Motherhood Was The Road Out

There’s a smug view out there that anti-abortion opinions are the purview of the safely bourgeois, and have little to do with the lives of real people with real problems. Calah of “Barefoot and Pregnant” refutes this handily with a powerful post about her experience of being a “woman in crisis”:

Amidst the debates swirling around about defunding Planned Parenthood, some oft-repeated catch phrases are being tossed around like word grenades. One of these are “women in crisis.” I’m sick and tired of hearing about “women in crisis” and how they need access to emergency contraception and abortions. That is a huge, steaming pile of lies, propagated by people who like to murder babies. Women in crisis do not need access to abortions. What they need is love, support, a safe place to live, and people (even strangers!) who will tell them the truth: that they are more than capable of being a mother. That they can do this. That their crisis, no matter how terrible, will be healed in the long, sometimes painful, always joyful process of becoming a mother.

Think this makes me heartless, speaking from my comfortable suburban home, having never known trials in my cushy little life?

Think again.

When I got that positive pregnancy test, the one that changed my life, I was addicted to crystal meth.

And do you know what the people around me did? They didn’t take the secular line and say, “this baby’s life would be horrible. You’re unfit to be a mother. Better for it to not be born at all.”

But neither did they take the typical pro-life line in that situation and say, “you are clearly unfit to be a mother, but all you have to do is carry the baby to term and give a stable couple a wonderful gift.”

The Ogre said, “you’re a mother now, and I’m a father, and together we’ll raise our child.”

My parents said, “marry that man, and raise that baby. You’ve made the choices, you have to live with them.”

My friends said, “you screwed up, big time. But we love you. We’ll throw you a baby shower, buy you maternity clothes, and babysit while you finish your semester.”

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, being a newly-pregnant drug addict. But it gave me something to live for. Someone to live for….

Read the rest.

2 Responses to Motherhood Was The Road Out

  • Read the book “Promises I Can Keep,” which documents — among other things — that young, low-income, urban women frequently find that motherhood is what straightens them out. Unfortunately, the same is not true for young men — fatherhood, per se, does not straighten them out. (Sociologists generally find that it is MARRIAGE and fatherhood, not fatherhood alone, that matures young men.) So what we have in many urban areas is women who have children when they are young to give themselves direction in life, who struggle to raise them alone and generally in poverty, and who marry in their 40s (when unmarried men generally “grow up”) when the children are grown up and gone. Whole generations do not have stable families.

  • I sort of remember the joke Bishop Sheen used to tell. Adam and one of his sons are in the field and Eve walks by munching on an apple. Adam says to his son: “There goes your mother. She ate us out of house and home.”

    Something like that.

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