Tuesday, January 22, 2008

“Leave it all to me - I will do the right thing.”

"We forthwith acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly absolute convictions that the subject inspires. One's philosophy, one's experiences, one's exposure to the raw edges of human existence, one's religious training, one's attitudes toward life and and family and their values, and the moral standards one establishes and seeks to observe, are all likely to influence and to color one's thinking and conclusions about abortion. In addition, population growth, poverty, and racial overtones tend to complicate and not to simplify the problem."
--U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmum, Jane Roe, et. al. v. Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Jan. 22, 1973

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade - that landmark case that legally granted women the right to have an abortion but failed to account for all of the restrictions that states have thrown up in the ensuing years. Restrictions that have made abortions technically legal yet still unavailable for many girls and women in the United States.

At the moment, I am reading Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion, edited by Karen E. Bender and Nina de Gramont.

I am only half way through, but already I can state without reservation that all women should read this book.

It's a collection of personal essays by a variety of women, and by the title, I'm sure you can tell that the stories are not just about choosing to have an abortion. The stories are about a wide range of choices - and non-choices - the authors have made, from abortion - legal and illegal, to adoption, to surrogacy, to choosing *not* to have an abortion, even when a physician recommends one, to fertility issues, etc., etc.

These essays...

While reading the first essay, "The Ballad of Bobby Jo" by Jacquelyn Mitchard, I was torn between sadness and anger.

Bobby Jo Arness chooses to act as a surrogate mother for Mitchard, and the decision leads to Arness’ divorce, her being ostracized from her town, and a judge allowing her to visit her own children only on every other weekend.

And why? Why such horrid treatment to such a selfless woman, who only wanted to help another family? Because people are ignorant. Because they’re afraid of things they don’t understand or are different. And if *this* is what happens to women who should be applauded for their decisions, who helped create a life and gave it to someone else, then heaven help the rest of us.

Sometimes, most of the time, I think this world is moving backward.

Blog for Choice Day


Anonymous said...

Hi Iwoman
You are only getting two side's.Mrs Mitchard and Arletta Adkins Bendschneider (Bobby Jo Arness) Arletta's Husband said no from the getgo her words well i am going to do this with you or with out you. He went along with her because he was thinking of his two little children.Arletta has made this into a Surrogacy Case it was only a divorce.There is lot more to this.what you read i can see why you were angry.This story is not true.

Anonymous said...

Also The Divorce was only final Feb.13-2008 Was Bobby Jo Arness there at court for the divorce NO she just had a baby 4/25/2008

Anonymous said...

"Arletta has made this into a Surrogacy Case it was only a divorce."

How so? He was the one that refused to sign the order to release his rights to the baby. He said, "I don't understand why I have to sign, that baby has nothing to do with me." In Kentucky, the law says that he was the legal father unless he signed the release form. By not signing, he was in affect assuming responsibility of the baby. Seems like a strange thing to do for someone that just wanted a divorce don't you think?