The Right to Choose

Camille - Palos Verdes Estates, California
Entered on November 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Last spring, my mom requested the documents containing her birth mother’s medical records and ethnicity. The paper she received in the mail contained far more than simply those facts. I had never asked about my mom’s birth parents, as I did not know how much she knew or if she was comfortable talking about them, so the information on the single sheet of paper shocked me. The Department of Social Services had whited out the birth mother’s name, but nothing else. She was a heroin addict who had left her husband and two young children to live with her drug dealer, and when he was arrested for narcotic charges and sent to jail, the woman went back to her husband. She stopped using heroin when she found out she was 5 months pregnant with my mom. Her husband took her to their family practitioner, Dr. Sam, who encouraged her to carry the child to term and offer it up for adoption, as he knew his very close friends Dr. and Mrs. Paul were looking to adopt. She agreed, and thus my mom found her way into the home of my Grandma and Grandpa. This backround to my mother solidified my belief that a woman has the right to choose whether she will have an abortion. Perhaps people see this as contradictory because I would not be alive if that woman had chosen to abort. But, I am still pro-choice. Being a 17 year old girl, I don’t know which decision I would make if I found myself pregnant; I do know that I deserve the right to choose. Adoption is wonderful, and should be considered as a option. However, every woman still deserves the right to choose. My personal beliefs, to a large extent based on my Jewish faith, are that the health of the mother comes before the unborn entity within her, but these beliefs should not be forced on anyone; the right to choose does not imply, in any way, that abortions are good, necessary, or otherwise positive; neither does it say they are negative. The choice says that you, as an individual, decide that for yourself. A government willing to dictate their beliefs on the society should scare EVERYONE. It certainly scares me. My mom grew up with wonderful parents (and an Uncle Sam who she remembers fondly.) I cannot thank that unknown woman enough for her decision, neither can I be too thankful for being able to make that choice for myself.