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Tamara, 38

Why am I Pro Choice? This is something I really haven't thought about in a while. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer that question.

Probably because I come from a family that has a history of being liberal-minded, politically-active, and cynical of too much government control, it was natural for me to grow up Pro Choice. However, as I became an adult, and certainly since I've been an adult woman, I fully understand why the government or any entity outside of the pregnant woman can be responsible for the choice to bear a child.

First of all, I believe it MUST be a choice whether you bear a child or not. It is so very very easy to become pregnant. You can take all the precautions in the world and still become pregnant. This doesn't mean having a child is the right thing. The situation of being pregnant is simply too complicated for a black and white decision. Nobody should enter into child-rearing lightly, for a parent's attitudes and decisions about raising a child affect the entire society, especially when the situation is nothing but bleak. Besides the health and well-being of the mother, one must consider the short-term and long-range economic situation and if the mother has the appropriate support system in place to rear a child. What if the mother is addicted to drugs or alcohol? What if there is no father or some other person in place to play the role of partner? What if the mother is not working or can not work? What if the mother is not emotionally mature enough to raise a child? What if the mother lacks proper education to succeed beyond a minimum wage job for the rest of her life? Many would simply say "Oh, it's God's will and God will provide!" and even though I am a Christian and obviously believe in God, sometimes I have to disagree with what might be God's will. That's a tough thing to say. But I believe a woman knows even better than God when she should bear a child and that's my bottom line.

Therefore, it makes no sense for anybody else but a pregnant woman to decide what is best for her as well as what is best for the potential child.  I know this from personal experience. When I was young and having some troubles, I was less than careful with my birth control practices and became pregnant. I knew I would not keep the child, and at first considered doing an adoption. However, the circumstances in my life then made it impossible to care for myself as necessary for a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth. My living situation was very unstable. I labored over the decision of how to proceed for several weeks and ultimately terminated the pregnancy. It was probably the most difficult decision I have ever made. But today, I know I did the right thing. I don't think I'd be as together as I am. To continue that pregnancy and then adopt out the child would have done more emotional damage than the abortion, and it would have adversely affected the rest of my life. I frequently think about how I would have a child out there somewhere today, and it makes me sad for a moment, but then I feel relieved that even with all of my early adult troubles, I had the sense AND THE RIGHT to make the CHOICE that I did.

Thank you NARAL for keeping the woman's right to choose in place.

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