No One’s Perfect, not Even Indian Girls (updated)

Listen, my children to your Akka so old,
For she has a story, which today should be told.

Once upon a time, well over a decade ago
Akka received a call from a voice whispering lowÂ…

“Help. Oh my GodÂ…I don’t know what to doÂ…”
“Wait—Gigi? What’s happening to you?”

“Anneka, I can’t take it anymore; I just want to dieÂ…”
“Shhh, stopÂ…you’re a devout Catholic, I know that’s a lie.”

“WhatÂ…no smile? That’s hilarious, G. Laugh.”

But my own laugh faltered and fell back in my chest,
This was no cry for help, this didn’t feel like a test.

“Anneka, I love you, please always remember that,”

“You stupid bitch Geee, stop, take that back!”

“I won’t let you say Good-bye, this isn’t the end,
I refuse to let you take away my best friend.

I know you feel like you are already dead,
I know about the demons in your heart and your head.

But please, don’t do this, it’s a permanent answer
To a temporary—

She sobbed, “This is worse than cancer,”

“At least then people would feel sorry for—”
“Screw them, and if they judge youÂ…well, fuck them more.
I know; they and your past are impossible to ignoreÂ…


But I also know that I’ve never met anyone with a purer heart,
That you are spun from light and goodness, unlike this tart.

Gigi, where are you, I’m already in my car
Damnit, this is Davis, you can’t be that farÂ…”

“No, please, don’t. I’ve been enough of a burden to you—”

“Gee, I swear to God, I’m going to find you and slap you.”

“Anneka, please don’t hate me for what I’m about to do,
Promise me you’ll forgive me, I’m so sorryÂ…I love you.”


Click.

“GIGI!” I screamed in to an ominously silent phone,
yanking the german car she loved over to the shoulder, alone.

Redial, redial, redial, at least twenty times
Tachycardiac beats and my breath form rhymes.“BREATHE PROPERLY Latha, you need to be calmÂ…”
I’m hyperventilating, I need a brown bag, I want my mom.

I feel crazed, like I can’t bear to be inside my skin,
My heart and my stomach take turns twisting, within.

“Am I okay to drive?” I whimper to the me in the rearview
“Do you have a choice??” my reflection hisses back, on cue.

During a race to west Davis, Yokohamas stain old tar
An illegal U-turn, a floored pedal, it’s not that far.

Brakes squeal, the front end bounces, fuck the 5 mph sign
I don’t care about parking lot rules when I’m in such a bind.

Daddy’s car is half on the sidewalk, half on a lawn once pristine
I’ll take what I need, this is now an emergency scene.

Jump out and run past dusty security cam,
Poor car is unalarmed because that’s not what I am.

“Hold on, Geee, I’m coming,” I murmur through tears
Everything is too quiet, increasing my fears.

I pound on the door, shouting her name
Then brace my shaking body with both hands on the frame.


Nothing.

I pound again, rattle a door knob, wish my shoulder were stronger,
Want to break down the door, want to keep her here longer.

I’m out of breath, out of heart, and I’m almost out of hope.
This time her voice sounded different, like she couldn’t cope

With what she had carried around inside of her for one anguished year.
Gigi, precious best friend, it took me a few minutes, but I’m here.

Dazed, I walked back to my car to try and call her home phone
To tell her that I’d hold her, that she would never be alone.

But there’s no answer, either from her cordless or my aching head
I’m consumed with terrifying possibility, replaying the words that she said.

I force myself to attend my favorite class; I’m trying not to cry.
Can’t focus on the the History of Mogul India, stare at lecturer’s tie.

Two hours later, merciful epiphany as defibrillator—
Rush to my sorority house, suddenly I’m an investigator

Enter my security code, open sesame, open DG,
rush for the basement door, trip down stairs clumsily.

Suppress the nausea rising from my core,
Stumble over rush-related clutter on the floor.

Inside the filing cabinets, lyrics, financials, info for pledges
I almost miss the hot pink hanging folder with such frayed edgesÂ…

“C.O.B. 1995″ There should be just six apps within
Jesus, DG and Jen (our Pres), forgive me for this sin.

