Saturday, June 25, 2022

Let's Talk Honestly for a Moment about Abortion

Let's have a tiny discussion about abortion. I am sure my take isn't unique, but it is real.

My grandfather and grandmother - Albert and Zela

First, I don't think this is something old white men should legislate. I mean, seriously I don't men should be allowed to tell women what to do with their own bodies. There is a time after which I don't agree with abortion (about 16 weeks), but again it isn't really my decision. As a gay man, I have even less input on this.

I nowI now that  I have shared my aunt was downs syndrome. But after my aunt's funeral service, Zela and I spoke. It was a discussion she couldn't really have with someone else.

She told me that Martha was a very late child. Back then they didn't know why kids were born with downs syndrome. But she did not want another child. The family was already struggling with money and dealing with my father (not a great teenager).

She told me that, while she never wanted to be rid of Martha the person, she would have had an abortion if she could have. Martha put a massive strain on the family. Zela blamed herself (and my grandfather a bit) because of her attention had to be focussed on Martha. She thought that was the reason my father was such an asshole. While she loved Martha, she knew that it changed her marriage to be all about Martha, because what else could you do? It blew up her and my grandfather's relationship and dynamic.

She felt guilt because the preacher at Martha's service preached to the crowd how great she was. And he said how "nowadays people would just abort the child once they found out." So she felt terrible that, knowing everything she knew and the effect on her and her loved ones lives, she would have had an abortion. 

Worse, she had tried to give herself a self-abortion. It did not work, but for years (until science caught up) she thought that Martha was down syndrome BECAUSE of her failed abortion attempt.

Abortion is a decision that a woman makes for reasons we may never know. It doesn't make those reasons less valid. And abortion isn't about "killing a child" it is about making choices long before a fertilized egg or undeveloped fetus is alive. It is a personal choice that is usually the hardest a woman will ever make. I have seen women who lost pregnancies early and it wrecks some of them.

But having a child that is unwanted may be worse for everyone involved. We (men) should just shut the fuck up and get out of the way. 

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