They have been airing this commercial recently (and by 'they,' I mean those scary people we allow to hijack terms like christian [read 'not a terrorist'] and patriotic). These people find their ways into the curriculum that educates nearly 90% of American youth (and hello, the other 11% are attending private [read religious] schools), as well as in our media, where American youth are really getting their education. I'm glad I can't think of the name of the organization [read cult] that is paying for this ad because I wouldn't want to give them any credit (even if only a handful of people read this and they mostly agree with me!).
It's basically a montage of elementary age children saying what they are going to be when they grow up, it reeks of the stench of right-wing conservatism. And, of course it ends with the all so famous "I am a life" message. Now, don't get me wrong, I am perfectly aware that a pregnancy can end in many painful ways and no matter how it happens there is a woman and possibly a family on the end of that pain. That includes when a woman has to make the decision herself to end a pregnancy. There are of course many very justifiable reasons (based on our own sensibilities) that most of us (even christians) would be able to forgive her for. Then there are the other reasons...
The fact of the matter is I am glad I have not changed my stance on this issue after becoming a mother (and I've seen it happen to women I consider my contemporaries, so I was kinda worried). A woman's right to her own body is paramount to a civilized society. Now, I am a feminist, through and through (and my feminist theories could be a whole other blog) but I put great effort into not being a 'femi-nazi' (I believe you 'get more bees with honey') so a lot of people that know me can be surprised with some of my 'radical' beliefs. I could get into all the issues that oppress both men (because I believe feminism is as much a male issue as it is a female issue) and women in our culture. But this one has to be the priority, because if women lose any right to any part of their body then they become less worthy than men and in a sense, lose power over their own body, even in intimate relationships where trust and dignity are crucial.
I won't even go into the fact that the majority of these people that run these ads playing the 'what if' card are no where to be seen once they have talked a woman into walking away from a decision she had made by pulling on that ever so delicate string that was ready to unravel anyhow. Where are 'they' when this woman is now faced with a child she cannot support, who doesn't have any support or safety net of her own? It is hideous that there are so many perfectly healthy, children who are in dire need of love, attention and a family in our very own country (yes, Angelina, you don't have to travel across the world to be a hero) and yet there are people trying to convince someone who is making the toughest decision of her life while trying to consider the possible outcomes for this unborn child that she should just trust in "whoever" that everything will be ok.
When I look at my daughter who, I hope never has to deal with a pregnancy that ends in any other way than she intended, I am filled with overwhelming love and commitment to ensuring her safety and providing a supportive environment that teaches her she can be and do anything she dreams of. It saddens me that there are people that for whatever their reasons are, cannot look at their child with the same amount of love and commitment, or just don't have the ability to care for them the way they know they deserve to, or are dealing with demons that most of us can't even imagine. Now, I have spent the majority of my 'professional' life in social work, so I am all about helping people keep it together, but because of my direct experience with those in need, I also understand how overwhelmingly difficult it can be for those with even the best intentions.
It is difficult not to impose our own beliefs (especially the strong ones) on others. When we feel we are acting on behalf of the innocent, the helpless, it can be even more difficult not to want to make that decision...for everyone. Keep in mind though, we are talking about adult women, they are American citizens, afforded the right to an education, to earn a living (albeit, still at a fraction of what her male counterparts earn), to vote, to ride in any seat on the bus. Therefore, they should be afforded the right to their own bodies whom "God," her mother, or whomever she believes 'gave' to her. Remember that nobody makes a decision to end a pregnancy lightly, and believe that whoever is making that decision has the best interests of all involved. Not an easy pill to swallow for many, but it had to be said.