Saturday, March 3, 2012

My experience - I can stay quiet no longer.

First, if you are offended by this, I do not apologize.  This is my experience and I will not apologize for it.  You do not have to read it.  

Twenty years ago, I was pregnant with my son.  I was unemployed, living in a home of a friend who was kind to help me out.  I had no insurance, but was on state run Medicaid.   I had no idea what I was going to do about my life.  I was in the middle of a divorce and losing custody of my daughter.  I was scared.

I filled out all the paperwork to have a tubal ligation when I gave birth to my son, because I knew I could not afford to care for me, let alone the child I was carrying, and I had lost my daughter.  I just didn't want to risk having to give up another child -- even if it was what was best for them.

Before I gave birth to my son, Roe v. Wade was overturned.  I lived in Louisiana at the time, and they immediately passed a state law banning abortions -- but added all kinds of contraception stuff to the law.

I gave birth extremely early Saturday morning at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, LA.  Because I had my child on a weekend, and tubal ligations were considered "elective" surgery, I was put on a two-year waiting list for this surgery.  I was devestated.

I went to the Health Department for my check up, and they said they could offer me contraception if I knew what I wanted, but they could not discuss it with me -- the new law had dramatically affected how they operated.   I am allergic to the pill, and my partner and the father of my son was allergic to latex.   I didn't know if there was another option, so I left with no hope.

Eventually, my son's dad and I married (for financial and insurance reasons) and I was able to get the surgery.

WARNING!   Below is MY Opinion based upon my experience.

Whether my lifestyle was right or wrong isn't the problem.  A two-year waiting list for a surgery to prevent more children specific for women on state aid.   How does this HELP our country?   A health department that cannot explain contraception -- that works specifically with our nation's poorest population -- how does this HELP our country?

Personal beliefs, personal attitudes, religious beliefs and different moralities are exactly that PERSONAL.  It is not the place of our government to legislate morality.  In the 1890s it was common for women to have 10 or more babies, and common to die giving birth.  These women worked in factories beside their children.   They were treated inhumanely.  It was illegal to discuss birth control.   It was illegal for women to have a right to say I don't want any more children.   This affected every single woman that did not have the wealth to ignore the government's stand.   The wealthy women went to Europe and chose what to do with their own bodies.   The poor had no choice.

Why is there a desire of some in this country to go back to that way of life??


  1. I have no idea why people think it's a good idea...

  2. That is insane to have to wait for two years for that surgery, and also to be told they can't give out any information for what you are looking for and need! Thank goodness things have changed over the years regarding these issues-in regards to everything you have mentioned. Some things have appeared to have dramatically changed however, too, as I when I walk into the community medical center where my doctor is, which is a largely federal and state funded facility, there are containers full of condoms on the front desk free for the taking complete with instructional booklets, posters concerning safe sex geared towards the teens as well as tolerance towards other's sexual preferences, and also all kinds of literature available for any one to grab and read concerning all manner of birth control. I honestly cannot tell you which I find more disturbing-your story, or what I see today. Our country has gone from one sickening extreme to the other.
    There is no wrong doing in birth control in and of itself, and it is a sad thing that people thought so.

  3. What a terrible ordeal for you to endure! I have a firm belief that any person should be able to decided what to do with their own body, and make decisions affecting their life without interference from bureaucratic procedure. In a country with religious freedom, it seems to me, to be a moot point in the debate about reproductive rights. Personal choice is the ONLY factor that should be taken into account. Given a better situation, you may have made different choices, but no one should have the right to tell you that it is not YOUR choice to make. In my personal experience I have also had to make hard choices due to a tough situation, and it was made into one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. The lawmakers in my state are very conservative, forcing me to go to another state for medical care, which delayed the entire process, and the medicare that was going to pay for, not only my prenatal care, but the healthcare of the child for the next 18 years, would no longer cover procedures in another state.
    Unfortunately, when women fought to have the same rights as men, they forgot to fight for their own rights as well!
    Sorry, for hopping on my soap box!