“Fernandes, Gisele Grace” is shoved in my Jansport ski, then there were five.
“Please God, Mary, anyone, please just keep her aliveÂ…”

Back in goes pink, inside the drawer, inside dust-covered steel.
Up I go, up old stairs, though it’s only down that I feel.

“Anneka! What are you DOING?” someone haughtily inquires.
“Nothing, Whitney, go back to ‘Days’.” I leave, avoiding quagmires.

Inside my car, I whip out her file and scan for what I needÂ…

“Permanent phone: (510)Â…-Â….”

Gigi laid out like thisÂ…it’s almost unbearable to read.


Shaking hands dial cell while quaking lungs inhale.

Far away, in the east bay there’s ringingÂ…

Â…my arms look like Braille.

Tiny, tinny voice tentatively lilts a “Hullo?”
The most difficult thing I’ve had to askÂ…can I do this? No.

“Hi AuntieÂ…I’m Anneka, I go to Davis. I’m Gigi’s best–”
“I think I know you. You are her Indian friend, yes?”

“Yes. Auntie, I’m so sorry to bother you, but I’m worried. Is Gigi okay?”

“No, my dearÂ…she isn’t. Gigi overdosed earlier today.”

:+:

I left my car in front of the DG house, in a space which wasn’t mine,
To sleepwalk through traffic on Russell, crossing double yellow lines.

Numb and lost, nauseous with guilt, I traipsed through the MU,
Through the quad, then past Shields, I passed Mrak hall, too.

Down by the still green water, amid the ducks and dirt,
Fell to my knees on soggy ground, punch drunk from all the hurt.

Closed watering eyes, let sobs implode, shook like I was on fault
Nursed torturous guilt like it was a glass of rare Clynelish malt

Had she been on the other side of the front door which I feebly attacked?

Or at her Doctor-parentsÂ’ home instead, which was predictably drug-packed?

Oh, Gigi, why? How could you do, you do not do
Even ifÂ…itÂ…was so wrenching to live through.

Good Indian girls donÂ’t ever get knocked up,
In fact, good Indian girls, they never fuck up.

Good Indian girls get rid of their issues
(Except when they are Catholic, then they need tissues.)

Handmaiden of God Gigi wore her crucifix to mass
said rosaries of innocent wishes semi-weekly, before class.

Meanwhile, Dominatrix Anna made livid CRs bicker
her backpack festooned with an “Another Republican for CHOICE” bumper sticker.

But Gigi was the one who ended up having to choose,
Gigi was the girl with everything to lose.

Pre-med Gigi, always sober and responsible
Biochem major Gigi, lying half-dead in the hospital.

Our lady of sorrows, last year died on a table
Our angel Gigi, was never again stable.

Penitent Gigi never forgave herself
Suicidal Gigi, because she hated herself.

Unwilling enigma Gigi, did your parents know?
Where Gigi the sinner and I once had to go?

If they did, do they know you did it to protect them,
You sacrificed your sanity so your error wouldnÂ’t affect them.

You swallowed your misery as your Mother railed about Roe v Wade
You wept to me later on the phone about the mess you had made.

You are still an angel, a lady, our GigiÂ’s still good.
You did everything as well as you possibly could.

I refuse to believe in a deity who would hate you.
I refuse to condone those who would berate you.

I refuse to forget the look on your face in that recovery room
I refuse to forgive your bastard ex- “Dev”, who fled so soon.

I refuse to give up on you, on women, on whatÂ’s right,
I refuse to let the cross round my neck turn noose-tight.

I wish I could show your Mom and other “prayer warriors” your pain.
I wish theyÂ’d grok how your agony never wanes.

I wish they understood that no one giddily throws a post-abortion fete.

I wish they were as compassionate as the example Jesus set.

I wish they believed me when I said I think life begins at conception
I wish they understood voting for choice wonÂ’t send me in hellÂ’s direction.

Precious Gigi didnÂ’t deserve self-imposed death sentences;
Gigi deserved love, babies and white picket fences.

