Sad Days Ahead

***I normally don’t get crazy political…but I believe this is an issue that needs to be talked about. So I’m going to do it, and I hope if you disagree with my stance, you can join in this discussion with respect for everyone involved.

And so it begins. South Dakota lawmakers are challenging Roe V. Wade head on. They have voted to outlaw nearly all abortions. I can’t believe I just typed that. What year is this???

I wish I were surprised. But with the new Justices on our high court and our conservative White House, nothing shocks me anymore.

I am a mother of two beautiful children. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a sister. I am a daughter.

I have had an abortion.

I am not ashamed. I do not have any regrets. And I will tell you it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Not many days go by that I don’t think about it. And in that same thought, I thank God, Goddess, and everything in this world that I had the OPTION to make that decision.

Today, in a Starbuck’s parking lot, I saw a 20-something man get into his car that was riddled with Anti-Choice stickers. I wanted to hit him. I wanted to ram my car into his and smack him in his smug, conservative face. He smiled at me because I was with my baby. He gave me that “awww, what a cute baby, now aren’t you glad you didn’t abort her?” look. This 20-year old boy knows nothing of my uterus. Knows nothing of the choices I faced. It’s not his decision. Or my government’s. It’s mine.

I once saw a political cartoon of a woman in stirrups. She was spread apart, on her back, feet in the air. Peering into her vagina was her doctor. Behind her doctor was her preacher. Behind her preacher was her congressman. Behind her congressman was her president. You tell me, did all those men belong there?

I’m ready to march. I’m ready to head to DC. This is a fight and a right and I will make sure my voice is heard. I will pack up my kids and hold signs on Capitol Hill. Every woman needs to make her voice heard on this issue. We will not go back.


  1. Can’t agree more. Nothing pained me more than last year finding out that my husband’s 18 year old sister was anti-choice. I was stunned and saddened. All women should be able to safely have an abortion if they so choose. I would much rather have safe clinics, than desperate girls and women, trying to “fix” things with a coat hanger.

  2. Well said! Bravo, Erin!

    There is NOTHING more infuriating to me than to see a MAN with those bumper stickers on his car!! Like, who the F*CK are you to be anti-choice?? Better yet, if you’re so against abortion pal, don’t get a woman pregnant. Fucktards, all of them!!

    OOOOooo you touched a NERVE with me.

    If you march, I will GLADLY join you, girlfriend. Seriously.

    This is what we get now that Shrub got the Supreme court fixed in his favor. The religious right wingnuts are going to preach to us now… Did I say fucktards?

  3. Well, how do you really feel?

    HA! Couldn’t resist!

    I come from a completely different viewpoint, but oddly enough I think we land on the same page (we just get there from different directions).

    My first baby died while I was pregnant. It is the most painful thing (emotionally) I’ve ever endured. They died at the gestational period when the most abortions occur. So, if you’re sitting with me and having coffee and want to discuss the value of life before birth … I’m going to disagree with a lot of women. Yet, I don’t feel the need to put it on a bumper sticker! That’s how I feel … me. I don’t expect everyone to understand it or agree with it.

    Having said that … I also have held the baby of a mother who is HIV positive, found out she was pregnant and could not afford an abortion. She had this overwhelming guilt about her baby’s future and HIV. She drank excessively, threw herself down a hill … you name it … anything she could think of to end the pregnancy. She felt cornered. She had no support. The baby survived the pregnancy, but not without long term effects. Now the mother has added emotional trauma … but there’s no free counseling for her.

    Laws are not going to stop desperation or circumstances. I’m a Christian that isn’t afraid to admit that. I base my decisions on my faith and my relationship with my God. Yet, I don’t expect the entire country to do the same thing.

    Hope I’m not quite all the way in the f*tard category! 🙂

  4. A couple weeks ago I was leaving school, with my “almost 7 year old” when we saw a so called pro-life AIRPLANE flying overhead. It had a lovely picture of a fetus. When Justin asked about it I wasn’t sure what to say. I am not ready to try to explain abortion to my children at this point…

  5. I also lost an early pregnancy. I’ve never had an abortion. I will most likely never have one in the future. I am 100% pro-choice.

  6. Never had an abortion, love kids, and like Sarah will probably never have one and yet… 100% support pro-choice. I cannot even fathom going backwards in today’s society like this! What are we coming to when we begin regressing? What’s next (and I’m preemptively stating this is not what i equate abortion with, just stating other horrid things that could regress!!)Prohibition? Slavery? Turning back women’s Sufferage? I think this world has a lot of problems but I don’t think we’re solving any of them by taking away choices!

