As a minority, growing up in a family where most women became mothers before they graduated from high school, I knew that wasn’t the reality I wanted for myself. I didn’t want to become another statistic. However, shortly after completing my senior year of high school, I learned that I had become pregnant at the young age of 18. I immediately knew that I wasn’t prepared to become a mother and could not properly care for a baby.
The most responsible decision for me in that moment was to abort the pregnancy. Thankfully, I was able to pay for the medical services provided to me with the help of my boyfriend. But for so many young women, access to safe and affordable abortion services is out of reach. That is why we must continue to fight for a women’s right to choose. We’re the ones who should be able to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.
I’m sharing my story because it’s one that many other women in my community can relate to, as the majority of minority women tend to face the challenges of motherhood with limited support and financial resources to sustain a family. Forcing women, especially minority women, to conceive a child under these circumstances is reprehensible and irresponsible on the part of our elected leaders. They’re not only taking away a woman’s right to choose and right to control her own body, but they’re also perpetuating a cycle of poverty, child abuse, neglect, and even abandonment – an unfortunate reality and direct result of having an unwanted pregnancy. I can understand that some believe life begins at conception, and to them, we must protect the unborn lives. Protecting children is something that we all can agree on regardless of our personal and political views.
However, the issue I would like to raise with our leaders is this – why is every life worth saving until an unwanted child is born? Where is the governmental support when a new mom is forced to return to work just after 3 weeks of giving birth? When their employer does not offer paid maternity leave and they’re unable to afford childcare. Where is the support and concern when new moms are experiencing postpartum depression and can’t afford to obtain counseling services? This is especially true for minority and immigrant women who do not have an abundance of support and resources available to them and will ultimately be most impacted by the reversal of Roe. Our elected leaders care more about controlling our reproductive organs than they do about protecting society as a whole. Considering the current climate around gun control, there seems to be a consensus that women’s reproductive organs need to be controlled more than the use and abuse of firearms. Those who reside in positions of authority must consider the unwanted children that will be birthed if Roe is reversed and the repercussions this will present not only to those children, but to women of all ages, races, and socioeconomic statuses. If the main objective is to preserve life then we need to focus more on controlling what is now and has always been a clear and present danger to society – Gun Control – and not a woman’s right to choose!