We disagreed for four years whenever we argued,
On our way to class, in the car, on the phone, over food…

But those dozens of times we debated the morality of a doctor’s knife,
Darling Gigi of mine, I was pro-choice because I was pro- your life.

:+:

Names and certain details have been altered to protect the rights of a survivor who got what she deserved—a simple kind of life with her husband and children in Northern California.

125 thoughts on “No One’s Perfect, not Even Indian Girls (updated)

  1. Anna, that was a heartbreaking story.

       <blockquote>Any point of serious debate should center around whether or not the burden of potential morning sickness, stretch marks and physical discomfort are enough to overshadow any input a man might want to have over the destiny of his dna contribution.</blockquote>
    

    I think that is the least of a person’s concerns when they have had an abortion. The truth is that stretch marks and weight gain aside, pregnancy is not a benign condition. 2-3 women die in the United States every day from pregnancy related complications (the lifetime risk of maternal mortality in industrialized nations as a whole is about 1 in 4000). In the US the risk goes up greatly if you receive little or not prenatal care as is likely with an unwanted pregnancy. Yes, the majority of pregnancies are complication-free and result in good outcomes, but part of the reason I am pro-choice, even though I, like Anna, believe life begins at conception, is that if you are going to put your mind and body through something potentially dangerous, you should do it out of joy, not obligation. Yes, ideally if you don’t want to go through a pregnancy, you should just abstain from sex or at least be very, very careful. But mistakes happen. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it can be a terrible one too, and no one should have to go through it against their will.

  2. I realize that it allows the man lesser freedom to weigh in on the decision but so be it. Life is as I’ve known it never black and white and certainly not clearly defined. We have far too many unwanted children and children not well cared for in this world to force someone to bring an unwanted child into this world. If a man wants to have children then he can adopt sincerely, there are many children out there looking for homes, if he can’t find a woman to have his child.

    While the “father’s rights” movement may more traditionally be associated with the pro-life movement, this doesn’t have to be the case. Lawprof Ethan Lieb writes about this topic with some frequency and argues that fathers should have some right to choose as well:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=700241

  3. I guess I just don’t understand what the “far greater consequences of bringing an unwanted child into this world” are provided the child is placed for adoption when there are tons of people waiting to adopt babies.

    Unfortunately I wish this were true. There are no lines of people waiting to adopt unwanted children who suffer not just in the United States but all over the world. In the United States we have a system of foster care that unfortunately releases 100s of children at the age of 18 every year into the world who managed to never have a family adopt them in their lifetime. 100s of children die every year from abuse and neglect and aren’t placed in foster care soon enough, many of these children die in foster care itself. And that’s just the United States. Think of the concept of unwanted children in the world. There are 100s of orphanages all over Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia where children die every single day and no one lines up to adopt them. Do we need more?

    There And that is what I meant by larger issue.

  4. I guess I just don’t understand what the “far greater consequences of bringing an unwanted child into this world”… …when there are tons of people waiting to adopt babies.

    ummm…t-hype, then why are there so many children in foster care and orphanages around the world.

    And let’s not forget the social consequences.

    For most women abortion is the LAST resort. And most doctors, clinics, etc require ALL-options counseling before a woman makes up her mind.

    You state that “Adoption is an option.” Well, “option” implies CHOICE.

  5. Firstly, ANNA, thank you so much for sharing this. Really poignant and painful to read (although too true).

    I know two guys who are childless (one in his 30′s, one in his 50′s!) whose girlfriends became pregnant and had abortions with consulting them–nothing like finding out from your girl’s sister–and both would have embraced fatherhood if asked.

    This will sound heartless, but tough. I’m not going to comment on why their girlfriends didn’t tell them – that’s definitely its own issue – but really, it is not always about you.

    Ideally, if a man wants to have his child, there would be laws in place for the mother to be compensated for her loss of comfort while he lays claim to full responsibility for raising the child. But alas, that is not the world we live in.

