The following blog post is by Family Council staff member Christa Adams.
On July 7th the New York Times published an op-ed by Beth Matusoff Merfish in which she told the story of her family’s fight for “reproductive freedom” as well as her mother’s abortion. In the article Beth describes her mother’s decision to get an abortion when she was 20 as “brave” and “courageous.” She tells how proud she is of her mother for making the “freeing” decision to abort her first child.
You can read the article here, but what I took away from it was not bravery on her mother’s behalf. Her reasons for getting the abortion were motivated by fear of judgment because she was not married and a desire for her life not to change. Beth’s mother did go on to earn two graduate degrees and become a political fundraiser, which would have been much more difficult with a little one. Thus, when she describes her mother’s decision as “freeing,” I can understand that. However, in my experience “freeing” choices are generally the choices I make for my own selfish gain.
She goes on to ask other women to stand up and tell their “reproductive histories” so the world can see the importance. What’s interesting is this is where Beth and I agree. I have heard women talk about their “reproductive histories.” I have seen them sob over the loss of their child who, at the time, they were told was just a “bit of tissue.” I have friends who have told me about the guilt they live with every day.
We seem to live in a world where a beating heart accompanied by little fingers and little toes is not considered life and where selfishness is labeled as bravery, but we can change that. We must continue to speak the truth and show the true devastation abortion brings.