Standing Up & Being Counted: You Can’t Take a Backseat When It Comes to Women’s Rights by Melissa Vickers

Opinion Headlines
3 months ago
Standing Up & Being Counted: You Can’t Take a Backseat When It Comes to Women’s Rights

Lauren Carrier Horton's recent post on the importance of taking a stand, now, plus a little nudging, convinced me to share a post originally written for my personal Facebook page. My Facebook friends – and, I presume, the 30Seconds community – run the gamut on politics, religion and a host of less "meaty" topics. I like it that way. I learn from others, and enjoy sharing views on even challenging topics.

I generally steer clear of politics on my page, just preferring to keep it a happy place for grandkid pics and puns. With that said, the recent Supreme Court leak and where that seems to be heading is something that demands standing up and being counted. So it is in that spirit:

The leaked SCOTUS decision was shocking, though sadly not surprising. For the record, I am NOT “pro-abortion.” I doubt that there are many – if any – who are truly PRO-abortion. So many talk about abortion as if it is something that women casually do, just for the heck of it – kind of like an old-fashioned Tupperware party. They ignore the very real heart-wrenching stories of women who, for whatever reason, have reached a point where they feel abortion is their best – or only – option.

I am pro-life – not only the not-yet-born, but also throughout the life span. Those who argue the loudest about stopping abortions also tend to be the ones who have no plans to support health (before, during, after pregnancy), jobs with livable wages, affordable education, etc. As a Catholic nun said in an oft-repeated FB meme, (paraphrasing), if you aren’t willing to do the things that are necessary for life after birth, then you are not pro-life, you are just pro-birth.

Today I realized (or the idea finally coalesced) one of the main things that bother me about the push for no-excuse abortion bans: the Right treats “abortion” as if it is one act, and the same from woman to woman, so nobody should be given any leniency. Abortion is really a continuum of reasons and circumstances that put the woman in that horrendous position of needing/wanting to do something in the first place. I see more and more lists of stories about women (and children) who had abortions, and the stories have a similar undercurrent of desperation, but they vary widely. We could line all those situations up from “most trivial” to “most dire.” Likewise, we could line up public opinion – at one end would be “allow any abortion” and the other “ban all abortions.” I suspect few people are truly at either end of that line, and most of us are somewhere between the extremes.

If we deem all abortions, for any reason, to be wrong (and thus illegal), then should we not look at crimes in the same way? Anybody convicted of a crime, no matter whether it was stealing a loaf of bread to feed hungry kids or mass murder, should be sent to prison for life. Period. Circumstance doesn’t matter.

And yet the law is not that cut and dried. Killing someone in self-defense is not treated the same as mass murder. Mental health can factor into sentencing (insanity plea). So if we can treat crimes on a case-by-case basis, why not abortions? The circumstances around abortions are so varied and individual, I would hate to turn over the decision to politicians. The woman and her support system – be that spouse, family, doctor, clergy, etc. – should be allowed to make that decision.

For the record, I have never had an abortion, but two of my pregnancies brushed that realm. I’ve been pregnant four times in my life, each one planned, wanted, loved and with the man I love and was/am married to. Two of those pregnancies ended in early miscarriages. The first pregnancy ended at 9 1/2 weeks after 4 weeks of bleeding. My doctor couldn’t say for sure that the pregnancy was a lost cause (though he was not optimistic about it either) and was OK with me riding it out. My second pregnancy was pretty normal and uneventful.

When my son was 2 1/2 I had gone back to teaching, and we decided it was time to go for a second child. Once again, I started bleeding at 5 weeks. This time, however, the doctor was able to do successive blood tests that confirmed that whatever pregnancy hormones had been present for the initial test were gone by the second. There was no hope for that pregnancy. With that, plus the reality of having a young child and a new job, I opted for a D&C – and they found nothing, confirming the blood tests. That provided small comfort.

I still occasionally think about those two little ones I lost and the “might-have-beens,” but had either of those survived I wouldn’t have the two amazing kids I do have.

That Justice Alito would suggest that abortion is somehow unconstitutional because it isn’t mentioned IN the Constitution just makes a mockery of that document. It was designed to be a LIVING document. It doesn’t mention transplants, antibiotics or even airplanes and the internet. Are these all unconstitutional as well?

I just hope that this is a serious wakeup call to people to get out and VOTE in upcoming elections. It is our only hope to regain some national sanity.

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Couldn’t agree with you more 🙏🏼
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this complex and emotional topic, @MelCVickers. This resonated with me: "I am pro-life – not only the not-yet-born, but also throughout the life span. Those who argue the loudest about stopping abortions also tend to be the ones who have no plans to support health (before, during, after pregnancy), jobs with livable wages, affordable education, etc."
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
I was thinking the exact same, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead . It's very sad. Melissa Vickers , thank you for sharing this very well thought out perspective. You offer so much food for thought on a very heart-wrenching subject.

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