    If a man wants a child, he should consider a surrogate mother. To continue on my heartless tirade, I honestly don’t think men understand the amount of attachment and pain that can go into pregnancy. I’m not talking about morning sickness and whatnot — there is no “compensation” for pregnancy and child-birth. This is a disgusting idea – what are women to you, then? Breeders whose only purpose is to satisfy the propagation of the species for others, or for men?

    I really think people underestimate the emotional devastation and physical trauma of abortions. I have spent too many nights up for weeks comforting friends who felt their lives were going to end with an unwanted pregnancy. For anyone who thinks abortion is a casual and easy thing, it is not. It’s a major invasive process which can leave you physically sterile, not to mention the psychological trauma. And I have too many friends who grew up as unwanted children or in foster homes/orphanages not to be unequivocally pro-choice.

  6. Geez desishiksa, there’s no way I can let “2-3 women a day” slide as reasoning! On average, 46 Americans die a day due to drunk drivers but my sister still MAKES my 2-year-old niece get in the car to drive her to preschool and it’s not always joyful.

    Sorry JOAT I wasn’t thinking globally when I made that statement. Actually, there is a “shortage” if you will of babies available for adoption in the US. (Baby brokers only exist where there is demand.) Most of the kids in foster care are there NOT because they weren’t adopted as babies but because they were placed after the age of 6–younger kids get adopted first–or are part of an inseperable group of siblings awaiting adoption because parental rights have been terminated.

    Go search the US adoption registries of waiting children. There are NO babies. There aren’t any to list.

  7. in the case where the father wants the child and is willing to raise it, that child is by definition “wanted”. What you really mean is “unwanted by the mother”. I agree that this is not that common, but there are many men out there who are excellent single fathers, and I don’t think you should be completely dismissive to what may be an honest desire to save a life and raise a child.

    I don’t equate allowing a woman the choice to keep the baby or not as being dismissive of a willing father. I however believe that at the end of the day no one has the right over a woman’s body to tell her what to do with it. It has nothing to do with dismissing or recognizing the father. For me as a woman who is pro-choice, it’s the choice of the woman that is more important.

  8. all of you here advocating for father’s rights, while I am sympathetic (more than you know) let me ask you a few questions about choices you get to make:

    how many of you get tested when you change partners, or even regularly if you are not in a mutually monogamous long term relationship?

    when it was found that circumcision protects against HIV/AIDS (both getting it and passing it on) how many of you who are sexually active, but refuse to get tested, got circumcised to at least protect yourself and your partners?

    Do you also advocate that boys/men get the HPV vaccine since it will potentially protect their future sexual partners from cervical cancer?

    the reason I bring up these 3 examples is that when you engage in sexual relationships there are risks and consequences. And each side has rights and responsibilities. And each side has a choice.

    Camille said it right…I’m sorry boys, but if you want a child, have it the conventional way. Marry a woman who wants one and have one together, adopt, have a surrogate mother etc. You have choices too, and since none of them involve the level of trauma incurred during pregnancy, I don’t see how you can argue that you should have a choice over a woman’s body. And that doesn’t even begin to address the emotional, hormonal, physical, social etc stress of a pregnancy.

  9. In the United States we have a system of foster care that unfortunately releases 100s of children at the age of 18 every year into the world who managed to never have a family adopt them in their lifetime. 100s of children die every year from abuse and neglect and aren’t placed in foster care soon enough, many of these children die in foster care itself. And that’s just the United States.

    Speaking as someone who was a foster child both, in the state of NY and state of NJ,this issue is particularly vexing in the romanticization of adoption. (I am certainly not suggesting abortion is preferable to adoption, I just want to give some real data).

    Here is the snapshot for just one year: The US Dept of Health and Human Services numbers say that in 2003, 520,000 children were in foster care,120,000 of whom were waiting to be adopted. 50,000 were adopted. (meaning eligible, some parents never reclaim children, others do).317,007 of those children were classified as non-white. 8,405 (of all races) children were age 2. 5,562 of these were adopted out. 28,568 were less than a year old when entering the system.

    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report10.htm

  10. Ok. Ok. I really am going to stop commenting.

    For me as a woman who is pro-choice, it’s the choice of the woman that is more important.

