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Pregnancy and Childbirth With a Chronic Illness Made Me Even More Pro-Choice

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I already felt trapped in my body due to my disabilities. I’ve felt like a caged bird for years yearning to fly, to feel the wind in my wings and soar to great heights. I had dreams all my life that I could fly. Now the cage is smaller.

The cage is close to being so unbelievably small that I’m crushed. My wings will be broken and I’ll never ever be able to fly. I’m a bird that happens to have a uterus. I’m a bird that happens to be pansexual and bigender. Soon they’ll say that’s wrong as well. I have no rights in my prison they call a cage. I’m scared and just want to fly, but where I live that’s not allowed. Where I live I can’t sing my song and I can’t be free.

I’m a bird that’s afraid of laying eggs. What if they don’t make it? Am I going to jail because they think I committed a crime? What happens if I’m egg-bound? Are they just going to let me die? I took very good care of my eggs and built my nest right, but they won’t believe me. What happens if I lay successful eggs and there are no worms? They can’t keep them in stock.

Maybe if I actually was a bird they’d care more. Animals have more rights than I do as a human. I’d have more rights dead than alive as an organ donor. I have the right to purchase a firearm, but no rights to my body… I almost died giving birth the first time. What if I have complications early on if I try again? How pro-life would it be to leave a child without their mother because I died being pregnant with their sibling? Because saving my life would be considered an abortion.

I’m not having any more children unless things change. As much as it hurts, I can’t do that. The world is a scary place to even consider it. I have to think about the kids I have now. My dreams of having one more have been crushed by a flawed system. There is no American dream! It’s an American nightmare!

I became more pro-choice after pregnancy and childbirth. No one should have to go through that if they don’t want to or they’re not ready. I almost lost my baby, I almost lost my own life, I lost teeth, I grew a weird growth on the back of my head that always bled, and I lost an organ (gallbladder). I soaked 36 towels in my blood (from placenta abruption due to pregnancy hypertension) during my emergency C-section.

Pregnancy and childbirth are hell on the body. No one should be forced to carry the weight of what that brings. No one should be forced to carry a child! We cannot lose the right to safe abortion! We know abortion will still happen regardless and we’ve lost enough lives to unsafe ones.

I didn’t give birth so my child can grow up and not have rights to her own body! I will continue to fight for her, for myself, and for those with a uterus everywhere. We cannot be quiet. Silence is violence and we’ve had and seen enough of that! We need to stand up and fight for the rights we deserve. We haven’t come this far to lose! Be loud, be active, be angry! We are at war and we need to keep fighting!

Getty image by Global Moments.

Originally published: June 29, 2022
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