Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

The abortion debate

It’s only by the grace of God—I am not a believer but I love the expression—that I did not wind up pregnant at age 17. If I had, I don’t know what I would gave done. A couple of my friends did get pregnant. One had an abortion only to get knocked up again in short order. She had that baby. Another friend had her baby and quit school. Now that I think about it, they both quit school. Neither went on to college.

These women toughed it out. They were dirt poor (I guess we all were in our late teens and early 20s), raising their daughters as best they could, sometimes with the help of family or the state and sometimes not. I saw what they went through. It was all about survival. They have a lot to be proud of but I wouldn’t wish it on anybody and I don’t think they would either.

Today, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is Sen. John McCain’s running mate, announced that her 17-year-old daughter is due to have a baby in December. In a press release, the governor says she is proud of her daughter’s decision to have the baby. Palin is an opponent of legalized abortion.

I come from the line of thinking that abortion is no more traumatic than becoming a mother when you are still a kid. I called another friend who had a baby quite young. She agreed with me. I wonder if Palin appreciated that her daughter had a choice. That abortion was an option.

My daughter is almost 11 months old. My plan is to slip birth control pills in her cereal after she turns 15. I hope that if I find myself in the situation that Palin has found herself, abortion is still an option for my daughter.


4 comments on “The abortion debate

  1. Bottle Washing Fairy
    September 1, 2008

    Another very thoughtful post. I commend you. Admire your reasoning and agree with you 100%. Fifteen might be a bit late.

  2. Helena
    September 4, 2008

    No, Amanda, don’t slip anything to Lucky when she’s 15.

    Try talking to her, instead. And a lot earlier than when she’s 15. Talk to her as soon as she shows interest in the birds and the bees. Teach her self-respect, teach her responsibility.

    I know you will.

    I’m not a mom, though, so I don’t really know what it’s like, as a parent, having the “talk.” I was a kid, once, and I totally know how disastrous the consequences can be of *not* having the talk. Keep in mind, over the years, that more than raising a child, you’re raising an adult. Your daughter’s eventual sexuality might be really difficult for you to deal with and accept, but be brave and honest about it, and do what you can to allow Lucky to confide in you when she reaches that point in her life.

    Sex, and anything pertaining to sexuality, was the one topic that was off limits in the household I grew up in. At the tender age of 45, I’m still dealing with the fallout from that, alone.

    So, don’t sneak anything into Lucky’s cereal. Give her the knowledge, give her the tools to navigate successfully in this area of life. Allow her to trust you, and confide in you. All too often, teens feel a real need to be secretive about their sexuality with their parents. Don’t let this happen.

  3. jennifer
    September 7, 2008

    I was all set to comment, but I think Helena did a fine job of it.

  4. Kitrina
    September 8, 2008

    I agree with everything about the talking and being open and honest, and then put the pills in her cereal….I’m just kidding as I know you were. But as a Mother of 3 girls, you panic. Being pregnant at 17 is scary, not when your 17 of course, usually not til that daughter you had at 17 is turning 13, then it’s scary, then it all comes back to you, and you remember how hard it was, while your doing it, you don’t think about it much, you just do it. You get up every day feed and tend to the baby, work as hard as you can when you can, doing what you can just to get to the next day, and then when your baby is about to turn 13 you look back and think crap that was hard! and now I’m scared! I have recently thought about the IUD, of course not for me, but for my girls, when they turn 16, I felt anything younger is too young (I hope) but at 16 thats when it gets harder, for them of course, and to me they are going to do what they are going to do no matter how much knowlage we give them as parents, you think they are thinking about what Mom said when they are making out with their boyfriends?? No, so anyway, I saw a comercial for the 5 yr IUD and was actually wondering if it was wrong?? I don’t know its too late for Taylor, but I thought I might consider it for Bobbi and Lucy, can’t decide if it’s too extreme, or it’s just plain practical??

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