    I heard a spoken word on this once. It was called “Pro-Choice for Women, No-Choice for Men.”

    Nobody wanted to clap at the end. It was as quiet as a crowded club could get. Hearing a thugged out dude talk about losing out on fatherhood took the wind out of everybody’s sails.

    I have a close friend who is the product of rape, friends/family who’ve had abortions, friends/family who are raising unexpected children, family who’ve given children away. Hearing all sides leads me to say, “Make the least permanent decision because you never know the future.

  11. that if it is NOT a threat to the mother’s health that perhaps she may consider that the child wouldn’t be unwanted, as you seemed to assume in your earlier comment.

    I didn’t assume anything. I didn’t bring the woman’s health into the discussion at all. To me it’s yet again a moot issue. Her willingness irrespective of what the conditions are is what I deem important.

    I am pro-choice because I would much rather not see more unwanted children enter the world. The point I am making above is for the VERY RARE instances where the man wants the child and the woman doesn’t, that those children are by definition “wanted” and that maybe some other factors should play into that decision.

    How can you be pro choice when you are putting stipulations and conditions no matter how VERY RARE?

  12. The point I am making above is for the VERY RARE instances where the man wants the child and the woman doesn’t, that those children are by definition “wanted” and that maybe some other factors should play into that decision.

    I think you have a point that would certainly apply to people who want to have an abortion because they don’t see adoption as a viable option–if the dad is willing to care for the child without the mom being involved, it might lead to the mom changing her mind about the abortion, and I certainly don’t see anything wrong with at least trying.

  13. I heard a spoken word on this once. It was called “Pro-Choice for Women, No-Choice for Men.”

    This is so ridiculous. People talk about this issue as if the burden of pregnancy is equal for both parties. It isn’t, and we shouldn’t pretend it is. Another catchy slogan goes something like this: “If men got pregnant, you can rest assured birth control would be subsidized and abortions fully legalized.” How on earth do men think they have the right to ask a woman to bring a child to term just because “they want a child”? Perhaps they should exercise the adoption option you’ve mentioned t-hype and adopt all those 6+ year old kids who need parents.

    If you want children and your partner doesn’t, maybe this is a conversation you should have before you start getting busy or decide to go buck wild without a condom.

  14. If pop wants to take care of the kid, mom has to pay child support. My father was ordered to pay $1200+ a month for us, that is, until we got split up. Then, of course, he didn’t have to pay anything.

  15. Camille said it right…I’m sorry boys, but if you want a child, have it the conventional way.

    But what if a man doesn’t want a child? I had a colleague in a previous job whose girlfriend got pregnant even though she was supposed to be on the pill. She claimed it to be an accident but decided to keep the baby right away and started forcing him to marry her.When he refused she dragged him in the court and he had to settle for a nice amount in child support.

    Although I guess situation like my colleagues are as few as say “K-Fed” type situations, the thought of being in his place still sends a shiver in my body.And I think this issue is not given its fair share of thought.

  16. She claimed it to be an accident but decided to keep the baby right away and started forcing him to marry her.When he refused she dragged him in the court and he had to settle for a nice amount in child support.

    Ok, she’s shady. That said, there are obvious risks in having sex, and it requires both partners to be responsible. Maybe he shouldn’t just rely on her to be on the pill? Condoms, when used correctly, with spermicide have a comparable prevention rate to the pill. And if he doesn’t want to run the risk at all, then abstain.

  17. Pro-Choice doesn’t mean that you should always choose abortion; sometimes there are other factors that should affect the decision. If the woman still decides to have the procedure, that is her choice. My point was that raising the child vs. abortion isn’t the ONLY choice she has in this scenario.

    Pro choice means having the choice to have an abortion. PERIOD. What is with all the background noise? As if those are issues not addressed by the woman. If you realize that in the end it’s her choice why are you arguing against it?

    You can’t chew from both sides of the mouth Bidi. You are either pro choice or not. No one in the pro choice camp denies any of the other situations. Pro choice the phrase itself should be sufficient.

