Don’t worry…I do not have Beiber fever, and I am not one of those creepy cougar types who goes all gaga over a teenaged pop star.
Honestly, I’ve never really paid too much attention to the Justin Beiber phenomenon other than the basics. I know he was discovered because of a YouTube video his mom posted. I can see he’s pretty talented and a cutie patootie. He seems to have a good sense of humor when I’ve seen him on The Ellen Show and I respect the fact that he took time out of his day last week to acknowledge a young super-fan who passed away.
Basically, he seems like a sweet kid who hasn’t gotten too wrapped up in his fame, which is, at least in part, a testament to his mom.
It wasn’t until the past week or so that I understood her story…a teenaged mom, raising a son on her own and she herself the victim of longstanding sexual abuse. Not exactly the blueprint for having a successful outcome to one’s life.
What is interesting is the rest of the story… She found religion and made different choices for herself than she had in the past. She concentrated on raising her son, and he turned into Justin Beieber. I, for one, am happy for her and very impressed with the struggles of her life and how she’s handled them so far.
Her memoir was recently released and she has been making the rounds doing interviews about her story. One topic that invariably comes up is her unplanned pregnancy, and her choice to continue the pregnancy in the face of pressure from her family to abort.
That is where the Pro Life camp picks up the thread of the story for their own purposes. I have had several postings on my FaceBook wall with basically the same message of “See what she would have lost if she’d had an abortion.” (Implied here is that having an abortion would have been taking the easy way out)…..and that’s where you lose me.
We’ve seen this argument before….Tim Tebow’s mom comes to mind….and the anecdote about a college professor posing a scenario to his class in which they decide to abort a fetus that would have turned into Beethoven…such a flawed and simplistic argument for such a complex topic. As if a woman should keep a pregnancy in case they win the gifted human lottery and produce a child that becomes famous.
Because let’s face it, you could just as easily take the story of Ted Bundy‘s mom or Osama Bin Laden‘s mom or even Hitler’s mom (Hard to imagine Adolf Hitler having a mom isn’t it?) and say, “Wow, how many people would be alive today if his mother had had an abortion.” Just a different lottery….in this case gifted for evil instead of good. It’s just as ridiculous an argument.
Here’s the thing…abortion is an immensely personal decision. No one should be pressured into getting one when they want to carry a pregnancy and bring a child into the world, and no one should be pressured to carry a pregnancy they feel they cannot.
As a woman, and a healthcare provider I am beside myself. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to make a choice about whether or not to continue a pregnancy, both of mine were planned and desired. My gut reaction is that I don’t think I could have an abortion, but would I feel differently if I were raped and became pregnant or if the fetus I carried had anomalies which would have been incompatible with life, or if my life was in jeopardy which would mean risking leaving the two kids I do have without a mother? I don’t know. I don’t think anyone truly knows what they would do until they are in that situation.
But damn it, I have the right to make that decision. I believe that my husband has a right to some input. That’s it. No one else. Not my friends, relatives and certainly not the politicians in my state or my country. I am insulted that anyone thinks they know better than me about what goes on inside my body, and more importantly (as I am nearing the end of my reproductive capabilities) I am scared for my daughter and for any future granddaughters and great granddaughters I may have. I just shake my head in disbelief that they may live in a country that has stripped them of autonomy over their reproductive lives.
Honestly, I have no problem with anyone telling their story of how they could have had an abortion, and are so grateful that they didn’t. Nor do I have a problem with anyone telling a story about why they had an abortion and why it was the right decision for them. Everyone deserves to know their options and get many points of view, but when it comes down to it, everyone also deserves to be able to make their own decisions.