By Laura Walcher
They may not ever tell you, but I’d be willing to bet that my experience will resonate with many women you think you know.
I have two adult children: our son heads a key division of a financial services firm; our daughter’s 15th anniversary of heading up her own public relations firm is coming up this year. They are both healthy, both accomplished.
In their earliest years, I was a sad and sickly mother. Going through two unexpected pregnancies was not going to benefit their own young lives. Ergo: two abortions followed: one legal, one not. Considering my fragile health, the doctors had advised me to proceed.
Each abortion was a physical relief, and an emotional drain. Even though my abortions were, and most are, performed before a fetus is viable, the experience is nothing to be celebrated; instead, and I believe I speak for most women, the most — if not the only — positive emotion might be…relief.
Relief from difficult expenses; from interference with one’s life path; from the emotional toll of additional children to care for; from — as noted — a negative impact on one’s health; from fear; from feelings of inadequacy; from embarrassment; and so on. And, experience has shown us: too often, an unwanted child can be a highly unlucky one as well.
In deciding on abortion, I cannot recall seeking the opinion of others, except for my doctors. I do not recall sharing the decision or experience with others, save my husband and select intimates. Understanding the rationale for my decision, none tried to dissuade me.
While much of life is left to luck, my adult children today lead reasonably balanced, successful lives. I prefer to believe that providing them a stable, attentive mother has helped.
Amazingly, the abortion beat still goes on. In the courts, in Congress (for instance, the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal programs from paying for abortions, and attacks on the Affordable Care Act), among the Republican Presidential candidates (all are anti-choice), in attacks on Planned Parenthood, in churches, synagogues, and on the other side, in the rise of several women’s organizations telling their stories, demanding their right to manage their own lives, their own health, their own options.
See-sawing on abortion has become business as usual, from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to — heaven help us — Donald Trump. May I advise them to stop; please. Gents, bow out — it ain’t nobody’s business but our own.
Laura Walcher is principal public relations counsel to J. Walcher Communications in San Diego