  18. Upbhransh Like I said before. He shoulda used a condom. Condoms + pill/other barrier method/patch/whatevaRX will work well if dude who doesn’t want a baby wants extra insurance.

    Can we put this whole thing in perspective a little? An average woman ovulates every 28 days to get pregnant. Lets say she becomes sexually active at age 18 and continues to be for the length of her fertile life-say 30 years, give or take a few. Many women ovulate into their fifties but with less frequency. That’s 391.8 chances she could become pregnant.

  19. when it was found that circumcision protects against HIV/AIDS (both getting it and passing it on) how many of you who are sexually active, but refuse to get tested, got circumcised to at least protect yourself and your partners?
    This is ridiculous; I know the study you are referencing but I don’t know how you can draw a parallel between U.S. citizens that have not subscribed to the (barbaric) process of genital mutilation, or circumcision if you prefer. It is hardly necessary to be circumcized to prevent STD transmission; the vast majority of all countries in the world do not employ this practice. Proper hygiene and safe sexual practices are more than sufficient; the study in question took place in Africa where neither of those variables was controlled for at all.

    my point bidi is that MEN do have choices. they have a choice to wrap their bacon, they have choices that affect their partners, they have choices to be with women who have similar outlooks regarding this kind of thing. They even have the choice to use natural family planning methods if they consider using condoms a sin.

    And the biggest choice of all: They get to choose to walk away if they want too (not consequence-less, no choice is consequense-less). But men do get to choose whether to stay or not. A woman doesn’t get to choose whether or not she wants to deal with a pregnancy. She has to deal. It’s her body that’s affected. And that’s why she gets to choose from choices INCLUDING both adoption and abortion.

  20. Okay, It seems when it comes to the issue of a women getting into unwanted pregnancy, most of the posters are quite supportive of abortion(which I am very much too, its a womens body and her future, she has a right to choose).

    But when the same situation arises for a man, suddenly we remember about all kind of contraceptives and their success and failure rates. Hmm… I am not saying that man has a right to tell a woman to abort the child.Its still her right to choose, but with great power comes great responsibility. You can’t take a decision according to your will and then force other person into taking responsibility for it. All I am saying is that a man has as much right to say that he doesn’t want a child as a woman does. But I guess nobody wants to give him the right which we are correctly giving to women.

    Doesn’t it reek of double standard?

    You guys have the last word.

  21. All I am saying is that a man has as much right to say that he doesn’t want a child as a woman does. But I guess nobody wants to give him the right which we are correctly giving to women.

    You’re right, he has a right to say he doesn’t want a child, but he doesn’t have a right to force someone to comply with his choice. It’s different because it’s not his body. I think women should exercise safe contraceptive practices, also, but honestly condoms are more accessible and affordable than a lot of the contraceptive options available to “women only” (e.g. the pill). I cannot wait for the day the “male pill” comes out, although, unless paired with a shot of Viagra, I seriously doubt it will gain any economic traction.

  22. Kenyadesi- If most fertile women have this many (391.8) chances to get preggo, why wouldn’t dudes wanna use a condom, walk away, etc. if they’re not ready for bebes? I was responding to Upbhransh and his story of his friend.

    I didn’t meant to imply you were creating a men vs. women thingy.

  23. Bidismoker — Well said all around, you’ve made some powerful points.

    Also, someone said this earlier but I’ll say it again: there are a lot of comments like this floating around to justify denying the man any input in the abortion decision:

    my point bidi is that MEN do have choices. they have a choice to wrap their bacon, they have choices that affect their partners, they have choices to be with women who have similar outlooks regarding this kind of thing. They even have the choice to use natural family planning methods if they consider using condoms a sin
    If you want children and your partner doesn’t, maybe this is a conversation you should have before you start getting busy or decide to go buck wild without a condom.

    Do you guys not find it ironic that you’re using the same arguments against men having a choice in abortion that pro-lifers use against women?? I mean, barring rape, doesn’t a woman also have an ex ante choice to use protection and refuse to sleep with a man who won’t use protection, etc.? Since she has those choices, does that mean she shouldn’t have a choice when she then gets pregnant and it comes to abortion? That’s the logic you’re using against allowing men a say.

