What brings you here?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
What brings you here?
33
Sat, 09-01-2007 - 3:19pm

Hey, all!

A two-fold question - not intended to spark debate within this thread, but just to provide a platform for posters to share their own story. I'm really curious about what brings all y'all diverse people here!

1) What motivated you to feel passionate around the abortion controversy? Was it something you were taught? A tough time you or a friend went through? A news story, or a film?

2) What do you get out of spending time on iVillage writing about it? Why do you keep coming back?

** bonus question** What do you cherish, or what would you change about this debate board, and why?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Sat, 09-01-2007 - 3:57pm

1) Why am I a reproductive health activist?

~~~I was raised in a prochoice household, but at a non-activist level. I was raised to be an activist around other social justice issues, such as healthcare, educational opportunities, civil rights, and peace. When I was a young woman, my mother frankly and without fanfare shared with me that she and my dad had had two abortions between my brother and me, as they were having some difficulty with finding effective birth control (he had a vasectomy after my brother was conceived). It was given the emotional weight of an obnoxious or irritating chore, or maybe like the car breaking down and requiring pricey repairs. I believed in accurate sex education, responsible and circumspect sexual behavior that aims toward long-term commitment and monogamy but admits that we are human.
~~~After college, I became close to a woman who had recently had a mid-trimester abortion. She had been engaged to be married, but the relationship became abusive and although she was sorely conflicted (and still bills herself as a prolife woman) she aborted. I held her as she cried on what had been her estimated due date. She's well healed now, years later (and jokingly demanding that I name my firstborn after her, as she introduced me to my husband!)
~~~As I was applying to medical school, I was invited to the March for Women's Lives in April 2004. Although reproductive health wasn't my major issue at that time, I had not been able to do as much volunteering and the like because of moving around preparing for school, and it seemed like a fun weekend, so I went - it was so powerful to see so many women of all different ages and styles of dress! This was my first close-up experience with PL protesters, too.
~~~There are many many student interest groups at school, and I got involved with many - but one was Medical Students for Choice. We ran several great hands-on workshops, such as explaining the differences between all the different medications colloquially called "the pill" (contraceptive, morning after, abortion), how to do a pelvic exam, how to place an IUD, how to perform an aspiration abortion. I was pretty shocked about some of the information I learned about how far many women travel to get access to abortion services! It was very moving to be exposed to the kind and caring physicians that taught us about reproductive health, both as part of our core curriculum and in these enrichment courses. These experiences made me feel that women's health - and rights to reproductive freedom - are important enough to me to be an activist about. I don't think this is my defining issue - there are others that take more of my time and energy - but this is one I see being a part of my life for the rest of my life.

2) Why am I here on iVillage?
~~~You all know so much! I feel like I have learned a lot here, and it hasn't slowed down at all in the past 4 months that I've been visiting.
~~~As I move into the clinical phase of my medical education, it's really really important to me to understand how nonmedical people talk and think about these issues so that I can communicate effectively. I need to be exposed to the broad spectrum of what real women are actually thinking and saying about this kind of stuff. Being here on this board has enormously expanded my understanding of the different mindsets people take, and stimulated me to do more research on many issues. Going and looking up the latest alternative to tubal ligation has been just as important to me as learning about maternal morbidity, as learning about more women's real experiences emotionally, years after having abortion affect their lives.

This board - all of you - are a profound part of my education. Thank you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Sat, 09-01-2007 - 4:39pm

1) What motivates me is the fact that both my husband and I are child free and would turn to abortion if we got pregnant. It scares me that there are people out there who want to make it illegal when they do not know my life or health. I was always taught by my mother to let people make their own decision and that we could and should only make decisions for ourselves because we cannot control others but at the same time my father always said abortion was wrong. I have never had an abortion and I hope I never have to but if I did I would do it.

2)I come here because I get to see so many different perspectives, I agree with some and not with others but it is always interesting to hear why people feel what they do. Plus, I just like to debate ;)

3.I cherish that by coming to this board I feel the right way for my life. If I could change anything I would change that people debate a topic not a specific thing. I also dislike people tell other they are wrong. No one here is really wrong, everyone feels differently and has different experiences so we can only speak for ourselves when we talk.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2003
Sat, 09-01-2007 - 6:35pm

"it's really really important to me to understand how nonmedical people talk and think about these issues so that I can communicate effectively. I need to be exposed to the broad spectrum of what real women are actually thinking and saying about this kind of stuff."


This is precisely why I lurk on

 
 
 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Sun, 09-02-2007 - 2:39am

1) What motivated you to feel passionate around the abortion controversy? Was it something you were taught? A tough time you or a friend went through? A news story, or a film?

My mother... She did her best to raise me pro choice but that lesson never took. She had her first abortion that I knew about when I was 7. It was an ectopic pregnancy and she explained that she would have died without out an abortion (i already knew about the pregnancy so she had to tell me something) I never really thought much about that one for a long time.

When I was 16 she had another abortion. This one she had because her boyfriend was a looser. her words not mine. She already had one kid with him and it wasn't like he was a different person than the day she met him. She made a conscious choice to stay with and continue havening sex with her "looser" while using birth control that she knew was faulty. She already had been pregnant on this birth control 3 times in as many years and miscarried twice, She had the funds to get any BC she wanted to use.

Anyways her reason for the abortion made me really angry. Part of it was because of the place I was in my life. I had just lost my own baby a year ago despite doing all I could including kicking a drug habit and eating properly. So a lot of my stance at that point was coming from a place of anger. but part of it was coming from it being her own fault she ended up in that position to start with. She willingly had sex, she knew her birth control; wasn't working for her ....... sounds like a recipe for pregnancy to me.

so anyways after that I was officially PL problem was I was an angry PL'er. You know what I mean we get a few of them here. It wasn't until my second son was born that my point of reference started to shift. He was OBVIOSLY a fetus at 24 weeks pregnant. However when he was born he was obviously a baby. He was capable of feeling pain and fear. I don't think that is something that magically changed when he was no longer reliant on my body.

