My mom had an abortion and I still love her
Women's rights have been in the news a lot this past week. You're living under a rock if you missed all of the anger and yelling over Susan G. Komen Foundation's pulling of funding for Planned Parenthood, at least now there's good news: after a week of what I'm sure was a nightmare for their Public Relations office, they have reinstated funding.
I'm really glad to see the news since I was one of the people really angry over their initial decision. I've gone to Planned Parenthood for my annual gynecological check-ups when I didn't have insurance and I have friends who have used their STD testing services. The big controversy was over the fact that Planned Parenthood also offers abortion services (only 3% of their patient care consists of that). Although I don't know a single person who would consider themselves "pro-abortion", one of the reasons I was so passionate about this issue was because my mom had an abortion.
Long before I knew about it, though, I was pro-choice for my own reasons. I just couldn't imagine the government telling me what I can and can't do with my body, especially in extreme cases like pregnancy after rape or incest. I thank my lucky stars that I never had to face that choice, but I know that had I gotten pregnant accidentally earlier in my life I would have definitely considered ALL of my options.
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It wasn't like that for my mom, though. She was happily married and I was 2 years old when she had to face that difficult decision. My Cuban dad met my Russian mom in college in Moscow, Russia, and they had me (and got married) before graduation. Once they received their diplomas, they moved to Cuba. My mom had finally learned enough Spanish to get a job when she got pregnant again. It wasn't simple, but she decided to get an abortion because it was just the worst time possible to have a baby.
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I didn't know about it until I was an adult myself, but I'm glad she told me. It couldn't have been easy, but she maintains that she made the right decision at the time. It didn't stop her from having my brother later on, when my parents were ready for a second child.
Read more ¿Qué más? Una mujer con dos úteros quedó embarazada y dio a luz a sus dos bebés.
Talking about this difficult issue brought us closer but I also realized that my mom's strength and courage during this difficult time is what encouraged me to be a strong Latina myself. Her ability to make a difficult decision, and ultimately tell me about it is only one example of how she helped to make me the woman I am today. And I'm thankful for it.
How would you react if you found out that your mom had an abortion?
Image via Farid Iqbal/flickr