- Until then, we need free or subsidized abortion care for women who need support, so they can be whole again.
There is a lot of commotion — this is 1995. A bloody mass is found stuck in the toilet of the hostel in Baroda in India. Who did it? A witch hunt went on. Luckily the authorities at the hostel were not that smart and they never figured out who the girl was. There were whispers — what was it? A 2-month-old fetus? Oh no.
I shivered thinking of the poor girl who did it. Abortion was legal in India then, but not free. Why did she do it this way? How much pain she must be in? Did she make it out alive? How did she even walk normally to her room after that much blood loss? How she must have accomplished this ghastly operation by herself — which definitely takes medical expertise.
Even deeply suicidal people just manage to make cuts — there is a big difference between the desire to hurt themselves and the ability to bear the pain of cutting oneself. How can you make a cut deep down there — that too quietly, so no one knows. Enough to emit a miniature human out. Can you even imagine the pain? Have you thought of the danger to the woman’s life in the situation of a self-induced or illegal abortion? What if she is in the hands of someone who will take advantage of her predicament? Obviously, if it has come this far, she does not feel supported by her family.
This, and more of it, is what we are asking for when we ban abortions. Does not matter whether Republicans or Democrats.
A sweet baby with its tiny little toes and baby smile with a sweet loving mother— who does not like this fantasy… I do.
Then why do people have an abortion at all?
Life in a human context means the baby needs education, a certain financial and emotional infrastructure, a parental figure to help them with their homework, tell them they are special and help them with their emotional needs. An unprepared mother is too busy taking care of her own needs — financial, emotional and even sexual —is not ready to provide that.
How is it fair to bring a child into this world for whom you are not ready? And you know you are not ready. How is it fair for the government to impose parenthood on you?
The government did not help in even getting free insurance and health care — how can it impose a lifetime of parental care on the women? Can it dole out money to support unprepared single mothers? For their care during the pregnancy, at least? Are there orphanages or foster care system that are flawless and loving enough to accommodate all the additional pressure of raising babies? Even the best of them have stories of teenagers who are feeling so unloved and directionless — any reason to add more to that sadness?
I am still thinking about what is the logic behind all this. Who would benefit from forced pregnancies? Is it the man, thinking he has an offspring somewhere? His seed is growing somewhere, and he can just drop by when the kid is 14 and say hi and eat pizza with him? Or a woman living life with guilt.
I have not even touched on the topic of rape and incest-related pregnancies when the woman did not CONSENT. Consent takes another meaning in this case. Did she CONSENT to be impregnated?
Written consent to carry a full-term pregnancy should be signed by the woman, and the man should agree to provide financial support for the baby for the duration of pregnancy and life. It sounds ridiculously unromantic, for a drunk couple in a bar, I agree. But that is what is fair.
Society has been making strides in women’s liberty.
And I don’t say this as just a feminist, but it is simply logical that support for women is good for the entire society — as we are technically half the population.
How can you have joy and happiness in society or any house if half the members are feeling insecure in every way? How can you have a happy household if the mother and daughter cannot express themselves or have no right to education or liberty or are afraid of being thrown out of the house?
There has been a lot of progress in the last three decades. The world went from analog to digital, from local to global.
Gradually women are making strides in being financially independent, having a say in their marriage, and having a say in whether they want to become a mother or not. It is all beautiful stuff — I was proud — the women nowadays enjoy a lot more freedom, a lot more voice. Fashions have evolved to comfort, tennis shoes under ghaghras, dulhans dancing at their own weddings with goggles and fashionable dresses, no body shaming — it’s all great stuff. We wish we grew up with all that freedom.
It was all going in a great direction. Many women I know decided to not be mothers. They are making wonderful progress in their careers and education. The world did not experience a drastic drop in population because of these women and men.
Why go backward? When there is so much progress yet to be made, like universal free health care, breaking of the glass ceiling for women and minorities, free college education for all (I mean underprivileged women and minorities who can not afford it) support for immigrants and refugee population all over the world, rebuilding neighborhoods and communities that need support — these are the tasks at hand. Let’s work on them.
And yes, when the world is perfect, and we the women feel financially and emotionally stable, we will gladly give birth to some beautiful tiny delicate babies. You won’t have to force us. We want to be mothers — when we know we can bring a baby safely into a great kind world. And you need happy, healthy, unburdened and independent women to create that perfect world. Until then, we need free or subsidized abortion care for all women who need the support, so they can be whole again — stand on their own feet and be the mothers that their kids and this world can be proud of.
Nirali Thakkar teaches painting and art history at Santa Ana College, North Orange County Community College District and California Miramar University. She studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design, New York, earned a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Painting from M.S. University, India. She loves to write, travel, play with her cat and eat desserts with her daughter.