Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog for Choice 2011

It's almost time for the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. To commemorate the day, NARAL is sponsoring the sixth annual Blog for Choice Day to get people reading and talking about reproductive rights. In wake of the recent decision by Congress to repeal health care reform, reproductive choice is starting to become less and less available.

I've participated privately over the years, updating my Livejournal and Facebook, with my thoughts on the day and sometimes talking about my experiences of becoming a feminist and how pro-choice became a part of my persona. I'd like to share this with all of you and encourage you to share your stories about why you're pro-choice.

Back in middle school, I got involved in an abusive relationship with a male friend of mine. It was the worst experience ever. I felt like I was walking on egg shells, hoping that I could make it through the day without a bruise or feeling like dirt. I was depressed and felt like nobody could help me. Abusive relationships weren't talked about much then - that would come later in high school. Nobody imagined that I was harboring this secret, a secret so bad that it nearly killed me. One afternoon he tried to choke me when I upset him and slapped him across the face for grabbing at me. After pinning me down, he finally let go after he saw that I was scared as hell. That's when I knew I had to tell someone.

I started high school a few weeks after that horrific day and eventually told my counselor. The physical abuse stopped but he continued to stalk me and taunt me in school. When I started telling people he knew, he got really angry and came to my house one day when I was alone. He pushed past my door and threatened to rape me. I shouted so loud to get out that he finally did. When I knew he was finally gone, I bolted the door, went into my room, crawled into a ball and just cried for over an hour. I should have been thankful that I was safe but I kept thinking what if he did rape me, what if I got pregnant, even resorting to thoughts of suicide.

Ever since that day I started digging more and more into subjects like abusive relationships, rape, and reproductive choice. If I came from a conservative family, I may have been expected to carry to term if I indeed become pregnant. My life would be so different now if I had become pregnant at fourteen, especially if it was by a violent assault.

Being pro-choice is not just about having abortions; it's about having control over your body and destiny.