Wow, today I don’t have to do anything infertility related. No shots. No bloodwork. No ultrasound. Nothing.
I think I’ll take the opportunity to talk about some unrelated or marginally related things that have been on my mind lately.
First, completely unrelated to infertility: I love Hillary Clinton. I really wanted her to be our next president. However I loathe primaries. Democrats fighting democrats makes me sick! The minutia of differences between Hillary and Barrak’s platforms are infinitesimal yet they get blown out into an “us” or “them” fight. Us or them? We are we! Anyways that’s not my point. I can securely get behind Obama if that is what the party decides (although I think I’ll write him a letter about his stance on NASA – which is a little weak and nearsighted). Anywho, my real point about bringing this up is that I am so pleased that discussion of the next president now includes the phrase “he or she“. What a great development in American evolution! Young girls growing up are hearing subconsciously that they can be president. Of course we might tell them overtly that they can be anything they want but never underestimate the power of the subtle language patterns in society.
Ok, my next one is related to infertility and it is pretty controversial/deep. I am a feminist (of course! don’t get me started on women that don’t consider themselves feminists!). I am also a Christian. Often it seems that neither the twain shall meet. This gives me a unique, although not difficult in my opinion, stance on abortion. As a Christian – heck, as a human – I abhor the death toll that abortion brings and I firmly believe that life begins at conception. I feel a divine spark in the idea of conception; it is beautiful and miraculous and with purpose – not accidental. However, I am deeply shamed by Christians who act in a very un-Christ-like manner about abortion. From outright harassment and hatred (can you picture Christ doing that?) to extreme measures to change the law of the land, Christians give themselves (and me) a bad name. I espouse an apparently unique view that I can be a good Christian and believe in the separation of church and state. I don’t understand why some Christians feel that their primary goal is to enforce their doctrine on the whole country. I do not believe that was the great commission. We are to go out and tell the good news not enforce Christianity as law. Fine, I hear people saying “but someone has to look out for the unborn!” Great, I agree it tears my soul out to know that innocent babies are dying. That doesn’t mean I feel I can exact my worldview of when life begins on someone else who feels their view is as valid as mine. God has a judgment day for this reason. If you want to combat abortion do it like Jesus would have with love and compassion and education. Not only will this be living like Christ instead of like tyrants but it is actually more effective.
Which is my long preamble to how infertility effects one’s opinion of abortion. I know that I still firmly believe that laws against abortion are at best discriminatory and at worst dangerous to women. However, my whole “sanctity of life” views are so much more tangible now. It isn’t just something I “believe” because that is my particular choice in moral compass but I feel it. I know (more than I ever imagine I would) what an amazing miracle conception is and that there is absolutely positively no such thing as an unwanted baby. Maybe you don’t want her but someone does, trust me. Seeing my sisters in infertility struggle with miscarriage, failed cycles, and lost hope just drive home the perfect gift that a baby is. Always. Not sometimes. Always a perfect gift.
Does this mean I am suddenly wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade? Of course not. I believe that a society is only as free as its most subjugated class. I feel 100% in my heart that freedom of and from religion is the best possible environment for my religion and yours – whatever that may be. It does mean that I believe that infertile women and men have a unique perspective from which to educate society about the alternatives to abortion. It does mean that I shed an extra tear to hear that another pregnancy has been terminated when I would give anything to get pregnant. It is a deeper, soul-wrenching familiarity with pregnancy and pregnancy loss – both artificial and natural – that makes us kindred spirits with those contemplating abortion. We have seen inside pregnancy and conception in a way that no one else ever has. Not mothers, not abortion doctors, not pro-lifers, not pro-choicers. We have lived in these trenches and I think that gives us a valuable and unique perspective on abortion. It makes me want to say to the pro-lifer “you don’t really know what you are talking about” and to the pro-choicer “you don’t really get it either.” I don’t disrespect either of these groups (except the crazy militant ones) but I just feel I know in a way that they can’t.
Am I pro-life? Am I pro-choice? Am I a good feminist? Am I a good Christian?
I am all and more of these. I am infertile.