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Friday, August 23, 2013

A Woman's Right to Choose?

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Although raised Catholic I spent the majority of my high school and college days supporting women’s rights and defending the pro-choice movement. Then I met my husband. On one of our first dates we drove down to Chicago from Milwaukee to shop, eat, and attend mass at the Cathedral.

Somehow the topic of abortion came up and I very clearly stated my opinion of how it is the woman’s right to choose. My future husband looked at me, a bit surprised but obviously angry. My stomach swirled and I glanced out at Lake Michigan behind his frustrated glare. Not only did I fear our short-lived relationship had already ended, but I was trapped in the car with him and we were almost to Chicago. I didn’t think I could face a severely awkward two-hour drive back.

Luckily, he turned out to be patient and started to ask me questions to find the reasons behind my opinion. After I answered a few of the questions I started to realize, all of my answers were the same. “It’s the woman’s right.” Right? Why wasn’t that enough? In the few minutes it took us to reach Chicago my mind was literally spinning. How did I never realize how ridiculous my justifications had sounded before? How did I never realize I really didn’t have a reason as to why I thought abortions were okay?

A month ago Governor Scott Walker signed an abortion law in Wisconsin stating all women seeking an abortion must have a transvaginal ultrasound to have the fetus’ visible organs and external features pointed out. The reasoning is so the woman can make a more informed decision. I was thrilled when I heard about it on the news. Not only is it a step in the right direction to eliminating abortion completely, but the truth would finally become more widespread that no matter how early in pregnancy a woman may be, it is still a baby inside of her. Having had children myself I know from experience that during an ultrasound there is absolutely no denying the visible and audible heartbeat that proves there is a living baby in the womb.

My excitement ended faster than I expected when I opened my computer and saw my Facebook newsfeed flooded with angry statuses, opinion pages, and crude insults. After my initial thought of how am I actually friends with these people, I composed myself and started to read some of their comments. It wasn’t long before I noticed that they all were almost identical, “It’s the woman’s right.” If only I had more time I would have asked each one of them, “The woman’s right to what?” The woman’s right not to know what an abortion really is? The woman’s right to keep herself in denial as to what she is really doing? How pathetic does that sound?


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 I have heard multiple people compare the transvaginal ultrasound to rape. Obviously none of those people have ever had children, because first-trimester ultrasounds are pretty much standard procedure now. I highly doubt any of them would accuse their doctors of rape for suggesting they have one to verify their due date and number of fetuses. On top of that, what type of a person wants to go into any procedure without a test or more specific information as to what will happen? No one goes into a surgery without the doctor first ordering an MRI, CAT scan, or other test to have a better idea and view of what they are doing, and to show the patient exactly what is going on in their body. Why should an abortion be any different?

Now only a few years after that fateful conversation, the pro-choice movement doesn’t make rational sense to me. Women already have a choice. Except in extreme circumstances, they have the choice to have sex or pre-marital sex. They have the choice to not protect themselves during ovulation. And better yet, they have the choice to deal with the consequences of their actions. Instead of making their problems disappear, they can choose to be an adult and realize their life is going to change. And what is wrong with that? Our first daughter was not expected, and at the time, I was thoroughly afraid of my life taking a different direction than I had planned. Today I am a stay-at-home mom, with two more kids added to the bunch, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I raise our kids with a love of life and of nature, the excitement of mass and the love of God, I cook all of our meals from scratch, and above all, my family is happy and healthy. Of course we have struggled financially with having a baby thrown in before we planned to, but in the end it has taught us what is really important. We don’t need iPhones, weekly trips to the movies, name brand furniture, or the ability to go to the mall to make us happy. I thank God every day for blessing us unexpectedly with our first child, because otherwise who knows what I would be doing instead. No career, no amount of money, no social status could ever give me the happiness that being a mother does. And I would never have known that if I had chosen to live my life on my own terms.

I think that among all of the horrible things abortion is and has done, one of the biggest is that it has taught us that we can ignore God’s plan for us. The blessing of children is exactly that. A blessing. I applaud Wisconsin, and particularly Governor Walker, for keeping pregnancy and children sacred. Because they are. 

 

Read 2286 times Last modified on Saturday, October 26, 2013
Stephanie Haupt | Guest Columnist

Stephanie Haupt holds a degree in creative writing but decided to get married right after graduation and focus on her growing family instead of pursuing a career. She and her husband have been building their family ever since and Stephanie stays home with her three beautiful daughters. She was raised Catholic but did not feel comfortable with her faith until she began to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, where she met she husband a few years ago. The Haupt finally made the commitment to make the TLM their primary Mass, despite a commute, and have never looked back. They reside in the Milwaukee area.

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