Originally appeared at Ten Things I’ve Learned
Note: in the USA right now, exceptionally Conservative Republicans are working overtime to make it impossible for a woman to have an abortion (at least without feeling super-guilty about it). So here’s my experience going through the abortion process. I don’t know what it’s called…men can’t “have” abortions, right?
- Your politics mean nothing until they are tested.
- If you are pro-choice and someday want children, when a real possibility exists to have a child, no matter how unprepared you are or how ill-advised a decision it is, how do you not feel conflicted?
- Use protection. Seriously. No matter what he says, and no matter what she says.
- Men are largely behind the pro-life (anti-choice) movement; sometimes I think it’s because too many men don’t have access to knowledge or support around abortion issues. So we get dumb and angry. If only George W. had a shoulder to cry on, you know?
- There’s no good time for an abortion. Also, it sucks. Why do people think that women use it as birth control? Who wants to throw up for days, book an appointment for a clinic, possibly get yelled at and guilt-tripped by protesters, get doused with pain killers, have a procedure performed on your vagina (for men: think about your penis in this scenario. Right??), go home, feel shitty, be mad at your boyfriend, and then not have sex for weeks? Nobody. That’s who.
- Sure, there are over-arching gender politics in every relationship, but ultimately it comes down to two people trying to figure something out. A decision like this is tough for both parties…hopefully you both try to get through it the best way you know how without saying or doing anything too stupid or hurtful.
- Abortion is definitely worse for a woman than for a man. I get it. But there is emotional resonance for any half-decent man that gives a shit (and there are more of us than you might think).
- I could have an 8 year-old kid right now. If I did, they would be named Ghenghis. Boy or girl.
- We think we make decisions rationally, but we don’t.
- Someday, I think I could make a pretty great dad. But for the record, one of the worst things you can say to somebody is that they’d make a terrible parent.
Postscript: Going for an abortion was, without a doubt, the right decision. If she had made a different choice, I could be trying to raise a child with the worst, meanest, and craziest woman I have ever had the privilege of being in a relationship with, with not enough money and a lot of resentment. I still want kids (I think?), but I really believe it is irresponsible to bring a child into a fucked up situation just because you have the primal physical ability to. We are very lucky to live in a society where we have established the freedom to choose whether or not we have children, and on what terms. I don’t want to throw my life away, but more importantly, I don’t want to throw away the life of some poor kid that never had a choice to be born. I don’t mean to be sanctimonious….I’m the last person who is in a position to judge anybody. It’s just that life isn’t black and white, and you can’t have moral absolutes about stuff as messy as sex and pregnancy.
Image of Parenting, adoption and abortion courtesy of Shutterstock.