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VAGINA WARS–Episode V: The Pro-Lifers Strike Back June 21, 2010

On Sunday, I survived yet another Father’s Day –without a father.  Already turned down for a home cooked meal, I sent my dad a polite text at 9:00 AM CST “Happy’s Father’s Day!!!!”

He usually returns a text within a couple of hours.  By 3:00PM , my text message box was still empty.

Yep, jilted by text.

(UPDATE: I owe my readers a correction.  It seems my father did call to thank me for the text message.  I just neglected to check my voice mail. He said he “loved me”)

Sometimes, I feel like maybe my mother’s life would have been better had he not met this man.   Perhaps she would have went back to school had she not chose to bring me into this world.   She could have married a decent man, lived in a nice house.  My birth put her on welfare for the rest of our lives. What good was that?

Mother had a son already who was 15 years old. Three more years to go and she would have been Scott free. But she chose to have me because she felt that “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

Those were her words exactly when I asked her why didn’t she abort me.  She made the appointment but canceled at the last moment.  She chose my life over her happiness.

Her troubles began when she chose to sleep with my dad. When she chose not to take the birth control pill that day.  Those were the wrongs, she felt.  Dumb choices.   Not the baby.

In a jolt of an instant, she decided to keep me, let me live- however you want to look at it.  In 1968, abortions were performed illegally. Lots of doctors in Chicago would perform the medical procedure “under the examination table” .  Had my mother chose to go ahead with it, she would not have been met by pro-life advocates or sheltered by pro-choice advocates.

Just another young black woman,  getting on a Madison Ave. bus,  riding to the Northside.  She would give a man $300 and come back home after a couple of hours without much fanfare. On her way back to the Westside, she may have pressed her forehead against the bus window; looking at the little girls playing double-dutch rope in the alleyway; wondering if I was a girl or boy.  Or perhaps relieved that she just gave a child that never existed, the chance to escape the frustration of growing up fatherless.   Her battle was private.  The abortion would have been private.  The secret between herself, my grandmother (who gave her the money for the abortion), and “Dr. X”.

A news story on simple license plates in Massachusetts prompted me to remember my mother and her choice of life:

Teenage pregnancy has plagued the African American community  to the point of being a crisis situation. “

If you saw a suffering creature, wouldn’t you put it out of it’s misery?” asked my pro-choice friend. “Those black girls need to know that having an abortion is a lot cheaper than raising a child on welfare…Look at you and what you went through.”

“Yes, look at me,” I answered.

My face must have communicated some signs of cynicism.

“No, you are an exception,” she came back. “How many kids actually escape and get a post-grad degree? One in a million?”

“I don’t know,”  I told her. ” but I see nothing wrong with women being educated by both sides of the debate (pro-life and pro-choice).  Each side acts as though it is somehow threatened by the other…”The Vagina Wars”.

“My vagina is mine and yours is yours,”  My friend informed me.

“Right. That is why I am pro-choice. However,”  I continued.  “My mind is mine and yours is yours. When it comes to propaganda and protests, let the woman decide who to listen to- if she is a woman and not a 10th grader.”

My friend shook her head.  “See you are double talking again, ” she accused.  “You cannot take both sides of the issue.”

“Why not?” I asked.  ” I am pro-choice. Life is a choice. I would choice life but when it comes to other women, I think they should make their own choice.  Meanwhile, if a woman goes to have an abortion and gets counseled by both pro-choice advocates and pro-life advocates, I see nothing wrong with it…Or a billboard, license plates, football advertisements like Tim Tebow’s”

“That was fucked up!”  she exclaimed. ” I cannot believe that you are for that Afrocity.”

For my friend, everything about this conservation was about someone being right but what if we both were?

” Pro-life puts out an ad,” I explained. “Pro-choice puts out an ad too. Free country.”

“It is about influence and confusing girls.”

“Then influence them to practice abstinence or not get pregnant at all.  That is the mistake.”

“What about medical reasons for mom’s health?” she asked. “What about that Tebow mother who risked her life?”

“Yes, and the doctor was wrong and then pro-choices went all psycho in an attempt to discredit the Tim Tebow’s mother.”

