My Catholic Mother Was Staunchly Pro Choice

Mae was my mother’s friend, and my godmother. I don’t remember her well. Mae died when I was very young.

If I have my memories correct, she was quite stylish.

Blonde hair fashioned into a beehive, and smartly dressed.

And I believe it was she who visited us in the stunning silver blue convertible I adored.

It is my understanding that Mae’s husband insisted he never wanted children. According to Toots, (my mother) he wanted Mae all to himself, at his beck and call.

When he found out his wife was pregnant, he forced her into what was then an illegal abortion that perforated her uterus and nearly killed her.

It was either the 1950’s or early 60’s, and this woman who dearly loved children would never be able to conceive again. She was “lucky” to have survived at all.

My understanding is that theirs was a very “traditional” relationship, in the sense that he was obsessively controlling and she relied on him for everything, financially.

When he left her for a woman with (was it 4 or 5?) children, it wasn’t long before Mae chose suicide.

She tied a plastic bag over her head until she suffocated.

My mother knew well the permanent physical and psychological damage that back alley abortion had caused, and she believed strongly that if it had at least been safe and legal, Mae would have eventually remarried and been able to have the family she so desperately wanted. Or at the very least she might have been spared a world of pain.

Mae is just one story. There is always a living, breathing pregnant human behind each and every abortion story.

Texas is returning poor women to back alley abortions.

Texas isn’t limiting or eliminating. abortion.

Far from it.

Early accurate sex education and free access to birth control actually accomplish that;

No, Texas is returning poor women to back alley abortions.

Rich women will always have access for themselves and their daughters, and they will partake as they deem necessary.

As they always have.

I don’t care if abortion is an easy choice for some. Good for them.

I know it is also an agonizing choice for some.

And for many, it doesn’t feel like a “choice” at all, but a complete necessity.

And it should remain a safe and completely legal option. Period.

This world has enough neglected, unwanted children, thank you. Plenty of folks should never have been parents, and good on the ones who know that up front. That’s enough reason for me, because it’s none of my business.

…women should never have to die over an imposed abortion, OR the imposed religious ideology of others. Ever.

Some abortions are forced on others. Imposed. Whether by circumstance, by need, by shame… and that’s awful. But it happens, still. And women should never have to die over an imposed abortion, OR the imposed religious ideology of others. Ever.

And if cishet men were the ones who had to carry a pregnancy to term, 7 — 11 would offer 24 hour abortions, and nobody would bat an eye.

So long as Viagra is not only covered by insurance, but completely available to men — women have an absolute right to police their own bodies without State interference. There has never once been an unintended pregnancy that did not involve a man.

And if cishet men were the ones who had to carry a pregnancy to term, 7–11 would offer 24 hour abortions, and nobody would bat an eye.

“Jimmy has playoff games next week. He can’t be pregnant for that! Go get the boy a Slurpee and a free Reset.”

Mae was the reason my Catholic mother was staunchly prochoice.

And so am I.

Peace Lovelies,

-MM

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store