A Modest Abortion Proposal

I was almost an aborted baby.

It was with grave concern and deliberation, because my mother was ill, and it was discussed that she may not survive the delivery. My father told me later that if he had to choose between my mother and me as to who would have been saved, it would have been her.

I completely empathized. You can try for another child, or adopt, but you cannot replace a spouse.

It was an agreement between the two of them, yet ultimately it was my mother’s decision. She was the one with me inside, and she would have the incredibly arduous, and life threatening task of delivery.

How would I have felt if I was born, only to not have my mother?

It something that I have not mulled over until this writing. I am grateful to be alive, to participate in the life process of this earth, but there are things that are bigger than me. I would not want my father to be without the woman with whom he chose to spend the rest of his life.

I can imagine it would have been a wrenching conflict within him, not to both love and hate me simultaneously – the miracle of birth, and the devastation of death.

I am glad the option to abort is available, for women like my mother who suffered, and those who are suffering now with terrifying physical conditions; who have been survivors of rape that left a seed inside of them; and those who after they had been promised a beautiful life, were abandoned by their husbands, boyfriends, partners; and terrifying still, the one night stand gone wrong, and locating that person is impossible.

I know life is precious, and I am not going to pretend that this issue lives in simplicity. Then again, I am not a woman. I do not have a cycle every 30 days, and I do not have the capacity to grow another life inside my body.

I also do not know what it is like to be told I have no right to total autonomy over my body from outsiders who are steeped in their own moral, ethical, and religious convictions.

Because when a woman walks through her door and shuts out the outside world, it is just her, alone, petrified, and faced with monumental decisions.

She is left with a decision regarding a consequence from someone else’s participation, who has neither the capacity nor the presence to assist. Any judgement upon her pales in comparison to her ordeal.

There are many men who fail to recognize that what they leave behind is ill likened to a pencil with the opposite end to erase their mark, where they refrain from accountability and leave the woman scarred.

There are many men who embrace their role in their mate’s life, and all that comes with it, and they welcome the new life with a clarity and understanding; and a commitment and a drive, to be the best fathers they can be.

To those with blurred vision, I say this.

When you leave something somewhere that you don’t own, you relinquish your rights to it. If you bring an umbrella into a restaurant, and you leave it there, and when you go back to retrieve it, it’s missing, you do not have the right to demand the restaurant buys you another one. They are not responsible for your umbrella.

So if a man leaves his semen in a woman’s body, he relinquishes his right to that sperm, because he does not own that woman. It is her body. She is the sole proprietor of everything that is inside her body. She is the primary decision maker as to what happens with that semen.

Neither the state nor the church has the right to impose their morality upon the carrier, if nothing but this critical reason.

The man has no legal obligations to a baby other than child support. He does not have to feed it, clothe it, house it, nurture it, sing to it, or change its pamper. All he is legally bound to do is send money every month. He is not obligated to ever see his baby.

Many men have eviscerated the spirit of the child by these nefarious deeds, and worse, without any monetary support at all. So why should they have a say in whether the baby is born?

Sometimes one must terminate one life to save two.

Still many argue that a life is a life, and that regardless whether a child is in or out of the womb, they have rights, and the abortion forthwith constitutes murder, and the murder of an innocent being is morally and ethical reprehensible.

So after hearing all of the counter arguments from those representing such church and state opinion, I propose this.

Any federal, state, or local government that declares abortion illegal or changes the existing laws to make them stringent and painful to navigate, which includes underfunding or terminating the funding of organizations like Planned Parenthood, and would result in the woman being forced to bear the child, would be mandated to create a Co-Parent Program, that would match and fund a co-parent for all single mothers.

Furthermore, any private organization and church institution that promotes, lobbies, and finances campaigns against abortion, and has been involved in the success of it therein, would be mandated to allocate resources into Co-parent programs as well.

The Co-Parent Program would be designed to provide any and all assistance the single mother needs to ensure the health, vitality, and safety of the child, and to ease the overall challenges that motherhood brings. The child would therefore experience substantial and continuous two parent support and nurturing.

The Co-Parent may change during the course of the child’s life, but there would always be one for the entire 18 years that child is a minor.

This program would accomplish a few things. It would greatly alleviate single parent households, eliminate the ongoing debate about abortion, and bring the village concept into more effective practice.

My proposal may sound absurd to many, but so is the merry-go-round in which we have been engaged for the last half century. Many women did not, and have not had the kind of support my mother had, and found themselves in precarious positions, and had to fight tooth and nail for solutions that accorded them their self-dignity and self-respect.

The self-dignity and self-respect that my ancestral mothers had, who raised villages for generation after generation, but who also when faced with the choice between freedom and captivity, cast themselves overboard with swollen bellies.

 

Ron Kipling Williams