Monday, May 25, 2009

Controlling Our Destiny

Women need to be able to control our destiny. When we cannot control our own reproductive abilities we lose the ability to control our lives. Our dreams are turned into someone else’s vision. Is it even worth living if you cannot control your destiny?

Most women in the world accept that bearing children is a part, or maybe the end, of their destiny. This is not optional, they will get pregnant and have babies. For lots of women they will get married. They will spend their life caring for others. Maybe they will have the ability to pursue work outside of the home or education. Maybe they will not have a choice about working nonstop because they have to feed their children. Most women accept that they will not control their destiny, it will happen to them and they will cope with in the best way they know how.

Suicide has been on my mind. At least 3 of my patients recently threatened to or eluded to taking their own life because of their inability to control their own destiny. Many of them make it clear the thought has crossed her mind in one way or another. I can give them a number to a suicide hotline but I’m not equipped emotionally or professionally to counsel them through these kind of thoughts. Many times a woman has suggested or even insisted she will just do the abortion herself, most often because of money. My response is, “ma’am, that is very dangerous and you would be risking your life." Oftentimes a woman’s response might be something like “well, that sounds like the next best option, there is no point in living any more.”

One person could not get enough money for her first trimester procedure and she spoke to me while at work with factory machines banging in the background. She continuously called and when it became real that there just wasn’t anything more I could do for her financially, she yelled “I guess I’ll just jump off a bridge” and hung up the phone on me. I tried to reach her but never could. She didn’t jump off a bridge but maybe another child at this point feels like death.

Safe abortion is a choice, but beyond that it is a necessity. Women must be able to control our destinies. When women do not have the ability to seek safe abortions, they will often find a way to do it anyway. They will risk their lives to control their destiny. At the very least their bodies and souls will be scarred, and at the worst their children will be left motherless.

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