Contraception

Review From User :

For most of my life, I have been scared of pregnancy. Let me be clear. This was not a remote, passing worry, but a fear that I can only describe as borderline phobic. I was raised by an incredibly strong and loving single mother who engrained in me the idea that education, stability, and personal wellbeing were paramount to everything else. Having children was something to be considered only later in life when all other accomplishments had been achieved and my loving, committed (preferably male) partner and I had decided that we had nothing left to do but start a family. This, combined with a pretty traumatic adolescent relationship that left me feeling utterly disconnected from my body, prompted an obsessive, militaristic monitoring of my birth control.

As I've grown, though, and experienced both the chaos and beauty of life, I've developed an odd sense of calmness when I think about the possibility of pregnancy. The calmness even persists (shockingly enough) when I think about the possibility of unplanned pregnancy. Part of this stems from normal human development; the fact that my body and mind have become my own again and that, simply by the passing of time, I am infinitely more prepared to have children now than I was 10 years ago.

The other (and more important) component of my calmness stems from the simple fact that I have options available to me. I am privileged in that I live in a society (at least for the time being) that gives me control over decisions made about my body. Thank goodness, hallelujah, I have choices.

If I get sick when I'm pregnant and my health is in jeopardy, I can choose to save myself. If I am not in a committed relationship but feel ready and willing to adopt the stigmatized life of a single parent, I can unapologetically choose to carry and birth my child. And if I feel that it's not the right time; that my education, my stability, and my own personal wellbeing would be threatened should I accept the enormous responsibility of a child, I can choose to wait. Not lightly or callously, but that is a choice I can make for myself.

This book contains the powerful stories of women who have made choices. They've made choices that are joyous and celebratory; they've made choices that are devastating, controversial, and fundamentally necessary. Some are haunted, others are relieved. But, however different the stories may be, there is one true cause for celebration that runs through them all: ultimately, the choice is theirs to make.

Human existence is complex and a thousand shades of grey. There is no conceivable way to develop one-size-fits-all legislation about our bodies, despite the best efforts of a particularly vocal group of overzealous policymakers and "pro-life" supporters. Women have the right to decide for themselves how, when, and if they create life. And whether they choose life, the postponement of life, or no life at all, we must vigilantly preserve their right to choose for themselves.

Props to the brave editors and essayists who compiled this beautiful bible of choice.


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