  7. Bravo!

    This is a sore subject for me. I’ve had an abortion, too. It was the best choice for ALL involved at the time. I’m soooooo sick of the damn government and religious zealots sticking their noses in my uterus! What’s next? The zealots will want to start mandatory sterilization? Geez!!!

  8. I believe that women have a right to choose yes, but that choice shouldn’t be taken lightly. A life is a life, no matter what the stage. I prefer putting the child up for adoption etc. Plus age is no determinant of intelligence. I’m smarter than many adults.

  9. I don’t think I would ever have an “optional ” abortion, and I believe there is life before birth…

    That being said, I am also tired of arrogant men telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. I have 4 year old twin boys, boys I love dearly and with all my heart…but when they were conceived they were actually part of a set of triplets, and I underwent a selective reduction. Even as twins my boys arrived 2 months early and were quite ill, and it makes me sick that some women in the same situation have to FIGHT to undergo something like this that is already so painful. Yes, women deserve a right to chose even if I don’t agree with some of their choices.

    I am not sure what catagory that puts me in…maybe I don’t fit in anywhere…but that’s my public heartbreak.

  10. I might just be moved to march as well in this case.

    I think the government doesn’t have any right to a woman’s body. I fully support a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding a pregnancy.

    While I never had an abortion, I know several women who have. And contrary to what the right-wing zealots would have people believe, those women put a lot of thought into what they were doing, and did not make the choice lightly.

    I honestly don’t think there are women running around having unprotected sex wildly and getting abortions every other month. It’s not a procedure anyone ever wants to have done, but it is there for those who need it, and the government has no right to decide who needs it and who doesn’t.

    When I was pregnant we ran into some anti-abortion activists across the street from a John Kerry rally (you know, the ones with the giant photos of fetuses). I said quite clearly that my daughter was planned and welcomed, but if circumstances were different and I was in a bad situation, I wouldn’t rule out having an abortion.

  11. I always agreed with Bill Clinton on this issue: abortion should be safe, legal and rare.

    What’s even more disgusting about the South Dakota law is that they refused to put in an execption for rape or incest. They were nice enough to add in the “life of the mother” clause. Thanks, fellas.

    This is what I call a “red line” issue for me. I won’t raise my son or even live in a country that consigns its women to secondary status, and I believe outlawing abortion does just that. We’ll be leaving for England should that happen.

  12. Wow. I was here earlier today for the first time actually and your post just shook me. I’ve actually had to give some thought to something I haven’t thought of for a long time now. I’ve never had an abortion but I think I always thought sort of, “I don’t think its right … well except some times.” And that’s when it would get all blurry and I wasn’t sure what I thought.
    These days, whenever I am trying to find out what the “right” answer is for a weighty issue where the decision is a horribly complicated one,I picture myself standing in front of my Creator.
    I would stand in front of God and say with all honesty, “I thought so long and hard about my decision. I chose what I thought was the right thing and the best thing in my situation at that time.”
    The God that I believed created us would accept that.
    That is the thinking I have been doing today. I believe I can now say that I am “pro choice”. Thank you for shaking up my world a bit today.

  13. Beverlee-I really appreciate your honesty. It made my day.

  14. Erin,

    Ok. I’ve thought about this a ton and if someone doesn’t like my thoughts, please just respect them.

    I used to be a prolifer– I was so judgmental.

    I was attacked. I thought was pregnant. I thought about it. I decided not to have one but I finally understood how people got into those situations and/or circumstances that merrited the thought of having an abortion. (It turns out I was not pregnant)

    My heart was no longer judgmental but filled with compassion.

    I still think it’s a human life and I don’t promote it. Yet, I no longer judge. I don’t see you as any different or anyone else who advocates or has had an abortion as any different.

    I also do not think it’s the government’s place to tell people what to do with thier lives. I don’t agree with that either. I believe what I believe out of my belief in God, what if you don’t believe? Are you held to that same thinking?

    So what does that make me?

    I have no idea.


    I wanted to post earlier but it seemed so “floopy” in the wordes of Phebe :).


