Posts tagged pregnant
Posts tagged pregnant
Trigger warning: abuse and rape descriptions.
A few weeks ago my mom stapled pages of a story in one of her women’s magazines together and handed it to me. She gave it to me pretty much with the tag lines “for your feminist blog” and “something new to consider.” Indeed it was; she knows me well.
The story is titled “I was forced to be pregnant.” With a title like that, reading it was actually not on the top of my to read list. I thought it was about women not exercising their right to choice. I was very, very wrong on that one.
Have you ever heard of Reproductive coercion? It is a term that was quite recently coined by the advocates against domestic violence to describe a certain type of abuse some women face. It occurs when a man pressures their partner to have kids and/or impregnates them against their will. Reproductive coercion comes in three different types:
1. Emotional pressure that turns into verbal and physical abuse.
2. Sabotaging birth control
3. Marital rape
Over 75% of women 19-49 who reported once experiencing domestic violence also endured some type of reproductive control by men. It’s all about control and domination over a woman’s body.
The first story in the magazine is about a woman who got married around 36 years of age. After a few months of dating her boyfriend talked excitedly about having children. After he proposed he began calling her “The Babymaker.” She then confided with him that one of her fallopian tubes was blocked. He in return insisted she see a fertility doctor. She recounts, “I had finally met a great guy who was eager to start a family with me. What woman wouldn’t fall for that?” Soon after her honeymoon he persisted on in an obsessive manner, but his efforts had to be temporarily halted as she had to get emergency back surgery. Alas, 6 months into recovery he was back to pressuring her again. She was in much pain at the time due to her back, but she agreed to In Vitro Fertilization. She then became pregnant, but soon miscarried. In response, her husband grabbed her by the neck, choking her. He apologized, blaming his outburst on his grief and had her sign up for another round of IVF. And then a third round. She tried to put him off with the excuse that she needed to weigh more before she could take treatments, her husband forced her to get on the scale often and filled the fridge with fattening foods. “It hurt that all I was good for was getting pregnant.” She recounts. At the end, he screamed at her, threatening to replace her with a maid if she couldn’t get pregnant and she told him she no longer wanted to have his child. He destroyed bedroom furniture, pushed her down the stairs and threatened her with a gun. She fled to a domestic violence shelter.
The second story was about a woman who faced marital rape. This woman was 40, had a then boyfriend and two children from a previous marriage. After telling her boyfriend she did not want any more children, her boyfriend refused to wear a condom and began to rape her. She then became pregnant with her third child. Birth control was never an option for her because she couldn’t hide pills anywhere for he went through all of her belongings. Three months after giving birth, he raped her again, impregnating her with twins. She lost the twins in a physical fight with him, but soon became pregnant again. During her recovery she begged her obstetrician to remove her ovaries and devise a lie to tell him; that she had cancer. After a decade of sexual abuse and violence she was able to get a job that kept her out of the house and often times traveling.
One in four callers to the National Domestic Abuse hotline said that their partners had tried to force them to become pregnant. Why? As one woman stated, “Its like he wants to own me from the inside out.” Having a baby is the perfect tie that binds. These type of abusers want to create a circumstance in which their partner is dependent on him.
WHAT’S THAT HAVE TO DO WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD?
Many voters never consider how defunding these clinics could hurt victims of domestic violence who turn to them for counseling as well as pregnancy prevention. Abused women will turn to health care providers long before they will turn to domestic abuse hotlines and organizations. Many women in abusive relationships rely on life saving, affordable care programs such as Title X. It is critical that such places are open and operation when women and children need them so desperately.
I’m completely aware that I’m an asshole to people who don’t give a child a chance to experience life. I honestly think that person is being selfish just cause they don’t want their parents to be mad at them or whatever it is. I know I didn’t have the best life before I got pregnant, and getting pregnant just made some things more complicated, but I can’t see myself living my life without her and she’s not even here yet. She’s the second best thing that has happened to me.
I don’t understand why people open their legs if they’re not ready to deal with the consequences. Now rape, that’s a whole different story. But I’m not gonna get into that. And another thing I don’t understand is why people don’t consider adoption. There are couples out there who would DIE to have a baby but physically can’t. You can make another couple happy and make sure that baby you’re carrying has a good life with a couple that really wants to raise a child and are ready for it.
I know I’ll probably loose followers and get shit for this, but I’m just stating my opinion.
It’s understandable to state your opinion, but I’m going to preface this by warning you to not get your panties in a bunch if people decide to explain to you how ignorant your opinion is.
Pregnancy is not a consequence of sex. Let me say it again, to emphasize: Pregnancy is not a consequence of sex, pregnancy is not a consequence of sex, pregnancy is not a consequence of sex. If you actually believed that engaging in sex is a 100% agreement to pregnancy and parenthood, then I would like to see you fighting to make sex between individuals who are infertile illegal. Anyone who engages in sex and does not conceive needs to head down to the Adoption Agency and fill out the paperwork because, hey, you should only have sex if you’re ready to raise a kid, right?
Does that sound ridiculous? Yes? Good. Because that’s what you and everyone else sounds like when they start saying things like “You shouldn’t have opened your legs if you didn’t want to get pregnant.”
Saying you wont get into rape is saying “I don’t feel like dealing with this crime which has affected thousands of women in the world.” It’s insensitive. If you’re going to look at abortion and the reasons why a woman would seek one then don’t be an asshat—look at them all and have the common decency to talk about it, because it is a problem that needs to be given voice.
And clearly you don’t understand is adoption. Do you have any idea how defunct the Adoption system is in the U.S.? Do you know how many thousands of children outgrow the system, waiting or who will never be adopted? Please feel free to Check my facts. Not that I am in anyway dismissing the pain a couple faces when they cannot have a child of their own, but please explain to me just where all the tons of wanting families are, and why they’re not adopting these hundreds of thousands of children?
Furthermore, adoption is a solution to parenting—not to pregnancy. The woman in question must still contend with 9 months of pregnancy. 9 months of sickness, pain, missing work or school and the slew of societal problems (such as shame from school/work/family or any other source) that she did not consent to. Remember, the difference here is that the woman consented to sex, not to pregnancy.
When a woman complains about the cost and finances of raising a child, many anti-choicers love to scream about adoption and how you don’t have to pay anything—but childbirth costs thousands of dollars. Sure, if your insurance covers it, that’s fine and dandy—but you still wind up paying $500 to $3,000 out-of-pocket (for births without complications, as well.) 27 million women are without insurance in this country—that’s 18%.
Adoption is not an alternative to abortion, it is quite frankly a silly and uneducated argument posed by those who either do not understand what they are talking about, or who see the facts and yet refuse to listen based upon self-righteous, unwarrented indignation over what another woman chooses to do with her own body.
This commentary, it is the greatest commentary in the word.
A million gold stars.