I know that THIS blog will stir a deluge of controversy. So be it. I won’t remain silent on a topic so important as why we need to not reverse ROE vs. WADE. If you have decided to just skip to the comments, please do me the favor of at least reading this blog before you type.
The year was 1981. I graduated college early and before going to graduate school decided to take a job as a counselor in a girl’s residential facility. About a month after I started working there a 14-year-old, “Macy” showed up. She was quite “peculiar”, as the other teens described her. She often would sit quietly in a corner of the main room – never speaking. Day after day there she sat, apparently deep in thought. Finally, one day, when it happened that we were the only two in the room – she started to talk in a very soft, almost nonaudible – whisper. “Macy” slowly and steadily explained her reasons for being selectively mute. She didn’t bother with any idle chit-chat but seemed in a hurry to tell her story before others returned to the room. She described in detail how her mother’s boyfriend repeatedly molested her. His first assault was when she was only 11. She became pregnant shortly after her 12th birthday and delivered a baby that would never make it home from the hospital. She talked about the devastation of having to go through labor and then the grief to find out the child died upon birth. How the doctors lectured her and never suspected that “the father” lived under her roof. Instead, they believed her mother who made up a story of her daughter being “promiscuous”. No counseling was offered to “Macy”. Instead, she was sent home – with interior and exterior bruises.
Her horror didn’t stop there. Her mother continued to shame and blame “Macy” by restricting her from going any place alone – but school. Even when she became pregnant for a second time, – by Mom’s monster of a boyfriend (shocker!) – her mother refused to believe that she was a victim of ongoing rape. Instead, her mother forced her to carry the baby to term and then placed “Macy” in the residential facility for her “deviant behaviors”. She arrived days after her second baby was unceremoniously taken away from her. “Macy” was not given a chance to hold him or her before it was placed “in the system” for foster care. Her grief and shame were so overwhelming that she retreated inward. Not speaking. Not able to function. Just existing.
After she told me her story I contacted child protective services. “Macy” was able to get therapy and the mother (finally) came around to the fact the boyfriend was indeed the father of these two children. She deeply regretted her actions and indicated that if she had believed her – different options, like ending the pregnancy, would have been considered. She also would have left the boyfriend. Sadly, a younger sister suffered the same fate before the mom had this epiphany. I honestly don’t know what happened to the monster.
Why am I telling you this story? Because 40 years later I still remember the vivid details about Macy and her anguish. And, I want to advocate for all the Macy’s in our world. I STRONGLY believe that victims of sexual crimes who become pregnant should have options. They are victims. And, in the case of young girls, like “Macy” – they are at risk of medical issues or even death for having to give birth when they are barely out of elementary school.
I am by no means saying that all who have unwanted or unplanned pregnancies should run out and have an abortion. Do not misconstrue my words or intent. I simply am asking to keep ROE vs. WADE as a viable LEGAL and SAFE option.
Respectful comments are always welcome. Those who are disrespectful will be blocked.
Thank you for reading.