  15. I am chosing not to read the preceeding comments for fear of the vitriol I may find there. I cannot tell you how wonderful your post was to me, and how it touched me.
    I am a birth mother, my eldest child was adopted and currently lives about 100 miles from where I do. I see him on a fairly regular basis, and he knows who I am.
    Despite what one would assume, I have been attacked and crticized for the choice I made. The same people who sport the pro-life stickers look down on me for letting my child go. Trust me when I say the hate must be only slightly less vile than what you encounter.
    It makes no sense, it isn’t logical, but neither is being pro-life and pro- death penalty but many of these people manage to pull it off.
    I know how hard that decision is, and though I made a different choice than you I am also endlessly greatful that we had the ability to make those choices.
    I am a member of Naral Pro-Choice America, and my conservative mother sports a bumper sticker proclaiming “Adoption the carion Option”. I do know how hard it can be, and I think your talking about it here has the potential to be an amazingly healing thing.
    Thank you.

  16. This is way off this topic, but since I can’t find your email – I found an alternative to the magic powder that did not work for me…


  17. I recently did a rant on this very topic. One of the few things where I will get up on soap box and shout out my thoughts! RU-486, or rather a debate over who should have control over it’s use/non-use here in Australia was in the news a bit.(They voted and decided it should go with THE RIGHT PEOPLE” Of course instead of it being a discussion over who should decide whether it’s safe or not, it turned into the usual abortion debate. Anyway I’m with you 100%, it’s about choice…

  18. Most of the very active people in the pro-choice movement are middle-aged women or older…ones that can remember what it was like with no legal abortions, what it was like not to even be able to get contraception if you weren’t married…I think us women in our 30s, 20s, and younger need to wake the f**k up and realize what it would be like to have these freedoms taken away from us…how dare someone tell me when and how I should or should not have children…lordy, you’ve opened up a can of worms here babe!

  19. I was brought up Catholic – fairly liberal Catholic, but still Catholic – and although my parents are practically left-wingers politically, they are still pro-life. I followed along with their beliefs into my 20s without thinking about any of these issues seriously until I had to.

    During the few years after my college graduation while I worked in the Alumni office at my Catholic college, I came face to face with what this issue is truly about when the Conference Center scheduled Gloria Steinem to come give a talk in the college’s amphitheatre during the summer.

    I was brought up hearing things like, “pro-choice means pro-abortion.” Like I said, I didn’t think much about whether or not that was actually true. I didn’t realize that the issue is that the GOVERNMENT was making the choice for women. How sad is that – I didn’t think about it hard enough to realize that until I was 23! I wonder if my parents realize that, because they’re so liberal on other issues, and so anti-government-telling-us-what-to-do.

    As for the Gloria Steinem lecture – wow, that was a bombshell at the college. The outcome was incredible to me, especially what I saw through my job. I of course fielded calls for my boss, who was the Director of Alumni Relations, and we got a lot of hate-filled phone calls; people who just wanted to call and yell at anyone who answered the phone (lucky me, I wasn’t prepared and actually felt like I had been kicked in the stomach once or twice after answering the phone – I actually fell forward into my chair from the force of the hate) about how while the woman who preached babykilling was talking on our campus, they would be on their knees in prayer as a family begging Jesus to save the world from her, etc. It was crazy.

    Members of the Alumni Board dropped off the board. They and other alumni (my college has a *lot* of well-to-do alumni from old San Francisco founder families) stopped giving money to the college for scholarships.

    On the other hand, I had the pleasure of typing responses to alumni letters for some of the Dominican Sisters whose order origincally founded the college. Many alumni had written the sisters dumbfounded, not able to believe that the college – the sisters (who have not actually run the college for decades, but who still live and teach there) – would allow such a thing to happen. I was warmed and healed to read the letters of response from the sisters pretty much admonishing the alumni that what they were taught while they had attended Dominican was to listen to both sides of any issue and become truly educated on both points of view before making a judgement.

    That was quite a way to learn about this issue and what it is really about, and I’m glad that I finally did! Additionally, I have to mention something else I’ve never understood about Pro-Lifers. I know this doesn’t cover all of them, just the totally crazy freaks, but what the HELL kind of logic dictates that it’s wrong to kill an unborn baby, but perfectly justified to murder a doctor; a born, grown, educated, parent-having PERSON, who works at a place that performs abortions?

  20. I’m in the same boat as Sarah. Bring the kids to Boston “on the way” to D.C.–I’m with you, cos! This is a slippery slope issue…

  21. A couple of thoughts…

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the pro-lifers volunteered to adopt and educate one child? Put your money where your mouth is or shut up.

    As long as we have separation of church and state abortions have to be legal. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. You can’t tell me that I have the right to worship and believe as I choose and then tell me that I have to have a child that I don’t want simply because you believe that there is a spirit there. Maybe I don’t. That’s my right (though not personal belief).

