A few days before Mother’s Day, an article was published on Huffington Post entitled, “No More Angry Mothers; Embracing Accessible Abortion and Affordable Contraception” Basically, she decries a whole generation of women who didn’t have access to contraception and abortion. She characterizes them as miserable and lacking freedom. She trumpets the grand (and failed) solutions of contraception and abortion. I have two questions for her:
- Is a little anger really a bad thing?
- Are these really the solution?
I am an angry mother. My son was unplanned. I had to completely rewrite my career plans when he came into our lives. I never in a million years thought I would ever be a stay-at-home mom.
But isn’t a little anger a good thing. As another pro-choice feminist once said:
Change hurts, especially when that change runs counter to our plans. But it is through the hurt that we grow. The change makes us better people. My little change brought me to my position at Feminists for Life. It has given me the opportunity to chase my childhood dream of writing. He has taught me patience, endurance, living for the moment and enjoying the little things. Anger allows us to grow and is usually a good indication of where we need to grow the most.
I’m sure the article comes from a place of pain from being called by her mother “her final mistake” and seeing the vocation of motherhood vilified in her childhood home. However, even now, 50% of the children who survive the womb were unplanned. I think that our silence about that is a sin. We’re all worried about our kids being labeled as unwanted and ourselves being labeled as irresponsible. Instead of being worried about our own self-image, we need to be worried about our children’s classmates who will never see the light of day. I would bet everything I own that for every woman entering an abortion clinic today, there is at least one mother in the world that was in her exact shoes and chose life. We need to shout our stories from the rooftops so these women know they are not alone.
My name is Bethanie Ryan and I had an unplanned pregnancy a month into my marriage while I was still in college. My son wasn’t planned by me, but, more importantly, he was planned by God (fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it).
Abortion and contraception aren’t the solutions to lack of community support, poverty, abuse, and the disrepute of motherhood. A woman who has an abortion is still going back to her previous impoverished, abused, lonely existence. A woman who pops a pill doesn’t learn to understand and respect the cycles of her body.
We need to learn the art of being neighbors. This is all the more important in an economy that seems hell-bent on tearing families apart as people travel to find work.
We need real solutions to poverty. No woman should have to choose between a job or education and her child.
We need to be more aware of abuse in our communities and make substantial steps to protect abuse victims.
The vocation of motherhood has rightfully been taken down from it’s pedestal as the end-all and be-all of womankind. No woman should be held as less than for not having children. Motherhood, however, does deserve a better place. There are few fish to fry bigger than creating and nurturing the next generation. “Smart”? Many stay-at-home moms are college-educated like me.
The current solutions of contraception and abortion lead to nothing more than more pills and more abortions. We need to look for real solutions to the pains of unplanned pregnancy, not quick fixes that don’t actually fix anything. And those solutions are certainly the last thing anyone needs to be celebrating on Mother’s Day.