“So you agree with the ad? How is that pro-choice?”

“What is to agree with? She continued with a pregnancy and the outcome was a great person.  What is your fear that pregnant women considering abortion may actually see it and….keep the baby?  How awful!”   I said lifting my eyebrows. “For shame.”

My friend sighed.  I was a lost conservative cause but I am pro-choice so how did that happen?

I believe that pro-choice advocates have a problem realizing that deciding to continue with a pregnancy is a choice just as terminating a pregnancy is a choice.

My mother made the choice in 1968 all on her own.  She did not see a license plate or Superbowl advertisement.  Had she aborted me, she would have paid in cash with the money my grandmother made cleaning houses. Not government money.

It was a private matter.

A private war.

And life won with the help of no one.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

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21 Responses to “VAGINA WARS–Episode V: The Pro-Lifers Strike Back”

  1. Your mother might’ve been one of the many Black girls/women that died on the operating table. Why does no one ever think about that? Tamiah Russell was 15 when abortion killed her. Deanna Bell was thirteen when they left her unattended and she ended up dying. All of this was done LEGALLY!!!!! Belinda Byrd was older and had two children when she died by another LEGAL: abortion. Does anyone care about her? Your mother might not have come out of that abortion clinic alive had she chose to abort you. So not only did she save your life, she saved her own!

    I don’t understand how anyone can call themselves conservative and be pro-choice. It would be like me being anti-gun but joining the NRA. No one gets a choice in killing an innocent human being. If you dont’ want the child put it up for adoption. I was put up for adoption, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Why is that always frowned upon? If the pro-choicers think I should’ve been offed, I really don’t care and they can sit and spin! But my son is going to set this world on fire and if the only good thing I ever did was have him then everything, all the pain, all the tears, all the screaming, EVERYTHING was worth it. I would endure the rape at eight all over again just to have him. I would endure the mental institutions, the loss of my father, the restraints, the hatred, everything, just to have him. Because the only good thing I ever gave him was my heart, and he has taken that and run with it. He is an amazing child and anyone who thinks he is not can kiss my black…you know what!

    I am sorry I am sick of this “Well they are Black and on welfare so their children deserve to die!” For anyone who thinks that you can go to…oh let’s use Hades…and rot there! Do I hate welfare? With a passion! But I will not allow those on it to be executed! I am sick of people finding excuses to kill Black people! I am sick of people killing babies because it is easier for them! It is not right! It is not moral! And I don’t give a rat’s behind about anyone’s CHOICE

    • afrocity Says:

      “I don’t understand how anyone can call themselves conservative and be pro-choice.”

      Dena and I cannot understand why a woman would want someone particularly the federal courts to make decisions about what she does with her body or force someone to deal with a pregnancy that they do not want to go through with.

      Abortions are always going to take place. Legal or not. Some women will die from them legal or not- just like child birth there are risks.
      I believe that pro-lifers would be more effective if they concentrated on preventing unwanted pregnancies than fighting abortions. Roe v. Wade will never be overturned.

      For me it is not about morals, it is about privacy and government interference.
      You can’t be for the death penalty but pro-life. How does that make sense? Or pro-chose yet anti-death penalty.
      I am pro-choice and pro-death penalty.
      Do I think a child is living at conception? Yes. The pro-choicers are full of shit on this one. Of course it is a mass of living cells. So it is a life. Why Pro-choice advocates say it is not is beyond me.
      Also there should be consistency. How can a man be sent to prison for killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child when abortion is legal? So the life of the fetus counts only when it is “murdered” only by someone other than an abortionist?
      Am I pro-choice? Yes.
      Would I ever have an abortion? Most likely not unless my life was in danger.

      But there is bullshit in between from both sides.

      • Holly Says:

        I will say that I am pro-life and pro-death penalty.

        My reasoning for being pro-death penalty is that if an individual, of his or her own volition, took a life or multiple lives, and his peers, in our system of justice, has found his or her crimes to be so heinous against society that the death penalty is warranted, I am for it in the most serious of crimes. The individual chose to kill, chose to disobey the law, disrespect life, civility, and humanity, while the child has perfomed none of the above acts. Does that make sense? I welcome your opinion.

