Abortion Bans: Things I've Never Told My Parents & Why Choice Matters by Rick St. Peter
Like many people – hopefully like many men – I've been feeling a mixture of anger and sadness at the recent Alabama law gutting a woman's right to choose and to be able to have safe and healthy access to abortion providers if need be. Then I saw a meme with a comment from Padma Lakshmi:
I know there are a lot of men out there who have partners who've had abortions. It's time for you to speak up and be allies. Women don't get pregnant alone.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) May 15, 2019
I realized I had to speak up. So, I wrote the following post on Facebook:
"Things I've never told my parents: 18-year-old me was not ready to be a father. Thankfully she agreed she wasn't ready either. I took her there and brought her home after; we split the cost of the procedure and did not ruin our lives. I had my opinion on the matter but ultimately it was HER choice and I was going to live with whatever choice she made. For this reason and so many more, I will always support a woman's right to choose and I think that the decision should be made between her, her doctor and her partner if applicable and/or desirable and no one else. Period. I cannot imagine how different my life would have been, but I know for sure college would have been out of the question and college was the first step to giving me the life I've been fortunate to lead. Whatever I can do to be an ally, I ABSOLUTELY will."
It's been 30 years and yet I still agonized over this post. I rewrote it several times before I settled on the above and – with a hesitant, almost fleeting click – I sent it into the world to do whatever it can do. I did a lot of stuff as a teenager but this, without a doubt, is my deepest, most hidden away secret.
She and I lost contact shortly after graduating from high school. I do not know what happened to her, where she ended up, how her life turned out, but I hope it has turned out well. And I hope this reprehensible and ongoing assault on women is not causing her any undo trauma over a decision we made three decades ago.
Because in our situation it was the right decision.
Please share your thoughts and opinions below.