me too.”
How about you?
I am not pro-life, as most define it. Here’s why.
Mostly, I feel the need to be honest here. To speak up. Regarding the SBC scandal, I’ve written to a few friends and encouraged them to name their anger. Today, writing this, is a practice of naming my fears, my growth, my stubborn grip on life not as a narrowly defined, protected without care kind of thing, but as an expansive, unconfined, worth every ounce of care not from conception-only, but from spark of define energy onward. From “let there be light” to “they will not need light, for God will be their light,” and every single breath in between.
Life is not from point a to point b. It’s a circular thing. Talking about conception as a protection not to be altered for anything is like asking, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
A pro-life stance that does not bend beyond making sure a fetus remains intact disregards the one in whom that womb exists. And is, therefore, not pro-life at all, but pro-conception, pro-birth, and, most of all, pro-control.
My first thought as I scanned the headlines was actually a startling one, unexpected: “If I were to be raped, I would want a choice to not have that baby.” It’s the first time I’ve allowed myself to say something like that, as someone who never even allowed that thought to enter my head before. I remember even just a few years ago, when my now-husband and I discussed our politics while dating, we both were pro-choice, but very distinctly distanced ourselves from the situation. “Just because we wouldn’t choose it, doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t be able to.”
I sent this thought to my husband, and he reminds me that in the state we recently moved from not only would deny my right to choose that, but they could give the rapist family the ability to sue my doctor or friends for assisting in me having the abortion, if I obtain one. Can you imagine? It fills me with fear.
And this is not a time to say, “God would help you overcome that, if it even happened to you.” First, you push off the reality that many face—a reality that often means quitting school, major depression, suicide, and little to zero government help to be offered. You distance yourself, just like we used to.
How This Hits Home for Me
I’m not distancing myself from it any more. Just like none of us should distance ourselves from gun violence or systemic racism or LGBTQ+ rights (the latter of which are now scarily close to being revoked as well). This is what being honest means: deleting us and them from the equation, and owning up to our rights and autonomy as well as the same rights and autonomy for others.
Because the reality beyond that thought is this: two people in my family have had miscarriages that had to be ended in abortions. They might argue that both cases were surgically necessary, and they wouldn’t be wrong, but the way that gets filed into insurance right now—private and protected medical information, a right Texas already seeks to deny by allowing bystanders to blow the whistle and receive money for doing so—is “abortion.” Spontaneous, medically necessary abortion.
These two people are close enough to me that I might be in the same boat one day, if I decided to seek pregnancy with my husband. A doctor could be forced to refuse care to me if it required an abortion. My life could be at risk. In fact, any persons life is at risk if they are pregnant. Pregnancy is never easy, no matter what. The entire body changes and adapts to fit another person inside of it. The list of possible complications is endless. The cost is enormous and barely touched by insurance, before, during, and after. Postpartum is not granted the care that it deserves—paid leave is scant at best, not an option at worst, people fall through the cracks for accurate and quick care for postpartum depression and anxiety… I could go on and on and on. I could tell stories that would make your blood boil.
Or at least I hope they would.
But if not, may this post be the start for you. The start of understanding, of honesty, of an open heart that life could be more than you’ve defined it before, too.
For me, it’s a continued effort to be honest, both that I have narrowly defined life and what that means before, too, and that a former definition can definitely be outgrown.
Or, as I put it in my Instagram stories this weekend:
Writing is my resistance.