  24. Hey lawguy- Wouldn’t the woman who then has to give birth and give the baby over to it’s father, (because he wants it), have to pay child support? Not trying to be snarky here, but I do know women who pay child support. It’s a real question.

    BTW,Are you an attorney?

  25. CanÂ’t hold backÂ…

    Camille, this isn’t about a man wanting “a child” it’s about a man wanting “his child”, one bearing his features and carrying his DNA. There’s a difference and it shouldn’t be brushed over.

    JOAT, don’t be so hard on Bidi. (Never thought I’d say that!) You sounded pretty dismissive while claiming not to be dismissive. If I’m reading correctly, he’s simply suggesting that ALL affected parties be considered when making an irreversible decision.

    Again, the body comes up. If I argue for abortion based on a physical argument, ie. “my body” then only physical factors (strain of pregnancy, fatigue, stretch marks) should be considered in my decision-making. Mustn’t forget the 2-3 women who die in childbirth each day out of over 11,120 births each day. (0.0002 % chance)

    But that sounds too trivial so I move to the emotional argument: Pregnancy/adoption is emotionally trying. BUT Abortion is emotionally trying. Hmmm. Nobody wins there.

    Only other option is to pretend like abortion isnÂ’t emotionally stressful but that would be insulting to the women like “Gigi” and “beenthere” who have share their stories with us. No good feminist wants to insult other women unless those we’re talking about pro-life, right-wing Republican fundamentalist Christians or something.

    sigh

    This isn’t about “rights” or logic. It’s very much about deeply ingrained beliefs.

  26. damn! i’m bummed that i missed out on such a full and thougtful discussion.

    i understand and appreciate both sides of what is being argued here. an unexpected pregnancy can be an unwanted pregnancy or just a surprise– sometimes its the father who wants it, sometimes its the mother, and sometimes both. in situations where one party wants the child and the other doesn’t, that’s a negotiation between the the two.

    however, the issue on the table is a public policy issue, not a personal relationship issue. it is awful when a man wants to be a father, but his partner isn’t ready to give birth. it’s also hard when you want to be a mother and your partner walks out on you. and its hard when you both want to be parents and you discover the child has major birth defects, the woman’s life is in danger, or for some reason, you just can’t bring a child into this world.

    poor gigi– she suffered because others felt free to judge her for a life they hadn’t lived. that’s the danger in basing public policy on a set of assumptions (which comes as no surprise to SM readers as they are really smart cookies). but public polic need to be based on what’s good for the society as a whole, not for a small group of people in a particular set of circumstances.

    to me, that is the most compelling reason why: 1) abortion should be safe and legal and 2) the childbearing party (i.e. woman) has priority status when it comes to making that decision.

    and, as a related note, just because abortion is legal doesn’t mean you can get it. the number of clinics and physicians who are willing to provide abortion services are decreasing, even in places like CA. that’s bad news for everyone.

  27. Thank you to ANNA and to beenthere for sharing thier stories and for reminding us that reproductive choices are made by people with hearts and feelings and not by faceless statistics.

  28. And that’s it, right? We can’t talk about this stuff to the people who we love and cherish. Not about depression, not about sex or sexuality, not about anything that would bring shame upon our precious families. Can’t talk about periods and tampons, and discharges and UTIs with our own partners. Can’t generally own up to our own behavior and get tested on a regular basis. Can’t buy condoms, advocate for safe sex, or good sex for that matter, can’t say NO to our boyfriends/husbunds/friends

    Powerful words, beenthere. I’m sure Anna’s piece and your response to it will go a long way in raising awareness of this important issue.

  29. JOAT, don’t be so hard on Bidi. (Never thought I’d say that!) You sounded pretty dismissive while claiming not to be dismissive. If I’m reading correctly, he’s simply suggesting that ALL affected parties be considered when making an irreversible decision.