So when exactly DID that change? At what point in fetal development does the fetus become capable of pain, fear, and a consciousness. The first 2 questions can be quasi answered by science. It is easier to say when they are not there then when it is. Obviously a blastocyte (sp?) feels no pain as it has no nerve endings same for fear as it has no brain so higher brain function is obviously not present. What science will never be able to answer though is if an embryo, zygote, fetus, whatever has any concept of life. We really don't know if the awareness of life comes solely from the brain. If it does has been debated from the point of view that the soul knows life but that assumes in some sort of god and makes the assumption that the person talking had the knowledge and permission to speak on behalf of this god. The second argument is that awareness of life may exist ion a cellular level. Even plants (which have no brain) seem to have an innate understanding of what they need to do to live.

Until we can answer all these questions I will never be PC.

2) What do you get out of spending time on iVillage writing about it? Why do you keep coming back?
The person I used to be keeps me coming back. People who are debating from a place of anger. Anger and moral outrage are not enough to solve the abortion quandary. We need to be able to speak with level heads and recognize the shortcomings in our own arguments as quickly as we are willing to see any hole in the PC argument.
Basically I keep coming back in an effort to prove that not all PL'ers are those people outside planned parenthood with awful signs telling women they are going to hell. I am here to say my piece and nothing more really.

** bonus question** What do you cherish, or what would you change about this debate board, and why?
That is a tough one. Someday this board makes me mad. The repetitiveness of teh debate is enough to make me want to beat my head off the wall but at the same time I keep coming back because some people are putting forth arguments that actually make me stop and think which is rare in a topic I have been over so many times.

(sorry for teh book)






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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2005
Sun, 09-02-2007 - 7:45pm

"1) What motivated you to feel passionate around the abortion controversy? Was it something you were taught? A tough time you or a friend went through? A news story, or a film?"


My motivation behind my passionate POV surrounding abortion and its controversy stems from my upbringing. I was raised in a house-hold that was very Anti-Abortion (on ALL counts!). When I first started visiting the debate boards of iVillage, was around December of '05... I was pregnant w/ my son, Eric, at the time, and overly emotional. I found the Abortion Debate board, and started sputtering off the typical Pro-Life rhetorical garbage... "Abortion is WRONG!" "Abortion is MURDER!" Honestly, I was a 23 year old airhead who didn't know the difference between my butt and a hole in the ground. I never allowed myself to look at it from the opposing point of view (Pro-choice) before. When I did finally look at the situation, I started wondering... Why do I care so much about what someone else chooses to do with their body? The Pro-Choice movement doesn't care if you don't have an abortion... Yet, the Pro-Life movement voices their strong opinion and dislike of the choice other women may make to have an abortion. It just seemed hypocritical to me...


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 09-02-2007 - 8:08pm

1) What motivated you to feel passionate around the abortion controversy? Was it something you were taught? A tough time you or a friend went through? A news story, or a film?"

For me it was and is the attitude of some PLrs around the issue, the need to control women and what should be their own private decisions. I first really encountered militant PLrs in Boston at college as I shopped near a planned parenthood. I think *they* really turned me 100% PC and scared the cra- out of me of many in the PL movement.

2) What do you get out of spending time on iVillage writing about it? Why do you keep coming back? "

Interest in the opposing view. I have posted here on and off for 7 years or so! Sometimes I get sick of it as it seems like a revolving debate and I'll check out for six months to a year!

** bonus question** What do you cherish, or what would you change about this debate board, and why?"

I don't "cherish" anything about this board. I wouldnt really change anything either. Its a good active debate most the time. Though trolls get a bit old -- it wouldnt be practical to try to completely block them all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Mon, 09-03-2007 - 10:55am

<1) What motivated you to feel passionate around the abortion controversy? Was it something you were taught? A tough time you or a friend went through? A news story, or a film? >

My sister was raped at the age of 14, and the idea of her NOT being able to have an abortion if she had fallen PG just horrifies me. The very idea of people trying to take that decision away from women is chilling.

<2) What do you get out of spending time on iVillage writing about it? Why do you keep coming back?>

I dip in and out. To be honest, the Religion board gets most of my energy, lol! But I do like debunking the idea that the anti-abortion position is the moral one :oD

baby siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2003
Mon, 09-03-2007 - 2:04pm

>) What motivated you to feel passionate around the abortion controversy? Was it something you were taught? A tough time you or a friend went through? A news story, or a film?< I used to think little of the topic until I became pregnant a couple of months after turning 20. The first thing my ex said to me was that he wanted me to abort - because he didn't want his parents to know. I now have a bright, beautiful 6 year old who loves that man and she will never know that he didn't want her (I do believe that if we didn't have a boy shortly after that he wouldn't be in her life).

2) What do you get out of spending time on iVillage writing about it? Why do you keep coming back? I get time to myself, really. I know that no one here cares one or the other what others truly think of the topic... we have our beliefs, our ideas and nothing anyone says will ever really change that many minds.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Mon, 09-03-2007 - 5:22pm
Thank you, lovelybutterfly - that's a deeply meaningful compliment. I hope I'm still keeping up with my extracurricular education when I'm in practice, just like you!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Mon, 09-03-2007 - 6:39pm

>> know that no one here cares one or the other what others truly think of the topic... we have our beliefs, our ideas and nothing anyone says will ever really change that many minds.<<

I am not trying to debate what you are saying but I know myself (and a few others) have changed outlooks on certain topics as a result of these boards






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