I’ve been reading here
after visiting with a friend last summer
and escorting for a day
reproductive rights have been more in the front of my mind
as political hopefuls seeming gleeful
at the idea of turning back the clock
and stripping rights away from women
I think about all the things that fall into
I think about my mother
When I was born
I nearly killed my mom
She’s a tiny thing
my brother and I were huge
and I tore my mother to pieces
during the birth
churning inside her
with every contraction
nearly killing us both
My Mom wanted her tubes tied after that
knowing that one more child would kill her
and the child
leaving my Dad alone with two babies
knowing that her body could not stand another baby
Living in Texas in the 60’s
a woman could not get her tubes tied unless
She had 3 surviving children
was over 35
had permission of her husband.
So their only choices were my dad getting a vasectomy (which my Mom didn’t want — because logical woman she was — if she died and he remarried — his new wife might want kids — (yes — I was raised by Vulcans)) — or my Mom — if she got pregnant again — having an illegal abortion.
by the way — it always pissed my Mom off that there were not requirements or permission from the wife required for my Dad to get a vasectomy.
who was never a feminist
never a liberal
the 60’s woman who wanted to be more Jackie O’ than Grace Slick
needed reproductive rights to protect her.
She was lucky
because she didn’t have to find a way to get an illegal abortion
they moved to Colorado
where my Mom had her tubes tied within days of arriving.
I grew up with this story.
and while it’s not a story about the pro-choice fight
it is a story about
what the world was like
when a woman didn’t have the right to make choices for her body
when her body was governed by the state
and her husband
I for one
do not want to go back
to those days