        “How can a man be sent to prison for killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child when abortion is legal? So the life of the fetus counts only when it is “murdered” only by someone other than an abortionist?” Exactly!

  2. afrocity Says:

    Pro-choice means:

    Pro-choice describes the political and ethical view that a woman should have control over her fertility and the choice to continue or terminate a pregnancy. This entails the guarantee of reproductive rights, which includes access to sexual education; access to safe and legal abortion, contraception, and fertility treatments; and legal protection from forced abortion. Individuals and organizations who support these positions make up the pro-choice movement.

    On the issue of abortion, pro-choice campaigners are opposed by pro-life campaigners who generally argue in terms of fetal rights rather than reproductive rights.

    Thanks wiki.

    My mother who was pro-choice by the way- chose life.
    Concentrate on getting the women to chose life instead of attacking the law because it will never be overturned.

    Concentrate on getting parents involved in the process.
    Some pro-choice groups are into stripping parental rights (consent) which is something I do not agree with.

    If I had a 15 year old and she got pregnant, I would want to know about it. If she wanted to keep the child, I would go over the responsibilities and explain how I would help but also how it would impact her future. If she wanted to have an abortion, I would discuss the moral issues along with the health risks, guilt etc. and alternative options such as adoption. If she asked what I felt I would say it is not my choice but I would advise to put the child up for adoption.
    I would attempt to involve the father as well.

    The embarrassment of a teen pregnancy can be remedied by a “trip away” in Paris, London, Jackson, Mississippi- where ever and come home after baby is born- no one will know.

  3. yttik Says:

    Well done, Afrocity. You are not alone, there are thousands of us who refuse to join in this debate as if it were a simple case of picking sides. There are far too many shades of gray to try and treat this as a cut and dry issue.

    On the pro-choice side of my criticism, abortion is a pretty damn sad “right” to have. I’m not dancing in the street over it because it’s the result of an unwanted pregnancy. That means a woman’s body was violated, not respected enough. Either she didn’t believe in herself enough to take precautions or some guy didn’t respect her enough, or likely both. Either way, that’s a crime right there. An unwanted pregnancy is a violation of a woman’s body. The right to an abortion doesn’t make it all better or change the root of the problem.

    On the pro-life side of my criticism, they don’t think this through. What is the plan involved in banning abortion? To put women who have abortions in jail? Are you going to do that to 12 yr old rape victims who self abort? Do pro-life people really believe they are so without sin, they have the right to cast the first stone and sit in judgment of every girl or woman and her individual circumstances?

    If prolife was only a philosophy and a spirit and intent we wanted to see spread across the nation, I’d be marching right along with them. And if pro-choice included things like someone’s choice to be abstinent or somebody’s choice to raise a child, as well as a recognition that the problem is the fact that women’s bodies are disrespected, I might march with them too.

    As it stands today, I march with nobody.

  4. Holly Says:

    Afrocity,

    Through this means, you and I have discussed abortion before and I do respect how you explain your position on the issue.

    As someone who is pro-life, I do understand the pro-choice argument about preventing the Federal government from entering the womb, so to speak, but as an individual I feel the responsibility to talk responsibly and respectfully about protecting the rights of all individuals, especially a child in the womb.

    The problem seems to be that we have this conversation once the girl is already pregnant, when we should be having this conversation before the pregnancies even occur. Our society sensationalizes sex and sells it to an audience of children, rather than promoting sex as something that it really is: an adult activity with serious consequences. In this debate, we don’t discuss sex, we don’t discuss parenting, we don’t discuss education, prevention, responsibilities, childhood, the links of breast cancer and abortion, anything. Society has completely disregard everything before the pregnancy, which is the main conversation to be had, and instead focus on that now that she is pregnant that this is where the fight between choice and life begins.

    We as a society also need to discuss the breakdown of abortions along race and ethnicity and why rates are so high among minorities in comparison to the majority. If blacks make up 13-percent of the population, but make up 37-percent of all abortions, why? If we only focus on “rights” but never ask why this is occuring, I don’t think anything will be solved.

