I typically do not get political, or do I?

“Abortion” printed on paper

I don’t usually get political.  Well, I guess I do.  It is the nature of who and what I am…A birth mother…

In November 1995, I sat at an abortion clinic filling out paperwork.  It was a difficult time in my life.  I was pregnant, ashamed, and did not know who the father was.  I was 24 years old and not ready to be a mom, physically, financially, or emotionally. Abortion seemed to be the best option.

I am pro-choice.  However, being pro-choice does not equal wanting to abort.  I realized this as I was sitting at the clinic, and tears started falling on the paper in my hand. This is not for me. I walked out of the clinic, not knowing what I would do next but knowing that I could not terminate my pregnancy no matter how hard it was.

The point of telling my story has many levels. I tell my story as a Jewish Birth mother because that aspect of adoption from a birth mother’s point of view is not spoken about.  There is a stigma attached to being a birth mother, even though it is one of the most selfless acts someone can do.  I also tell my story because I am pro-choice.  I had and have the right to choose.  I had the right to choose to have an abortion.  I had/have the right to choose what I wanted to do with my own body.  With the Roe v. Wade draft ruling being “leaked” to Politico, abortion has become a hot-button topic (not that it ever wasn’t), and I felt the conversation needed to be had, or at least wanted to share my opinion.

I am all about having the choice of what to do with my body and not leaving it up to the government to choose for me.  I realize that the current draft of the ruling circulating states that it will be up to each individual state/commonwealth, but honestly, I do not trust the legislature in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to keep abortion legal.  Hopefully, I am wrong, but my gut tells me otherwise.

Heidi Brown, host of Coffee, Cream, & Convo Podcast, stated, “It’s about choice.  People have this misconception that being pro-choice means that you want to allow people to use abortion as birth control, and that’s not the case.  I was given the option of abortion with my now 12 years old daughter due to the multitude of complications for the majority of my pregnancy.  Although I decided not to have an abortion, I can completely understand why another woman may not be willing to go through what I did and choose to abort.  That’s her choice, and I could never stand in the way of any woman or any family making the decision making the best decision for themselves.” This is what being pro-choice is.  Again, as a woman, making that choice for yourself and not having the government, state or federal, make that choice for us.

On the day that the draft was “leaked,” I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post by an unknown author who stated a lot of my feelings.  I shared it on my page in full, but in part states, “I’m not pro-murdering babies… I’m pro-Susan, who was sexually assaulted on her way home from work, only to come to the horrific realization that her assailant planted his seed in her when she got a positive pregnancy test result a month later…I’m pro-Brittany, who realizes that she is in no way financially, emotionally, or physically able to raise a child… You don’t get to pick and choose which scenarios should be accepted.  It’s not about which stories you don’t agree with.  It’s about fighting for the women in the stories that you do agree with and the CHOICE that was made.”

Many people will disagree with what I am writing, which is fine, but again, it boils down to choosing what to do with our bodies.  We need to move beyond politics and theory to focus on meeting the needs of women in every community.  Vulnerable pregnant women need more than abortion access — they need unconditional love and help.  Let’s come together to start providing that support and leave the government out of our decisions.

About the Author
Lori Prashker-Thomas is a Jewish Birth Mother, who advocates for other Jewish women, both as a speaker and writer, as well as an advocate for those who have suffered or continue to suffer from Ludwig's Angina, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other illnesses. Lori is also Owner and Officiant at Ceremonies by Lori and is Co-Owner of ShadowCatcher Photography with her husband, Michael W. Thomas.
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