Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Happy Mother's Day
When I was in college and taking some kind of women’s studies class I remember making a comment about women being stuck with the burden of raising children. An older woman said to me, “Having children is the most wonderful gift a woman can have.” As a 19-year-old I just felt embarrassed. I had no idea what she was talking about.
Later, when I took a human evolution class I felt I’d found answers to many of the burning questions I had about my own existence and my own purpose. When I actually had a baby of my own it all clicked into place. I thought, okay, this is what I was born to do. This is my functional purpose on the planet. I am a mother.
I grew up as a Democrat, a Feminist, and a woman very much in defense of a woman’s right to choose. It took me many years, decades, to understand the point of view from the other side. Now that I’ve been immersed in the Conservative world view I can see where the “right to life” argument comes from. The Left prioritizes the rights of women because of the Feminist movement that broke free of the oppressive forces that kept them at home, out of the workplace, with few options offered to them other than getting married and raising a family.
The Right prioritizes the life of the unborn child because they believe that life begins at conception. It isn’t about “white men” controlling “women’s bodies” so much as it is a deeply held belief that babies are being murdered in the womb.
These are the two conflicting and contrasting points of view that have defined the political divide for most of my life.
The abortion debate is a reminder of what the old Democratic Party used to be before they were tangled up with “birthing people” and “uterus havers.” The SCOTUS breach seemed to be both a wake-up call to the Left to rally the troops ahead of the midterms, and a reminder to moderate voters that they are the side that will stand up for a woman’s right to choose. The culture wars of late have been loud enough to scare the moderates and independents away from the Left. This might bring them back.
Whether this will work long term is a different question. The Democrats have moved farther left thanks to the Evergreen College generation that is demanding, not asking for, ideological compliance. From Critical Race Theory to gender theory, to “words are harm” to “cancel culture,” what makes much of the news is just how radical the Democratic Party has become, with Joe Biden as an enthusiastic participant.
The SCOTUS breach was, I think, a good example of a political party that no longer believes the rules apply to them. The protests outside the homes of the justices echo so many of the protests over the Summer of 2020, you know the ones the media mostly ignored, where diners were harassed, and people sleeping in their homes were accused of colonialism. Everything that followed in the wake of 2020, with corporations, social media platforms, and most institutions of power enacted a kind of endless witch hunt to ferret out the offenders and please the demands of the new Left.
What gets lost in the abortion debate is what we lose when we have abortions. I am not going to pretend that I have not had them. I have. I regret them. I regret them not for any kind of moral reason, but because I wish I could have met those babies. I wish I could have seen their faces. I wish I could have watched them grow up and then watched them have babies of their own because I am a mother. That is what I do.
On the other side of the debate, at least from my perspective, is the more practical elements of bringing life into the world - starting with population growth, all of the children currently in foster care with nobody willing to step up and adopt them. My own personal despair about the future of humanity makes me feel some relief that those babies I lost, either through miscarriage or abortion were the lucky ones. That is a thought reserved for the darkest days.
I am not a Conservative, I am not a Christian. I have spent my whole life condemning that ideology. I look at life from both sides now. I see where they’re coming from, and why they are fighting so hard to change the laws. On the flip side of it, women who fight for abortion rights believe that no woman should be held to the government’s control over what she can and can’t do with her own body.
I think if young women knew how wonderful it was to be a mom, and how hard it is for some women to get pregnant at all, they might think twice about having an abortion. I know I would have. On the other hand, my mother almost died trying to give herself an abortion before they were legal in California. That, to me, is a worse fate.
There is nothing I have ever done in my life, nothing I will ever do, no amount of personal achievement - even if I won an Oscar or a Pulitzer or became a multi-millionaire that could replace what being a mom was like for me. I loved every minute of it. It was probably the only thing in my life that ever made me unequivocally happy.
This debate may or may not rally the Democrats to bring back the moderates. Some have suggested it’s time for a conversation on compromise. On the Left, it is assumed that the majority will always favor abortion rights over the right to life. I am not so sure about that. It will depend on who is having more babies and who isn’t. Considering how demographics are shifting, fertility rates declining, and young people choosing not to have babies at all, this might not be the last and final fight for abortion rights in this country.
All I really know is that I am a mother. That is the best thing that I am.
Happy Mother’s Day