I work in development because I don’t want to see change.
In spite of my horrible non-green finger and blatant inability to grow anything, I have the strong urge to plant something (figuratively) that will grow. I don’t wanna see change because if I see it in my lifetime it means that I have a achieved it too quickly and it’s likely to fall apart. I want to plant change and die (in many many years, I hope) knowing that I have created a great bed for flowers to grow in.
Most of us working in development know that we won’t ever get rich, we won’t get stellar bonuses at the end of the year and the chances of living in a penthouse overlooking Central Park are slim, to say the least. We know that, if everything goes well, we will be well off -if we are very lucky, enough to send our kids to international schools-, we know that we will be sharing houses for a long long time and that we will be asked to take trains, buses, tuk tuks and sleep in crazy places.
Most of us also know that sometimes we will be tired of this above-average adventurous life and we will wonder why on earth we didn’t use that Masters’ degrees for something more chilled out, maybe working from 9 to 5 and within 4-5 hours from home (you feel this way? Don’t worry, I do too).
But then we look at what we do, at the data that piles up on our desks and at the hands of those we call “beneficiaries” and shake the thought of a boring commute sitting on a bus, and a bland 9 to 5 week, out of our head.
As I said many times before I work on child protection and gender. Many times in my working life I have come across situations that have made me sick. Very often I have taken a day or two to rethink my position and look for another job and then went back to what I do. Because I love what I do and because what I do makes me the person I want to be. The sickness in my stomach when I talk to people, when I read that children are born disabled because the doctor who delivered them wasn’t able to perform a simple procedure to speed up labour and make it less traumatic, even when I see the lady of the corner shop with a black eye and she tells me she’s fine, I want to change that.
This post was triggered by a really sad news: the last abortion clinic in Mississippi (the Jakson Women’s Health Organization) was broken into and vandalized (if you want to support it and raise awareness please sign here and if you can donate). It will keep operating but of course the damages have been substantial and it will take time before it goes back to normal.
I personally never had an abortion but I have people close to me who have, and thank God that they were able to access it. One of the pillars of feminism is that every woman should be in charge of her reproductive health, whether she wants or doesn’t want to have children and in what terms.
And honestly, I think this is a no brainer, who could possibly object to that? It’s like… almost dogmatic, right? You must be free to choose if you want children or not. Well, it evidently is not so crystal clear, as there are legislators (astonishingly not only men) who think this issue deserves to be discussed.
Pregnancy can be a marvelous moment of a woman’s life, one that contributes to define her identity and gives her the joy of having a life growing inside her. Provided that she wants to.
Women who seek abortions are women who, for whatever reasons, don’t want children, and forcing them to have them is a form of torture that goes against the very nature of human rights. You, person who has no children by choice and supports pro life movements: do you know what it feels to have your body change before your eyes and being unable to do anything about it? Do you have any idea what it will be like to have a small person taken out of you and being forced to give it out for adoption? Why not make a pill available to everyone. Making it available doesn’t turn women into serial killers, it just allows them to choose motherhood whenever they are ready for it. It allows them to avoid or reduce the trauma of a surgery done illegaly as much as the trauma of having a baby knowing that they won’t be able to care for it, and there will always be a person in this world who looks like them but may never know who they are.
Making abortions illegal makes them dangerous. And dangerous abortions mean death of women.
So, I really hope that you, who broke into the Jakson Clinic or you, who stand outside abortion clinics giving your unrequested advice, read this post:
I am a good person, I don’t wish ill on anybody although I hope I never meet you in person because it would be too much of an effort for me to bear with your obtuse stupidity, and because I am a good person I don’t hope that one day you are faced with the choice.
If that happens, I hope that with utmost good faith you can look your daughter in the eye and tell her she can’t have an abortion because it’s against your principles. Which of course should be hers too, if only she hadn’t applied for and gotten into a good University which she won’t be able to attend with an infant.
At this point, and only because I am a good person, I don’t wish you that she has the baby and despises you for the rest of her life for having punished her with a child she didn’t want only because one night, in the back of Jimmy’s car…
What I also don’t wish you, or better, I don’t wish her, is to run away and get an illegal abortion, I hope she doesn’t come hope pale and in pain, I hope that she doesn’t choose a shitty place where they work quickly and for a fair price, because people who go to those places are more exposed to risks than others, but unfortunately this is often the only option.
If you have vandalized the only abortion clinic in Mississippi I want you to know that it might not be your daughter who will resolve to go to an illegal abortion clinic, but it’s gonna be somebody else’s.
Think about it next time you go about destroying someone else’s second chance.