This post is part of our week-long series on the personal impact of the current state of reproductive health, rights, and justice.
by Veronica I. Arreola
Arreola is a professional feminist, mom and founder of VivalaFeminista.com.
I cannot recall how many times people have asked me if becoming a mother has changed my feminism. It is a question that I suppose people think I will answer with a tale of being changed by having my daughter grow inside of me for 40 weeks and that I believe in feminism in theory, but in practice, I am a wee bit conservative now. A so-called feminist mom wrote such a post for the NYTimes Motherlode over the weekend:
Yes, we believe in a woman’s right to choose. No, we don’t actually believe she should use it in the face of women choosing to have their children. This is the feminist mother’s greatest taboo.
Yes, I said so-called feminist mom. I do not believe everyone should have abortions, but I do believe with every inch of me, including the cells of my daughter that will float inside me forever, that I do not get to make reproductive decisions for others.
Moreover, that includes my daughter. She is only nine, but every time I notice that she is getting just a smidge taller, older and, yes, more woman-like, my feminism strengthens. My adherence to supporting full reproductive choices for every woman in the USA and around the world becomes more rabid. For the past eight years most of my activism has revolved around raising money for the Chicago Abortion Fund in order to assist the girls and women who call the hotline a chance to make their own decision. The thought that anyone could decide when and if my daughter becomes a mother infuriates me to no end.
Therefore, yes, becoming a mother has changed my feminism. It has made me more radical and adamant to ensure that she can make her own decisions when the time comes. I pray to all the gods that she will come to me for advice, but I know there is a chance she will not.
I fight for reproductive justice for not just my daughter, but also every daughter out there.
[Editor’s Note: more people than just cis women need and want access to affordable reproductive health care, including abortion.]
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