We make choices everyday throughout our lives, big or small, knowingly or not. There are also times a conscious choice is made because you believe it is the right choice to make, a moral choice. Sometimes there isn’t a choice to be made though it’s just something we wouldn’t ever consider doing. Other times we don’t have any other option and then it really isn’t a choice.
A few examples from my life as to what I mean.
I made the choice not to eat meat, instead I returned to the plant-based/dairy diet of my youth. Eating out is harder as I choose my meal from the non-meat items on the menu, I don’t consider ordering a hamburger or steak, they aren’t options for consideration anymore. The choice to not eat meat is a moral choice for me because of what I believe.
I get up every morning and make coffee. Not because I don’t like tea, I do, I drink tea, I just like coffee better and it’s a choice I make every morning without thinking about it.
I married for the first time when I was 20. I married a long-distance trucker who also excelled in fixing anything mechanical or running any type of machinery. For the first few years we were on the road, we loved never knowing where we’d be headed next, when we’d get back to home base, we loved being on the open road, meeting people from all walks of life, exploring areas when we were laid over. Most of all, we loved the feeling of being free; free from following the course you were supposed to follow as a married couple: settle down, work hard, buy a home, have children, long for the day your children move out, retirement and then travel. Neither I or my husband had any wish to be a parent or settle down, when I got pregnant with my son it was a shock. At the time we weren’t on the road, my husband had taken a job as a boat mechanic, I worked in a restaurant, and we lived on a beautiful island. We’d decided to do that until wanting to be on the road again took hold. Being pregnant, we adjusted our long-term view of what our life would be to one that meant we needed to settle down, a fundamental shift from our chosen lifestyle. Abortion wasn’t an option for consideration for either of us, nor adoption, neither registered as options to consider, or choice to be made, we never discussed either, we just automatically made changes to what we thought our life would look like, to what it needed to be and carried on.
When we told others and/or when it became obvious I was pregnant – no one said: Thank you for choosing life. No one. Not a single person, not random strangers, not even our family or friends who knew our life goals had been drastically altered by our unplanned pregnancy. Life happens, you adjust, you carry on.
And that’s what this post is all about.
I got triggered yesterday by a post on twitter stating most adoptees want to thank their birthmother for choosing life. If you’d do that, you’ve assumed that abortion was something your mother considered, or would even consider, without knowing anything other than she’s your birthmother. You can’t choose something when it is the only option for you, there is no choice to make in regards to abortion or life when you wouldn’t have an abortion. You may have the choice between parenting or adoption, sometimes parenting isn’t an option, then you are back to only adoption, no choice to make. For something to be a choice, you must have at least two options you would do in order to make a choice.
For the record – even if my mother had lived long enough for us to meet – I would never have thanked her for choosing life. Never. I know from what dad told me during my era, unwed expectant mothers (or their mother) when he confirmed their pregnancy either asked about abortion and then found someone to do it, those who didn’t ask about abortion went away to stay with an aunt or to a maternity home for the duration of their pregnancy and their baby was adopted.
I find it doubtful that anyone outside of the realm of adoption would even consider thanking a mother for choosing life. It’s beyond arrogant to assume there was a choice to be made.
If you think I’m making much ado over just a phrase. Would you thank a pregnant pastor or a pastor’s wife for choosing life? Do you thank your friends with children for choosing life? I can’t see anyone thanking a friend or family member for choosing life when they found out they’d become pregnant by accident.
I’ll end with a last thought: Do you want your adopted child to have to feel grateful for not being aborted? Do you put that burden on the children of your friends or family members who had unplanned pregnancies? Approximately half of all children are a result of unplanned pregnancies – yet only mothers who carry to term and choose adoption have that said about them, to them. Ask yourself why, that out of all unplanned pregnancies, only mothers who have chosen adoption are the ones who have that said to them, especially by strangers. I think it says far more about what a person thinks about mothers who chose adoption, and harkens back to the stigma surrounding unwed pregnancy and adoption. I think it is wrong to judge a mother who chose adoption as the only ones who also would make the choice of aborting her pregnancy.
I’m pro-choice, even if it is not a choice I would make, please stop assuming all mothers who choose adoption would also choose to abort.