Sweet jesus. With all of this hooha by men over women’s reproductive rights, I have to come forward with the following post. And by hooha, I mean the trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to an abortion, or how the GOP belittles women’s rights AND funding, or seeking to change the wording of “victim” to “accuser” in rape cases. I do not pretend this will garner me new friends & perhaps will even cause me to lose a few. But it is all part & parcel to me as a person and me as a woman. And we all know there’s a difference between the two.
I was raped when I was 12.
At 12, I was assaulted by a stranger, with a weapon pointed in my direction.
At 12, I told no one of my rape. Not my parents, friends, pastor, teacher. It stayed a secret until I was about 17. But when I DID tell, I found myself in the doctor’s office quicker than you can say “torn hymen”. I was not an “accuser”, I was a victim, whether I told anyone at the time or not.
As a rape survivor, I cannot even fathom having such a tragic, life altering event ground down to such terms. Rape & sexual assault are so incredibly under reported & a bill like this will make it even more difficult for women to come forward in the most crucial time: immediately after the rape. Many women who experience such a horrible crime don’t report for a number of reasons, one being that they think nobody will believe them. Or it will be perceived that they were “asking for it”.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to heal from this. I know that it was simply a case of being in the “wrong place at the wrong time” (which was several blocks from my home in a sleepy town). I was a 12 year old child. I was not asking for it. I was a victim.
I had an abortion when I was 31.
At 31, I became pregnant while in a relationship & came to a decision (with input from my partner) that an abortion was the only realistic option at the time. Because I sure as hell wasn’t going to go the “birthmother” route again. And we were not in any position to parent. At all. Not even close. And it wasn’t simply about money.
At 31, making a clear headed decision over my body & what goes on with it was not easy, especially in the light of my son’s adoption 6 years prior. At the women’s clinic, they did perform an ultrasound of the abdominal variety. This made perfect sense to me, so the doc could tell how many weeks pregnant. What I didn’t expect, however, was the information that there were two sacs. The doctor explained that he had to tell me, in the order of full disclosure. While shocking & even more sad, it did not change my mind, and I continued with the procedure, staring at the meant-to-be-amusing poster on the ceiling & holding the nurse’s hand.
If you factor in a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound, which is mildly uncomfortable under the kindest of circumstances, the emotional wreckage may have been more severe. No woman wants to have an abortion. I grieved those two possibilities for quite some time. So before you ask “What’s one more instrument in your vagina?”, let me just stop you with this: anything that goes into my vagina without my consent is invasive. Talk about illegal search! (That’s the Fourth Amendment). Hey, it also relegates the doctor performing the abortion to an agent of the state.
These are our bodies & our lives. I’m somebody’s daughter, sister, friend, niece, granddaughter. I could be any woman you meet on the street, or follow on Twitter, or someone who sat behind you in biology class 20 years ago. Please don’t let the Powers-That-Wanna-Be take control of what’s ours.
*note: i’m open to having a proper discussion about these topics. however, any “babykiller” comments won’t make it through, i can promise you that.