    For people who are pro-choice, the girl had multiple choices before she even became pregnant and how do we address those choices? For those who are pro-life, we need to focus on the child in the womb, but also on building up the family because when one looks at the breakdown of society, it historically begins with the breakdown of the family.

    As I said, I respect what you have to say and I believe that there is a lot of common ground to build upon.

    • afrocity Says:

      Holly you have always been respectful of my pro-choice stance. I respect you as a pro-life advocate and I agree 100% with what you said about prevention. I think in that area we can do the most work. If you don;t want to have to make the choice then choose abstinence or take precautions during sex so that you don’t get pregnant. Make him wear a condom and take the pill and do it only on your non-fertile days. Geeze it is not rocket science. My mom skipped pills that is how she got me.

      • Holly Says:

        I agree, this is not rocket science. Have sex (hopefully protected sex), deal with the consequences-not ready for the consequences, don’t have sex. What is truly sad is that our popular society belittles people who practice abstinence.

        In my opinion, the pro-choice leadership creates an image of victimhood for the girls and demands sympathy for the plight of pregnancy. I’m sorry, but we all know how one becomes pregnant and I hate to see a young girl get pregnant, because childhood is short enough already, but to make the baby the problem rather than her poor choices the problem is really absurd. I’m not saying to berate a 16 year old girl for her choices, but if we as society, as families, counselors, and individuals do not have that conversation, the pattern of behavior will continue. We need to promote a responsible individual.

        I think you would really like Tammy Bruce on this issue because she is Conservative and pro-choice, but does not think that one should be proud of having an abortion. In some of her speeches she speaks of shame being re-introduced because if the girl has had an abortion, we have failed to prevent it.

        This is just one of her appearances and to the right panel is a three hour interview I watched that you can watch if you have time.
        http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6225208845438591670#

  5. armywife Says:

    Afrocity,

    Glad your dad called you to tell you he loved you!

    My daughter is 13. She wears her “purity” ring, she gets insulted by wearing it, mind you, she goes to a Christian School. She is told, and I have been told by other parents, that it is not “normal” for a girl to wait until she is married to have sex. My personal favorite statement to me was “what if she isn’t satisfied with her husband and sex?” Really??? My first experience was by rape, and each one after has been with my husband, I can’t imagine not being “satisfied” by my husband, why would I??? My daughter has had boys tell her they wouldn’t even consider dating her because of her ring. My husband and I have told her “GOD gives you one gift, and that gift was given to you to give to your husband”. I may be wrong in this statement, but I don’t think so, We have been telling her about how special love is, we have told her how when a boy gives you such a silly statement that he won’t date you because you prefer to wait, he is not worth your time. If a boy should ever tell you “If you loved me you would” you are tell him right back “If you loved me you would wait”. Am I alone in having this conversation with my daughter? We have told her that if she ever changes this position, then she needs to get on some kind of birth control (even though my husband and I don’t believe in it at all). I am trying to keep her safe, pure and informed? Somedays I honestly feel as if I am some kind of crazy parent that there are not others like me.

    On the issue of Pro-Life v Pro-Choice, why is that father not part of this conversation? Why does he have no Choice in the matter unless the mother decides to keep the baby? What if the dad wants to raise the baby, why can’t he have that Choice? Yes more questions with no real answer. And yes I am Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty, never really thought about the controdiction, but I agree with Holly about the why of it!

    Have a great day!

    • afrocity Says:

      Army Wife,

      I was a virgin until I was 27. Tell your daughter to keep doing what she is doing. The right person will come along someday.

  6. Tiny Says:

    I applaud you Armywife. I applaud you.

    Pro-life=Protecting innocent life.

    Pro-death penalty=Terminating convicted takers of life.

  7. Greg Durden Says:

    Funny how they say “it’s my vagina, not yours”…until its time to pay money for how they misused THEIR vagina – then it becomes every taxpayers!

  8. Tiny Says:

    Good point, Greg!!

