Choosing She or Me

There’s an UpWorthy video popping into my Facebook feed, a Fisheye Moments presentation of a poem by the (seemingly quite talented) Leyla Josephine. The poem is titled “I Think She Was a She.”

There’s some strong language, and hey, it’s about abortion, so if either of those things is going to rile you up, you’ve been warned.

The video lays out a case for women’s rights, and specifically for the right to choose on the subject of abortion. It could be viewed as a touching presentation of “what might have been,” a powerful expression of womanhood untamed, and an honest grappling with the variety of emotions that the subject of abortion brings to light.

But there was something about the logic and the in-your-face presentation that nagged at me.

So, since I’m on the ignorant “putting government in your body” side, I thought I’d respond.

I’m sorry, I’m ignorant, I’m stuck in the past
I’m hung up on views that are never going to last
You can say what you like about me, I guess
Because Lord knows sometimes my side should have said less
But we judge and condemn and put down and cry murder
Not considering that this separates our sides further
Not thinking about the woman, we’ll hurt her
With good-intention defenses for the fetus within her.

But let me back up and try to hear what you said
Because your message is all about the story in your head
The hypothetical girl in a fantasy world of what might have been
If she had only come later, instead of back then
You want me to understand you’d have been a great mother
Investing and serving the needs of another
Marking the wall and taking care of it all
Answering the call of responsibility
For this small child you say “who’d grow up to be
And look just like me”
Because she could have been born, had you been ready.

But just after that speech you try to persuade
Any who listen that there was no other way
Or that this mother-to-be, herself still just a girl
Would not, could not handle bringing a child into the world
Due to lack of maturity at such a young age.
She could have been born… at some later stage

I’m sorry, I’m ignorant perhaps to your pain
But the two sides of this story don’t add up to your claim
You’d have me believe you’d be the best parent
Then tell me it’s such a daunting task that you daren’t
Which is it then? Because when I hear your views
You want me to see that you really couldn’t choose
As though this experience was forced upon you,
The only sensible reaction to the unexpected news
You’ll tell me you’d die for that girl’s right to be free
But death is far harsher than responsibility
And you wouldn’t give up the life you desired
To become the perfect mother your story required
But if the roles were reversed, you’d lay down your life gladly?
I’m sorry, I’m ignorant, I can’t buy it, sadly.

Declaring “I’m willing to die for you”
Easy to say, much harder to do
What about choosing to live for her instead,
So that your actions would have proven what your poetry said?
I’m sorry, I’m ignorant, I can’t agree with your views
Nor celebrate the death caused by your right to choose.

UpWorthy makes the point that it takes a lot of courage to talk about the deeply personal stuff in our lives. I agree. I respect Ms. Josephine sharing her views on the subject.

I believe I’m free to disagree with them. That’s my choice.

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