My First Abortion

I was sixteen when I participated in my first abortion. 

I have participated in as many as seven abortions over the last thirty years, either physically-directly or emotionally-indirectly. I’ve only actually been to two abortion clinics across Tennessee and Virginia; one was in Bristol, and my other was actually my first health clinic in Knoxville TN. 

You see back around nineteen eighty-six a friend of mine came to me with the news that she might be pregnant but she wasn’t sure yet, and could I help her figure out how she’d know, and what on earth was she going to do about her situation?  

You see, my friend had been date-raped (I wasn’t ever really sure if my friend had actually been date-raped or not, but my Ma-Maw always told me to leave the judging to the man upstairs), 

“just help folks Michele, feed their needs first and pray your questions away later”, so sayeth my own Mary, aka my Ma-Maw)

My friend had supposedly been date-raped by a fella I didn’t really know too well but whom she seemed to love very much, before I guess one night he decided No meant Yes, and she decided she didn’t need or want the kind of attention he was giving her that evening

Within several weeks, or a little over a month, after she realized she might be pregnant was about the same time the date-rape fella she may or may not have been “sleeping with” had pretty-well stopped coming around her as much (I imagine if a fella forces himself where he’s asked not to consume and then later apologizes to God or my friend for the indigestion he created, his stomach’s remorse might not warrant a return phone-call anytime soon, especially if you’re working off a seventeen year old brain at the time). 

I guess the boy came to the conclusion that good-times weren’t to be had anymore around my friend and the less he appeared around her, the better off he felt about himself. 

I for one have had this guilt-train in my life and I too found direct eye-contact avoidance a key maneuver to finding peace and tranquility in my soul.

Now one might think by the sounds of my story that I am pro-choice and not pro-life. I’ve just discovered in my fourty-five years that most folks like to separate things into two absolute same-size compartments, because four or six different size compartments are just too darn hard to keep up with most of the time; I guess it’s understandable with all folks have going on in their daily lives these days. 

I think some people like to call this very public greedy sophism the only way to protect the unborn precious life of the potential of a women’s womb offering legislate. 

I, in deference, like to call this societal issue a health and female safety measure. I believe a person without a drop cord or public utility might find themselves in the dark too much of the time and I still think the dark is too scary of a place to be, regardless of the color and brightness of your lightbulb. 

I guess some folks think if we just people-cordon the ignorance of well wishes and bootstraps, then the non-caring baby killers will become righteous in our world made up of magnetism, hubris and soda pop. 

But you see for me, I am Pro-Life in recognition of Pro-Choice. Not to the capacity other’s definition of their world of “life” might be, but rather the definition by my Ma-Maw’s scripture. 

Matthew 7:1-5 

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

And if my generational measuring stick for life is accurate then how can the men elected to legislate a private issue so publicly, not at the same time go against the wishes of scripture? And how can we continue to feed the pro-birthing efforts while avoiding the visual decay over-births and intellectual shame alongside ramping poverty brings to our unmanned, unplanned and unmarketable children 

I guess if a distraught young, scared girl decides to use a coat-hanger to rid herself of the generational unplanned shame and guilt predicated on her, then she dies during the process, are we the people going to attend her funeral in black or white? Either chosen color still means she’s dead. 

Transgressions cannot be deemed just black and white but must be dealt with by all of us; via love, compassion and forgiveness in hopes the mother in us all help the young and dumb not endure suffering and guilt for the rest of their lives; if for no other reason than to give hope and light to the next gal who might be faced with this same unplanned predicament. 

I for one think of planning and abortion the same way I think about greed and war. Sometimes a person of better means and measures can find their way to Canada safely and soundly, while others have to dodge the impregnation draft via private poverty and public projects. 

I imagine today’s planned parenthood “defund” measure will only become tomorrow’s anti-everything currency

Dear Lord, when will the madness end? 

Lord hear my prayer 

Michele Peterson

“An Unplanned Kid”