  9. liontooth Says:

    “Do I think a child is living at conception? Yes. The pro-choicers are full of shit on this one. ”

    I don’t. I think that the potential to develop into a child is present at conception, but there isn’t an actual person present. There is no brain, no consciousness only the possibility for those things to eventually develop.

  10. Tiny Says:

    Liontooth,
    So at what point does a fetus become a child or a living being in your estimation?

  11. Tiny Says:

    Liontooth,
    And when does that happen and how would we know?

  12. Tiny Says:

    Liontooth,
    This seems sketchy to me. How would be able to pinpoint when the fetus becomes a “person?” You could’nt. It would be a guessing game.

  13. shari Says:

    Religious people believe in not murdering. Killing/war is different. God was not a hippie or pacifist. So there is no disconnect with Pro LIfe/Pro Death penalty. I just think we need to make sure these killers are indeed guilty. Would be tragic to execute an innocent man.

  14. First off I will say that I am pro-life. Now that that is out of the way, I have noticed that too many times the issue with people that are pro-choice is that they only recognize one choice and that is the one to abort. I’m not saying everyone is like that. Afrocity isn’t and I have pro-choice friends that are also on the same page, while they feel that the choice should be there would not chose to abortion. One of my friends said if he ever found out a girl was pregnant would never try to abort his child, and even if the girl did not want the kid he would raise the child as a single parent. He also didn’t like the idea that is was only the woman’s choice and since the child was both of theirs he didn’t like the idea that a woman could abort his child without his say so. It made sense to me. Honestly I don’t want kids but if I found out I was going to have one I would do the right thing and be a father, and I would be very angry if someone killed my kid.

    Personally I don’t agree with abortion because I believe the child (or fetus) has rights and to abort them would be taking away their rights without due process. Now that I brought up rights, does the mother have rights? Yes she has rights however I don’t think her rights trump the rights of others. She made the choice to get pregnant in most cases and she needs to deal with the consequences (the man involved too by the way). The reason I say in most cases is because a little over 93% of all abortions have nothing to do with rape, incest or health. Slightly less than 6% (it’s like 5.7 or 5.8 so I just round up) are due to health reason and in this case the choice is you either abort and lose both or save one since you most likely can’t save both, it’s a hard choice but you can’t solve every problem perfectly. Now abortions due to rape or incest are less than 1% of all abortions performed (once again rounding up). In this case it’s a moral dilemma, is taking the life of an innocent child because of the crimes of someone else OK? That could be debated for years without any perfect answer.

    One of the things people don’t think about is adoption. It is almost impossible to adopt a child in the US that is 15 months old or younger because the waiting list is long and the demand is so high (this includes babies with medical problems), so people adopt from overseas something that can cost a lot of time and money. If you adopt from China often times have to live in China for up to three months (it gets expensive living in a hotel that long) while you are waiting to adopt. Even other places it is still expensive, I think the average overseas adoption run you about $30,000. I have owned 6 cars in my life and they didn’t add up to that (I’m also cheep but that isn’t the point). The reason people pay that much is because they have too because there are not enough babies for couples that want to adopt. Now I can’t tell you is every child was adopted instead of aborted it wouldn’t make more babies than couple trying to adopt but we can’t overlook the fact a lot of people want to adopt children.

    A part of the problem with the debate other than pro-choice looking like it is really only “get an abortion” and not about a real choice is the fact that people always bring up the incest or rape and the health thing when 93% of all abortions have nothing to do with either. The problem is that some (not all) pro-choice advocates only want to talk about the 7% and ignore the 93%. They refuse to debate if the 93% is morally fine and when they do they bring up pregnant 15 year old kids. OK 15 year old kids should not be having sex and if they are we need to worry a lot more about getting that to stop than making sure they can legally get an abortion. The sad thing is that (this is what I see and might not be correct) is that the same people who want to keep abortion legal are the same people who make fun of abstinence programs. It just looks like they are saying we need to keep abortion legal so pregnant 15 year olds can do it but it’s wrong to tell a 15 year old not to have sex. It’s either cognitive dissonance or we are trying to divide by zero either way it doesn’t make sense to me.

    Afrocity, someday I will stop writing comments on your blog that are longer than the original post. Someday…


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