"I never had to grapple with a decision that would change my life one way or the other. When I found myself pregnant in a toxic relationship, I chose the "good girl" route and married him and had the baby. What followed was years of heartbreak and abuse until I found my way out. Having my baby at that time was hard, but it was MY choice.
My friend's choice was different. She was single with 3 children, living on child support and a low paying job. She was a true Momma, who loved her children ferociously and was working hard both physically and emotionally to build them a safe family. Unlike me, she did not have the support of parents who helped with both monetary and time. They kept my baby often, making the adjustment less obvious.
Then, after a night of yearning for a little bit of freedom, my friend found herself pregnant. And, she made HER choice, to save her family and herself. I was there for the actual procedure (waiting in the car because it was a hot topic at the time and clinics were full of protests and unstable protesters). And, I was there through the stages that followed.
Trust me when I tell you, an abortion is not casual and the laws do not reflect what a woman goes through when choosing the option that would let her keep fighting for herself and her children.
It was hard to watch. I held her close for days as she worked through the grief, anger, and acceptance. It was far from a casual decision that some seem to think this law is going to help change. Sometimes the decision/choice goes against all they believe, against what they would do if life circumstances were different, and something they never thought they would do. But, she had a choice and it saved her life.
Our choices were very different, but the truth is, I felt the same things as her, grief and anger for the way my life would change, and for making it more difficult to leave the toxicity. So, I was proud of her, for her strength, the courage to put her family and herself first, and for taking on the burden of her choice to keep those around her above poverty level.
It is funny how two different choices can evoke the same emotions. I am Thankful we each had a choice, because I do not know where we both would be if we didn't. We have to keep fighting for the right to choose, fighting to teach understanding of the whys, and fighting to help all those making the choice who need support, love and and a helping hand, regardless of their choice. "