On having a woman’s voice

Over the past week, I learned that I am not in control of my own body.  This was news to me! But because I am a woman, I (and you, too!!!!) have to fear …big… dirty… super-duper evil…REPUBLICANS!!! And of course, this fear is leaving liberal minded folks shaking in their boots, especially after President Trump signed an executive order that bans US aid for abortions in other countries. Now I promised you all in the beginning that this would not be a political blog… so back to the topic, my voice.

Ever since Brennan’s been able to hold his head straight, we’ve gotten the question of when we want another child. We usually welcome this question happily, since we genuinely want a big family. However, I personally believe questioning another family’s fertility plan is way out of line as you never know what women in your life are 1 in 8 (struggling with infertility). Now, it is some people’s business… yours, your spouses, and the medical providers giving you care.

When I went back to my OB for my six week postpartum check, she walked in to the room with a literal trolley cart of birth control options. We had just gotten out of Brennan’s second surgery, and with him and me spending our time over an hour away from Liam’s work, it was easy to take her off the birth control agenda. Fast forward four months and after seven surgeries for Brennan, I finally had the time to see a Family Care Provider. The first thing her nurse asked after taking my vitals is if I was here for birth control, and assumed out loud that I was already on some when I said no. The doctor came in and started talking to me about my long term options for pregnancy spacing and then almost spit out her water when I told her we had actually been thinking about adding to our family. She rolled her eyes when I mentioned we followed a Natural Family Planning method that worked for us, but was wondering if it was physically safe for my body to carry another baby. She sighed and said, “I guess” and was surprised when I told her the reason for my visit—a sprained wrist.

I left those appointments feeling belittled and embarrassed—did I miss the memo of being an adult woman at the doctors?  Did my doctors feel I needed coaxing or help talking about birth control?  Choosing to see a medical provider should be empowering—as you are taking control over your health and well-being. But when you are blindsided by another agenda, where does that leave you? It left me defensive and angry. If I were a woman with different beliefs, I would still own the ability to ask my provider for birth control. I could weigh my options of side effects and longevity in the same way I could weigh my options for a wrist brace or a corticosteroid shot. This is because, despite what the media is telling the world, women DO have a voice in this country.

However, there are many women in our country who are forcibly silenced and they, as you can probably guess, are the unborn. I recently read an interesting article that slams Pro-Life (or as the media now calls us, Anti-Choice) peoples for simply being “pro-birth”. The Catholic author, Ginny Kochis, writes that, “this claim seeks to minimize the root cause of our culture of death; the acceptance of contraception and abortion as a means to liberate women.” So if I’m reading this correctly—to be a truly free woman in this country—means that I should deny a biological part of my humanness and if/when that evolutionary process does take place, more power to me to, literally, kill the problem. This country has made sexual liberty such an idol; we are willing to sacrifice children to sustain it.  And to think there was a time I was pro-contraception…

Contraception allows children (yes, you are still a child at 14…) to make adult decisions without the maturity to handle the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical consequences. It allows both men and women to falsely believe they can act sexually without consequence. And when nature happens (it’s not an accident if that’s how God intended our body’s to work…) it’s easier to get rid of “a clump of cells” than to recognize that there is an actual miracle going on inside your body. I defend the word miracle because as I mentioned before, the struggle of infertility and infant loss is very real and very heartbreaking to many women and their families. I can only imagine how sexual recklessness is like a stone-cold slap in the face after each story they hear.

I have written before that we have the ability to change and I repeat it because I so strongly believe it. We are able to turn bad choices around and use them for God’s glory. This may be a personal bad choice or, in some cases, someone else’s bad choice imposed on a woman against her will. Whatever the circumstance, women who find themselves in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy have both a voice and a duty—to protect the two souls they are nourishing. Even as a married woman with (kinda) planned pregnancies, this duty is something others have jeered at.  Protecting my 12 week old baby and protecting my body to create and sustain life is not something I, or anyone, should feel ashamed or weakened by.

This week hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children reminded America that it is not cute or trendy to kill babies. Last week hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children threw a temper tantrum for easier and more violent ways to kill babies. What does a woman’s voice mean to you? Don’t take my word for it—do your own research, then go hug your mom—you can only do so because you’re alive.

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