And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

November 16, 2003


Filed under: her words,social issues — mark @ 12:37 pm

Well the subject was brought to the table again. This is one of those sticky, messy and difficult subjects that divide us and keep things stirred up. Recently I saw the photo (op) of George W. Bush and his cronies standing around smiling while they signed the partial birth abortion ban. Several journals have made reference to the fact that the people in the photo are all male. I find it very interesting that there are no women. None of the people who helped this happen have a womb.

In the late 80’s I was on the board of NOW, the National Organization for Women. I joined in order to understand myself as a woman and to see how other women felt. I soon got involved in the stuggle to maintain the Roe Vs Wade decision. I helped escort women into clinics. I often heard people scream at these women and call them terrible names. I also felt the rocks thrown at them and us. I came to see how difficult the decision was to have an abortion in the first place. Because I talked to these women. None of the women I talked to were taking this decision lightly or had come to it without a great deal of anguish and fear. I tried to be supportive of them. I also tried not to judge them or their circumstances. But I often saw the people who were screaming at them as being very afraid. I also tried to have conversations with some of them. Some of the people who identified themselves as pro-life were commited to saving lives. They felt that abortion was murder. I saw that there were a number of them who truly felt that and they were sincere. I tried not to judge them either. But some of them seemed to me to have another agenda. I would not say I absolutely knew what their agenda was, but I knew it was not what they were telling me. I got to debate with some pro-lifers and what they said was that it was a sin and that it should not happen no matter what. I had the hardest time with them. It seemed to me that they had made up their minds and that they were not interested in debate. The group that I came into contact with was Concerned Women of America. What struck me most about them was that they dressed alike, spoke alike, said all of the same things, and that they were all fairly well to do. As a member of NOW one of the things that became apparent was that all of the women and men I met had ideas of their own. It seemed to me that when I was involved in conversation with someone within the organization I found different ideas and opinions. We had a few similarities such as being for choice. Some of the women did not like the idea of abortion and wanted to work for a world in which it was not necessary. Some of the women wanted to help women find alternatives such as adoption. Some of the women felt that it was not up to them to decide what others should do. I admit I was more drawn to the group that was about choice. I wish no one ever had to make such a terrible decision and I do not know if I could do it. But I believe that I need to help people in trouble not judge them and tell them they are wrong. So I wish abortion was never necessary, but I cannot make decisions for others.

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