    Not at all T-hype. I’m not being dismissive. I understand this is an emotional issues for both parties. I’m not being insensitive to the man’s POV and understand that this is a complicated and gray area for the most part. However at the end of the day it is about the woman’s body and that’s a larger calling for me that I cannot ignore. That to me is black and white and no I don’t expect everyone to see it that way.

  30. T-Hype,Bidi- Last night, I thought about what you said, about a man wanting “his child”, and I wasn’t really empathetic about that point of view because ultimately I am always promoting the freedom to choose no matter what. I still do.

    Then I went to a memorial service and watched people as young as 6 and as old as their 70′s coming together to mourn one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. As I met the mother of the deceased and saw his face in hers, it dawned on me what an impact she had on the creation of this wonderful person we were all mourning. I know, there’s more to it then that and lots of jerks have kids that turn out fine and vice-versa but I could see his quiet sharpness in her. Lots of other good things too.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I understand that wanting to have your child might be about wanting to see if you can take the best of who we are, the best lessons we’ve learned and recreate humanity.

  31. I have been one of those Pro Choice, Anti Death Penalty Catholic Feminists. One of those who will choose not to have an abortion, but believed the choice is up to me. Here in North America, the issue seems to be more relevant for young women who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock, or for women who have been raped and our sympathies are for these women in these difficult situations. However I have had a bit of a change of heart after being in Delhi for awhile. There is a lot of underground gender selections still going on. So unlike the west, here most of the women choosing to have abortions are married & their reasons (or their families) are unfortunately an aspect of Indian culture that most are hoping to change. But it makes me ill when I think of all these baby girls being killed soley because they are not male.. and I can not in good conscience support this. But would I support an Indian American woman here who chooses an abortion for the same reason? Well no. I’m not really supporting every women’s choice, just those that fall in my narrow category of “ok”. So is it ok for America to be pro-choice & not India, because the culture here is more liberated & we do not have gender baggage? Hardly seems fair or possible. Then the choice for me is to be pro-life, for all global lives including all women. Perhaps the Pope knew more about what he was saying that I gave him credit for..

  32. you guys need to read a little more. get a wider exposure to you know like books and stuff.

  33. this is very poorly written. what more can i say? why is it that it is being praised so much? somebody mentioned vikram seth! gah!

    you guys dont hold back the sarcasm when it comes to reviewing movies, politics. you have an opinion on everything. how about a little honesty for rubbish by your own?

  34. this is very poorly written. what more can i say? why is it that it is being praised so much?

    Hmmm, just a random guess here– maybe because YOUR taste isn’t identical to every other SM readers’? Huh. Shocking that others might appreciate what you dislike and v.v. The mind boggles.

  35. But it makes me ill when I think of all these baby girls being killed soley because they are not male.. and I can not in good conscience support this.

    Wouldn’t it be worse for if those fetuses had not been aborted, and the families were raising girls they never wanted? Worse for the girls, I mean.

  36. somebody mentioned vikram seth! gah!

    That be my ignant self. I am sure the word “homage” must have cropped up in all the fine books you have read.

  37. this is very poorly written. what more can i say? why is it that it is being praised so much?

    Perhaps because it’s a story that touches the heart and people relate. Brilliant doesn’t always have to be about the actual prose or whether it follows all the rules but can be about the message. Perhaps that is why people appreciated it. When there is a larger message there is little need to criticize the writing.

  38. no there is hypocrisy and sycophancy at work. how is it that not a single comment mocks the sophomoric pretentious effort when the general tone of the blog is mocking?

    sepia mutiny is like an incestuous orgy.

  39. no there is hypocrisy and sycophancy at work. how is it that not a single comment mocks the sophomoric pretentious effort when the general tone of the blog is mocking? sepia mutiny is like an incestuous orgy.

    Because we try to behave like community members and be respectfully despite fights and arguments between people. There was a larger message at play in this piece. I find it incredibly tacky to criticize it for it’s ‘writing merits’ when the message is more important than how it’s written. Nevermind that at the end of the day it’s a blog.

    Perhaps if this place has turned into an incestuous orgy that you seem to obviously loath so you might considering going somewhere else where behaving like an asshole is acceptable.