Bekki | East Tennessee

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I tell all of my patients that having my two children and having my two abortions were the best four decisions I ever made. And I am not ashamed.

One month before my twenty-first birthday, I had my son. Two and a half years later, I had an abortion (I won’t go too much into it, but my mental health, my marriage, and my finances were a wreck). It was such a heartbreaking experience that I immediately got on birth control. Six months later, my birth control failed (as it sometimes does) and I ended up pregnant again…and since I was still in the same boat, I hung my head and tearfully went back to the clinic. My (now ex) husband was not supportive of my choice, but he knew he couldn’t stop me. A few years later, after a lot of hard work and healing, I planned a pregnancy that grew into my fiery little daughter. And then two years after she arrived, I found myself divorced from the man who STILL to this day constantly complains about the child support he has to pay (the state requires it based on our incomes…I didn’t ask him for it) and sometimes I think, “I wonder if he remembers that he could be supporting three children.”

To be honest, I didn’t consider myself pro-choice until I had my son. Before that, I was completely ignorant to all of the challenges of raising a human being. I was raised “pro-life” Baptist and I parroted every silly myth that had been shoved into my head (you know, women who like/have sex are sluts and women who have an abortion are selfish, irresponsible murdering sluts).

But when I found myself breastfeeding my son for the fifth time in the middle of the night, crying from exhaustion and the chilling desperation that accompanies post-partum depression, wondering how I could keep functioning…I understood. It took me awhile to recover and to even LEARN how to be a mother (I was the youngest of my immediate and extended family for a long time and I had barely even held a baby before I held my own). And to realize that if it took that much for me…even with all of my proverbial ducks in a row (I was married! I had a mortgage! A job!), I knew that having a child wasn’t something that just anyone could do.

It’s no secret where I work. Y’all wouldn’t believe the plethora of reasons women come there. At the end of the day, unplanned pregnancies (and many are using some form of birth control) and sometimes planned pregnancies that go terribly wrong (just look up anencephaly or Trisomy 18) are tragic. Nobody wants to ever have to make that decision, but sometimes reality interferes with our idealism and we have to. That’s why we need this right.

I tell all of my patients that having my two children and having my two abortions were the best four decisions I ever made. And I am not ashamed. I am not a murderer. I am a damn decent mother who had to make a really fucking tough choice so that my kid(s) would have me around to care for them.

People who want to take this choice away need to understand one thing very clearly: forcing a woman to be pregnant against her will is violence. And if you’re one of those folks that have found yourself referring to children as nothing but a blessing, then turning around and using the same mouth to say that children are punishment for being a sexual human, you need to check your hypocrisy and check it fast.

Defunding Planned Parenthood won’t reduce abortion and won’t save you tax dollars (they’ll take all that money and either cram it into a military budget that will kill actual living, breathing children in some country that you’ve probably went on a mission trip to OR there will be more mothers and children requiring the government social services that are perpetually demonized by the right). Planned Parenthood prevents more abortions than they provide and you are (I know this isn’t polite, but I’m just about over being polite) a complete fucking IMBECILE if you think defunding them will actually reduce abortion rates.

You don’t have to like it, but you need to understand it. Peace.

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