SAXTONS RIVER — Elayne Clift's recent revelations about women charged with homicide for fetal deaths, whether intentional or unavoidable, spiked my longstanding outrage at efforts to block women's sovereignty over their pregnancies.
I share her interpretation that such punitive measures are acts of political dominance over women by men, as well as by women who have aligned themselves with that posture.
Championing the “right to life” of the unborn might gain some legitimacy in my eyes if it included supporting the rights of living children, but to my knowledge such believers are consistently blind or indifferent to the national and worldwide existence of juvenile wretchedness, whether from famine, war, or absence of adequate caregiving.
The human newborn is totally dependent on adult caregiving, as recognized by laws in this country. I have worked with children who lacked such nurturance and have seen the ravages imposed upon their minds and bodies by that absence.
As the mother of three, who found in motherhood the highest gratification life can offer, I once aborted a pregnancy my husband and I felt was emotionally unsustainable at that point in our lives, and I know the fleeting feeling of regret, exploited by so-called right-to-lifers, that a growing life had to be nipped in the bud.
We went on to have a successful planned pregnancy a mere two years later, at a time when we felt more confident that we could integrate a new life into our already established family of four.
Populations worldwide have demonstrated the correlation between social elevation of women and postponed pregnancies. Surely, planned and desired births are better for an overcrowded planet than those a woman endures because she has been assigned by nature and custom to bear children!
A world that is in need of more women in government, administration, technology, religious leadership, and any other function that serves others is a world that needs to foster the means to plan pregnancies.
It is time we seize the right-to-life banner and wave it over those elements of humanity less fortunate than are we women who planned and cherished our parenthood!