Answer: “Your sister was able to have autonomy over her body and make the choice to have an abortion when she wasn’t ready to raise a child. Yet, she doesn’t feel that her daughter deserves that same autonomy. Isn’t it funny how she was deserving of that, but her daughter isn’t? We can often find ways to justify anything when it applies to us, but refuse to justify those same things for others.
I know you stated you didn’t want to get into politics on this, but when it comes to abortion, that’s like trying to round up horses once they’re out the corral.
I am a child protective services investigator. I work child deaths, near deaths and shocking & heinous abuse cases exclusively. I have seen what can result from forcing a woman to keep a baby that she either does not want or is not equipped to raise. People can say that the baby can always be given up for adoption, but that’s not the fairytale you’ve seen on “Annie” either; there’s no Daddy Warbucks waiting in the wings to whisk most of these babies out of foster care into a limousine and off to their mansions.
Because no one wants to deal with babies born addicted to heroin, whose genetic pool is rife with schizophrenia and who contracted syphilis during their vaginal birth, because their mother didn’t receive prenatal care.
- Because these babies aren’t blonde headed and blue eyed.
- Because these babies are blonde headed and blue eyed like Mama and Daddy…who share the same father.
- Because sometimes these babies have names like Keyshawn and Trayvon and Kiana.
- Because sometimes these mothers don’t realize they aren’t ready to be mothers until these babies aren’t babies and you can’t drop a toddler off at a Safe Harbor Drop-Off.
- Because sometimes these mothers live 45 miles from the nearest Safe Harbor Drop-Off and they don’t have a car, so the toilet is their next best option.
- Because sometimes the Safe Harbor Drop-Off is the local police station in a town of 658 residents and the local police chief is Mama’s uncle.
- Because sometimes a woman doesn’t need a reason for not wanting to be a mother and she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for what she does and doesn’t do with her body.
I once held the body of an 8 month old infant in the back of an ambulance that didn’t need to run lights and sirens. He was too small to strap to the gurney. When they handed him to me, he was wrapped in a blanket and he looked like he was sleeping, but no infant should ever be that still and cold or have white foam around their lips. His mother tried to have an abortion, but didn’t have the money or resources. She had three children she couldn’t afford or care for already and she knew she couldn’t handle another one. She was told, “Just have him. You’ll be fine. You already have three kids, so you can figure it out. You can’t kill your baby. You can’t give your baby away to strangers, because no real mother does that.
No…no, we can’t take the baby in. We won’t help you get an abortion and we can’t support adoption, but we will help you with the baby.” But, when he was born, all the people who promised to help disappeared faster than her patience did when that baby cried and she was on day four of a methamphetamine binge.
In the end, the only support she had was a methamphetamine addiction and a boyfriend with a nasty temper and even less patience than she did for that tiny, unwanted soul she brought into this world. So, she had him and eight months later, she proved everyone who told her she couldn’t kill her baby wrong by allowing his life to be taken in a fit of rage, methamphetamine and the fists of a man who just wanted him to STOP. FUCKING. CRYING. ALREADY. And the only thing she could say was, “I told them I never wanted this. I said I never wanted him. Why did they make me have him? I want my mother.” But her mother had been dead since she was 10.
I know this because I was the first CPS investigator on the scene and I covered her little brother’s head with my coat and gave her my beanie, so they didn’t see the damage their father’s bullet did to the side of their mother’s head. Amy was a beautiful woman and her daughters look just like her….even in their mugshots. Even when they’re trying to explain why their boyfriend shook and beat their baby to death. This one looks especially like Amy. This daughter perpetuated that cycle and her baby was collateral damage, I suppose. Maybe if I had given her my coat to cover her head with, as I led her and her sibling out of the house, so they didn’t see their mother’s head shattered by their father’s bullet, she would have traveled a different path.
But I didn’t give her my coat. She was older. I thought she’d be able to cover her head better. So I gave her my beanie and I gave her sibling my coat and I covered their heads and told them not to look at Mama. I told them to keep walking and don’t look down. I said I was right there with them. That’s why I gave her my coat this time and as she was being led out in handcuffs, I told her, “I’m going to cover your head. Don’t look down. Don’t look at the baby. Just keep walking. I’ve got you. I’m right here with you.” It’s funny. After all of these years, that’s what I blame myself for. That I didn’t give her my coat. That maybe, just maybe, if I had given her my coat instead, I wouldn’t have stood looking down at her dead son years later. I don’t know what the last thing that baby saw was, but I pray it wasn’t the fist that ended his life or the face of the demon that ended his life or the woman who was supposed to be his protector. I still dream about him. I still dream about that coat.
The people who screech about how a woman does not have the right to terminate a pregnancy are always silent when they are questioned about what THEY are doing for their local foster care agencies. They rarely lobby at their state capitols for more funding for child welfare agencies and preventative programs to assist children and families in need. They rarely, if ever, volunteer their time and money to support children in foster care or foster parents. Instead, they’d rather post hateful, judgmental vitriol on social media about women in difficult situations they know nothing about. They’re content to talk about what women should or should not be able to do. They’re content to pass judgment about a woman’s choices. But when they actually have to look at the consequences of those choices….well, that’s a conversation 99.9% of them are willing to sit out on.
People like your sister can screech about how abortion is murder. They can cry about the poor babies who never drew a breath. But you won’t see them doing anything for the babies that are breathing and living in foster care. The children that are living in homeless shelters. The kids that won’t get supper again tonight because Daddy’s check was short and Mama drank the grocery money again. Because that would mean they’d actually have to look upon the humanity they don’t want to acknowledge. It’s easier to crusade for a cause they don’t actually have to interact with.”
The above text mirrors my opinions and the reasons why ALL OF US should be free of the shackles of some law motivated by the desire to legislate one groups morality on others.