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AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Pregnant and Unhappy About It

June 22, 2006

Last week I attended the hearing on Ohio’s proposed abortion ban held by the House Health Committee. This bill, in its present form, is the strictest in the country. It would ban all abortions in our state and even make it a felony to transport a woman to another state to seek abortion care. There are no exceptions for rape, incest or to save a woman’s life or health.

The bill’s proponents dominated the six hours of testimony. Most of it consisted of scientific and theological debate on when life begins. Only a handful of witnesses told personal stories supporting and opposing the bill.

I came prepared to share women’s experiences, collected through journals that we put in the waiting rooms in the abortion clinic where I work. I left disheartened when they adjourned the hearing before I could testify. It demonstrated once again just how wide is the gap between the abortion “issue” and the abortion “experience.” Women’s lives and struggles continue to be lost in the debate.

To my unborn child: When I made the decision to let you go, it was the best for you and your sister. It was hard for me to have a baby at 16 and go to school and work. I don’t want you to have to suffer because it is not fair to you. –Journal entry by Preterm client

As an abortion provider, I see women every day who don’t identify with either the pro-choice or “pro-life” movement. They come because they’re pregnant and don’t want to be. Many come because they desperately want to be good mothers and know that, at this particular time in their lives, they can’t fulfill that promise.

Go read the rest, it has more examples of the heartbreak women go through…
AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Pregnant and Unhappy About It


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