Having had an abortion, people often ask me if I’m “pro life” or “pro choice,’ and I get it. We, as humans, want things to make sense and for overwhelming ideas to be organized. Somehow compartmentalized for stowing away and coming back to later. An attempt to make them, well……less overwhelming. Things that don’t make sense cause fear in us. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly looking to make sense of the people and world around us. (How do you think Google got so popular?
In their defense, there is so much information on the World Wide Web about abortion – and even more opinion. Combine an abundance of information with schedules busier than ever and I can only assume they ask me this so they can quickly decide if they want to keep listening.
In my own attempt to “identify” as one or the other for simplicity’s sake, I chose “pro life.” Because I am “pro” wishing my unborn child had LIFE and I am “pro” women who made difficult decisions deserving to still have LIFE, as well. The thing is….I am also “pro choice.” I am “pro” society CHOOSING to listen before they speak. I am “pro” people CHOOSING to understand these women (these, including me) instead of placing them in a category based off of data they collected themselves – most times inaccurately. I am “pro” CHOOSING to ask questions before weighing women down with condemnation, shame and guilt as if they weren’t already carrying it. People don’t make sense. People are messy.
Truth is, I’m neither “pro life” nor “pro choice.” I am “pro love.” I am “pro” loving women enough to open the lines of communication, risking pride and comfort zones, and listening twice as much as we speak. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth. Ironically, He gave us 1 heart, as well. Dare I say listening is 2 times more important than being led by our feelings?
I spent years feeling UNHEARD, yet never even tried to speak out. There were just too many voices and not enough ears. Too many voices that said, “I’m right and you’re wrong,” on both ends.
Abortion is something so shameful to me, not even my therapists heard about it. I hid it so deep, not even my nightmares relived it. Truth is, at the age of 17, I didn’t yet know what life or choice even meant. All I knew was you didn’t talk about it.