Four years ago – to the month – I was standing in a restroom stall at a fast food eatery, staring at a pregnancy test.
Please let it be negative, I thought to myself.
It was positive.
That test was the only positive thing in my life. I was everything I said I’d never be. I was unmarried, uninsured, uninformed and college wise, uneducated.
“I’m pregnant and I think I’m going to have an abortion,” I said to my mother via text message.
“You don’t have to do that,” my mother replied. “I will help you.”
As we rejoice or detest our newly elected officials, we must not be so blinded by black and white that we completely miss the gray area. Politicians have used abortion as a stronghold to sway voters.
Abortion should not simply be about who is for it and who is against it. We should not be asked to pick a side: pro-choice or pro-life. Instead of focusing on that, we need to focus on being pro-education and pro-resources.
Even though we live in a country where sex is used to sell everything, we still treat sex education like it is a forbidden fruit. Sex is in our classrooms and in our homes, whether we like it or not. So it is time for us to pull up a chair for sex education.
In addition to that, if we want to create an atmosphere where women want to celebrate life, then we must look beyond the bedroom and into courtrooms where rapists still have paternity rights. Finally, we have to make health care, specifically birth control, less expensive and more accessible.
We need to take a proactive approach to this sensitive issue. Picking sides and dividing has not worked and it will not work. But offering support through educational resources and healthcare is a great first step. As a woman who stood in a restroom stall contemplating having an abortion, I can tell you with certainty that it was not about pro-life or pro-choice when I made my decision to become a mother. It was about support.
But not everyone has the choice to text message someone who will support them. It is time we stopped ignoring the gray area, and give them that choice!
Tunette Powell is married with two children. You can read her every Tuesday on momaha.com
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