When I was 15, I had a pregnancy scare. No, no, no, I wasn’t having sex! Good lord. But I did have a boyfriend, and we got pretty frisky from time to time. At first, when my period didn’t arrive, I figured it was just a day late. Then, a day turned into a week, and that week turned into two. I panicked.
I knew I couldn’t really be pregnant, but that didn’t stop me from going into crisis mode. I became convinced that I was the modern Mary. “My period isn’t coming!” I thought. “I’ve been impregnated with the next Jesus Christ!” I started examining my profile in the mirror and noticing pregnant women EVERYWHERE. Melons in the grocery store turned into baby bumps. The milk cartons in the cafeteria were suddenly filled with baby formula. Any opportunity to go to the bathroom during class became an opportunity to stare desperately at my perfectly clean underwear. Inside I was screaming, “WHY! Why won’t you bleed?!”
Finally, I decided I had to do something. So, in my infinite 15-year-old wisdom, I walked down to the creek by my house, sat down in the grass along the shore, and meditated. With my eyes closed and my hands resting on my knees, I imagined a great red river flowing through me. I saw red falling from the sky like rain drops crashing to the earth, making ripples in the stream. Soon, my mind was drenched, drowning in red. I felt myself rise out of my body and into the space around me. Suddenly, I was weightless.
Later, when I returned home, I discovered that all of my meditation had paid off.
Girl Thwarts Immaculate Conception with Meditation. Pretty neat, huh?
While I didn’t end up being pregnant with baby Jesus II, I did have an experience that required me to ask myself what I would do if I was actually going to have a child at age 15. My situation forced me to confront the issue of abortion head on and to picture my future differently. I wasn’t prepared to answer the question, “should I, could I, have an abortion?” I was prepared, however, to consider what that meant and whether or not that choice was right for me. In that moment, my right to make that choice seemed more crucial than ever before.
Today, I’m blogging for my personal right to choose what I do with my body, and I’m blogging for every 15-year-old girl’s right to make that decision, too.
In a perfect world, the abortion debate would not exist because there simply would be no need for abortions. Women, girls and their partners would have unlimited access to contraception. Sex education programs would tell our children everything they need to know about responsible sex. Parents would be open with their sons and daughters about having healthy, safe sexual relationships, and teenagers wouldn’t act like idiots. Abortion would be obsolete and everything would be honky dory!
However, the world we live in is far from perfect, and last time I checked, the United States had the highest teen-pregnancy rate in the developed world. In a country where sitting through at least one sex ed class is practically a universal rite of passage, you’d think the public would make, and have the opportunity to make, safer decisions. Yet our teenagers continue to get pregnant and contract STD’s. What’s going on here?
I have a hunch that it has something to do with choice. When a person’s choices regarding what she learns, what she knows and what thinks about sex are limited, she is more likely to end up in a situation without any options at all. So she gets pregnant. Gets an STD. Gets trapped.
The question for this year’s Blog for Choice Day is what will you do to help elect pro-choice candidates in 2012? So, I’ve decided to make a few resolutions in the name of electing pro-choice representatives, and in the name of Choice in general:
- I will educate myself about a candidate’s policies surrounding abortion and women’s rights.
- I will support pro-choice candidates not only with my vote, but with my influence.
- I will educate others on this issue and do my best to engage them in civil discourse that challenges them to think beyond their politics or their religious obligations.
- I will stay updated on what the government, both at a state and federal level, is doing to protect, or threaten, women’s right to choose.
- If I find my freedom of choice is in jeopardy due to a governmental policy or otherwise, I will do everything in my power to fight against this measure and ensure that my voice is heard.
And most importantly, I will begin every abortion-related story with the following headline: Girl Thwarts Immaculate Conception with Meditation.
What will you do?