This morning I woke up to this little news gem.
If I haven’t made my position on this issue clear, allow me to do so now. Sex education is one of the most important things we can teach our children. Abstinence only does not count as ‘education’. We are doing society a grave disservice if we do not equipe our kids with knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and the importance of respecting the choices of others in these and other areas. Your kid is going to have sex, like it or not, and you won’t get to be there when they choose their partner or their protection, if any. Wouldn’t you like to know that you’ve armed your child with all of the information they need to make an informed decision?
And speaking of information, people need to know about their options when it comes to pregnancy and having children. And there do need to be options, people. You may not like it, and it may not be for you, but abortion and adoption are viable choices for women in this country. And we need to keep it that way. Furthermore, we need to support these programs in other countries. It’s the only responsible thing to do.
Why do I feel so strongly about this issue? I had to make a choice myself in 2001. I was 21, pregnant and not with the guy, I shared a one-bedroom basement apartment with sexy AB, I drank excessively, and I worked as a part-time waitress in a Mexican restaurant and therefore had no money. I was lost in every sense of the word. My family lived across the country and at that point I wasn’t really close to any of them. Having a baby was the worst thing I could do, both for me and that baby. Now, you could argue that I should have taken the steps to clean up my life, maybe move back in with my parents, have the kid and sacrifice myself to that one mistake I made one drunken evening. You could argue that. You could also argue that people often rise to the occasion in difficult circumstances and that maybe if I had had the baby, I would have risen to the challenge and been a super mum. You could argue that too. And maybe terminating the pregnancy was a selfish decision in some people’s eyes. It certainly was in the eyes of my boss, who fired me not long after having the abortion.
Or you could argue that that was the first of many responsible decisions I made in my early twenties. It’s a decision that has shaped the course of my life. A decision that prompted me to go back to university and finish my degree, a decision that made me realize I needed to clean up my act. It was a difficult decision, but I do not regret it because at that time the only responsible thing to do was to not have the baby. And if I hadn’t made this decision, I would never have met my husband and I would never have had Budsie, my favourite little person. So I am eternally grateful that I lived in a city and province and country that provided me with options. Free ones at that.
I am tired of listening to people, particularly old, white men, rant and rave about how I’m a baby killer and that women like me do not appreciate the value of human life. I am tired of the argument that I should have taken responsiblity for my mistake, as if terminating the pregnancy was not a difficult decision that required me and women like me to take responsibility for ourselves, and to live with the results of our choices forever. I am tired of listening to anti-choicers who claim to be “pro-life” and who are all over protecting a fetus but have no interest in supporting that fetus, or it’s mother, once it becomes a baby. I am tired of having to remind people that just because they don’t want to do something, doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to stop others from doing what makes sense for them. And I am tired of a government that allows religious belief to so strongly influence the decison to fund an important organization that provides valuable information, funding and counselling services to those in need.
So today’s resolution: volunteer for a cause that is most important to me. I’m filling in my volunteer application for Planned Parenthood immediately after posting this post. And I’m asking you to stand up against those who seek to take your options away from you. And to remember that even if you never need these services, someone else definitely does.
Note: A., Budsie and I are off on vacation this weekend – woot! I’ll be back Tuesday with some nifty pictures and humormous tales from the East. Happy Pagan Bunny Day!