Reframe the abortion debate

I so don’t want to mire myself in the political debates surrounding abortion. I consciously remove myself from politics when I am online — I dislike controversy. Yet sometimes, I feel compelled to speak out.

The following is a quotation from an essay written by a woman who recently suffered a miscarriage. The medical procedures to remove her non-viable fetus were treated as a voluntary abortion for legal and medical purposes. The entire article is worth a read.

I wish we could reframe the debate and talk more about what it would mean to honor the sanctity of life. To honor the actual lives of pregnant women and the potential lives they hold within them.
Tamara Mann

That one sentence says it all to me.

I wish we could discuss the actual realities and nuances of pregnancy and abortion, honoring the women who harbor this miracle we call life, without resorting to ugly generalities and soundbites.

What would it sound like, a discussion that honored women? Honored pregnancy, and life, and all the things that can go wrong, and all the things that can go blessedly right?


Amy Saves the Day: A Short Story

Total fiction. Not based on real events.

Hi! I’m Amy. Dad says all the women in our family are named Amy, after one of our ancestors. I don’t know much about that. I want to tell you about the time I saved the day.

First, let me tell you about me. I am six years old and I have black hair and blue eyes. I’m tall for my age, but not too tall. I’d hate to be the tallest girl in class. I think. You’d tower over everyone. I’m ten years old, and I was born right after my parents were married. Within the year. My dad says I was their love child. They were young, and silly, and so in love. I remember seeing them hugging and kissing and laughing in the kitchen when I was little. It made me happy.

Then I turned five, and things started to change. First, I started kindergarten. That was bad enough, starting a new school and having to be with other kids. I’d never been around other kids much, since I was an only child, staying home with my mom. I couldn’t believe how snotty their noses were, or how loud they were. The first few days, I just wanted to hide in the corner and cover my head. But I had the best teacher, Mrs. Fletcher, and she helped me join in games and play, and soon I liked going to school.

Then Mommy started crying all the time. I thought it was because I was going to school. “No, darling, that’s not it. You need to go to school and learn lots of things. Don’t you worry about me.”

But I could hear them fighting after they thought I was asleep. “She’s getting so big. My baby is growing up.”

“I know. Isn’t she doing well in school?”

“Yes, but that’s not the point, Michael.” Silence for a minute. “I miss having a baby. … I want another one.” She started to cry.

“You know what we agreed. Just one. Especially after you had such a hard time with Amy.”

“I know, I know. But I want another one.”

I didn’t know what to do in the mornings when Mommy was grumpy and had red eyes.

I guess they agreed to have another baby. I never heard Dad agree to it, but after a while Mommy got pregnant and then Chris was born.

It was awful when Mommy was pregnant, she couldn’t do anything or lift me up, and she was sick. I could hear her being sick in the bathroom in the mornings before I got up. She still cried all the time. It didn’t seem to make her happy, being pregnant, even though she had wanted it so much. I don’t understand it. I don’t think I ever will.

When Chris was born, I fell in love with him right away. I loved his little pink toes, his funny face, and his big blue eyes. I loved everything about him. Mommy did, too, at first. But after a while she started crying and crying again. I didn’t know what to do, and I guess Dad didn’t either.

I came home from school one day, and found Mommy crying in the kitchen. Chris was in his room, I could hear him crying, too. “Oh, Amy, I just don’t know what to do. Chris won’t stop crying.”

I called Dad at work. I was so proud I used the phone. Dad came home right away. Mommy had to go to the doctor, and then she moved away for a while. I think she moved in with Grandma and Grandpa. Dad said she needed some time away. Chris is fine now, and Dad stays home with us most of the time. Sometimes he goes into work, and then our nanny comes. I like her. Dad says Mommy is coming back soon. I’m excited.

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