This Sunday is Mother’s Day. As a mother myself, it’s a holiday I’m generally fond of. Who doesn’t love to sleep in and get burned toast and runny eggs in bed? Unfortunately, the anti-choicers celebrate a bit differently, by converging on abortion clinics to harass, intimidate and guilt trip women – around 60% of them already mothers – who are seeking reproductive health services. One clinic escort group in Kentucky is anticipating between 200-400 extra protesters, going by past years’ figures.
To insist that any woman capable of reproduction can or should or MUST become a mother not only devalues women, but also devalues mothers. Motherhood is not blithe and easy, the way the anti-choicers like to make it seem. It’s not true that once you have a baby, all your other problems fade into the background. Everything is harder with children. I have fewer career options, fewer educational options, and fewer choices as to where I live, now that I have two little people to take care of. I’m not complaining; I wanted to have these kids, was ready to have them and to sacrifice for them and to go forward in my life with all the restrictions that my children place upon me. But I’m very lucky in that regard. I can only imagine what it would be like to be forced to bear and/or to raise children that I did not want, and was not prepared for. I can absolutely guarantee you one thing: I wouldn’t be much of a mother under those circumstances.
Here’s my wish for this Mother’s Day, and all the ones to come: Every child a wanted child; every mother, a mother by her own free choice.