Abortion. Thoughts from a woman, a therapist, a mom.
by: Anna Collins Maling, MA, LGPG
For a very long time, until young adulthood, I would have considered myself pro-life. Particularly with my Catholic upbringing, it felt very black and white. Do I think all life matters? Yes, I do. This means that I am pro-life! Who wouldn’t be pro-babies?
As I gained exposure to more people, more opinions, and started the process of challenging my childhood beliefs, I gravitated to a more neutral perspective. It wasn’t up to me to decide what others did, so I wasn’t for or against abortion. Each to their own!
I am now a mother who has experienced a miscarriage and infertility. I am a perinatal mental health therapist and I support women and birthing people. Here is what I know now…
The issue of abortion is not about whether you believe an embryo is a baby. It simply is not. It is about whether you believe that the person carrying that embryo is of equal or more value than the embryo.
This, by the way, is an issue not only at conception. It is pervasive throughout all aspects of motherhood. Here are some examples:
“Breast is best”, regardless of the pain, time, effort, energy or perspective of the mom
Any potential risk to the fetus supersedes the risks of no medication to the mom.
Sleep deprivation and burned moms are the expectation not the exception.
Epidural vs. unmedicated, c-section or vaginal, VBAC or scheduled c-section
All these choices come with the weight of a right or wrong.
It is never seen as enough, whether you are a stay-at-home parent, or are externally employed.
Prenatal appointments are monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly leading up to delivery. Afterwards, they are seen 1-2 times.
Women are often dismissed, ignored, or not given adequate time to collaborate
Black women are 3-4x more likely to die of pregnancy, childbirth complications than white women.
Society is constantly telling women that they matter less. And then doubles down on that message when they become parents.
Women, Moms, Birthing People – you matter! You are equally as important! THIS is the issue. If you remove access to basic healthcare, basic reproductive rights, you are saying that we don’t matter. We deserve to choose how to live our lives. As a mother who fiercely loves her child more than anything, I know that it is NOT acceptable to force someone into being a parent. Because it’s hard, and life-altering. And it’s our choice to make.