    Lastly, according to modern medicine where there is brain activity but no heart beat there is life, where there is no brain activity but there is a heart beat there is NO life. I see nothing wrong with using the same criteria to determine this issue (most of the time).

    It’s my body and my responsibility, and while I don’t believe that abortion should be used as a birth control option, I will fight to make sure that it remains an option for anyone that chooses it.

    Erin’s right. It’s a horrible and life altering decision. It is not one that a woman makes lightly.

    Tell me where and when we march. I’ll be there. With bells on.

  22. Although I’ve never posted it on my blog (that’s right, you heard it here first), I, too, have had an abortion.

    When I heard about South Dakota this A.M., I felt sick to my stomach.

    This post makes me tremendoulsy proud of you.

  23. Queen,

    You don’t know me. I’m the husband of Christina at A Mommy Story.

    When I was younger, a girl I was seeing became pregnant because the pair of us were, frankly, stupid.

    I was twenty at the time. She was eighteen. I had been dating another girl for over two years at that point.

    I was prepared to support the child with her. (Although we had already separated when she found out she was pregnant.) I was also prepared to help her pay for the abortion, and to go to the clinic with her, if she wanted.

    She chose to abort the child, and didn’t want my presence there, or my money, which was her right to make that choice.

    Not for one second did I think that I had the right to tell her what to do regarding this pregnancy.

    I still wonder about the child I might have had. But I don’t look down at her for making the decision that she did. I know that none of the options at the time would have been good.

    I have always believed that abortions should be safe, legal and rare. No one should have an abortion unadvisedly, but at the same time, no one should be denied an abortion. Especially in extreme cases, such as rape, incest, or when the life of mother or child is at risk.

    I strongly hope that the newest appointees to the Supreme Court aren’t as radical as they are supposed to be.

    And people wonder why, for the first time in my life, I actually think of people who voted for the opposition party as the enemy, as opposed to merely being people I disagree with.

  24. andria! you are so right! if you don’t vote, don’t bitch! if you outlaw abortion, you better adopt all those unwanted kids!

    also, the word verification sounds like a muppet animal: xnusufls

  25. Hooray for Aaron and men like them!

  26. When they say abortion is murder, they’re calling you a murderer. I don’t blame you for taking offense.

    Speaking of reproductive choice, there’s a good case for abolishing paternity suits, which oppress men in the same way that laws against abortion oppress women. An unscrupulous woman can use the family law courts to pick a man’s pocket in order to raise his offspring, even if the man did not freely choose to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood. If a woman can refuse to become a parent even after the fact of pregnancy, a man should be able to do the same. And don’t tell me a guy just needs to keep it in his pants if he doesn’t want to pay child support. That’s like saying that women should keep their legs together if they don’t want to have babies.

  27. (I’ve re-submitted my comment to fix the apostrophe problem.)

    When they say abortion is murder, they’re calling you a murderer. I don’t blame you for taking offense.

    Speaking of reproductive choice, there’s a good case for abolishing paternity suits, which oppress men in the same way that laws against abortion oppress women. An unscrupulous woman can use the family law courts to pick a man’s pocket in order to raise his offspring, even if the man did not freely choose to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood. If a woman can refuse to become a parent even after the fact of pregnancy, a man should be able to do the same. And don’t tell me a guy just needs to keep it in his pants if he doesn’t want to pay child support. That’s like saying that women should keep their legs together if they don’t want to have babies.

  28. Wow, I missed this post! I agree with everything you said, and thanks for being so open and honest about your own abortion. I have not been there, but know some who have, and have held the hand of a dear friend as she had an abortion. No one has the right to say what a woman does with her body, my own pregnancy only strengthened that feeling. I have always been pro-choice and will fight to protect that right for all women. I’ll be by your side marching on Washington Erin, just tell me when…

  29. I love you, but you disappoint me.

  30. You’re going to hate me for saying this…but I’m pro-life. And a million people will always say to me, “What if you were raped, and as a result became pregnant, you would have an abortion, wouldn’t you?” And I can tell you 10000% I would not. A life is a life is a life, no matter how he comes into this world. And for the record I’m against Capital Punishment, too. I don’t think any human has the right to decide who lives or dies. While I don’t condone abortion, I also can’t condemn anyone who has had one. That’s not my place either. So aside from my political and religious beliefs — I still think you are wonderful, Queen and I hope my viewpoint isn’t offensive, that is not my intention. I agree with you, ALL women’s voices should be heard.

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