Reproductive choice is so important. It means more than a woman having the right to not become pregnant or to terminate a pregnancy. It also means the right for a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.
When I was 16 I got pregnant. I did not know what was wrong with me or why I was getting sick. I got my period and had a pregnancy test come out negative. My body is weird like that.
I got sick and was in immense abdominal pain so my parents took me to my father's hospital. An ultrasound was performed to check for appendicitis or whatever. That's when we all discovered that I was pregnant.
The next few days are a blur. I don't remember much. What I do remember is that I was given no choice about what happened next. I was still trying to process the fact that I was pregnant.
I was taken back to my father's hospital where I was admitted as Jane Doe and an abortion was performed. This was not my choice. I was given no choice. One thing I do remember was being told how embarrassing this was for my parents that everyone at my father's hospital knew that his teenage daughter got pregnant.
Now lets fast forward two years. I was away at college and 18. My hookup and I were using condoms. I took my pill religiously. I got my period but was throwing up nonstop. I took a pregnancy test. Once again it came out negative. Eventually I went in for an ultrasound. Guess what? I'm pregnant again.
Went home over winter break. I told my parents the day before I was supposed to fly back to school. Lucky me. The Northridge earthquake delayed my flight by a few days. I was ordered to have another abortion by my mother.
This time I was older and stronger. I told my mother that I was going to have this baby. She could either be supportive or I would disappear and she would spend the rest of her life knowing she had a grandchild out there that she had never met and never held in her arms.
I truly believe choice has to be true choice in both directions with no forcing of any medical procedures on our bodies. To force a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion, to force a woman to have an abortion, or to force a woman to carry a pregnancy are all things that are acts of violence. They all steal control of our bodies from us. These are our bodies. We know what is best for ourselves. We do not need anyone else making these decisions for us.