Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"The pain was agonizing"

Salon has a piece by an anonymous 34-year-old writer (who's "wanted children ever since (she) can remember") describing her abortion experience and attempting to argue that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty shouldn't have declared April to be Abortion Recovery Month because she had an abortion.
I quickly learned that getting unintentionally knocked up at my age, and being friends mostly with women my age who are new mothers, expectant mothers, or, like me, single and struggling with baby lust, makes me, and my pain, largely untouchable. The two new and expectant mothers I told pushed prenatal vitamins. The two single and childless ones were as I imagine smokers to be around cancer patients, avoiding physical and emotional contact. If I don't acknowledge this, it won't happen to me.

Eventually, I called the baby's father. He drove to town from his home out of state. He was ready to move in with me, get a steady job, co-parent, be the best kind of friends that we are since, according to him, "marriage never works anyway." He's divorced. "Maybe this is the excuse I needed to settle down, stop living like a nomad," he said. It was not the response I'd predicted. But I didn't want to to be his "excuse" for a major life change. That wouldn't work for me.....

The procedure was excruciating and scary. The pixie of a doctor's aid gave me an IV with a concoction of painkillers, a gas mask and earphones -- the procedure is also torturously loud. And then the procedure, which felt like it lasted forever, but I'm told lasted only five minutes. Even with the drugs and the gas the pain was agonizing.....

Then it was Wednesday. I woke up feeling damaged, empty, scared, guilty and in pain. The terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" were emanating from the TV screen. They sounded reductive, glaringly inadequate. The word "abortion," fraught with shame and accusation, was being bandied about for pieces of political theater. The words "baby killer" were omnipresent, too. Although I didn't feel like a baby killer, like I'd killed my baby, I did feel partially dead.

1 comment:

  1. So much there that I had to blog on it myself.

    Evidently, part of being prochoice is embracing the idea that misery loves company, and you should spread the abortion misery to as many wretched, ill-informed woman as possible in order to show how you're not politically or morally motivated.