The photo is of me about 16 years ago, with three of my children and one on the way. As you can see, we enjoy studying and re-enacting the lifeways of the 18th & 19th centuries in America. My children know more about the experience of our forebears than most history teachers, because they've lived it.
Today, as the mother of four beautiful daughters, one son, with a delightful granddaughter and another grandchild on the way, I am extremely disappointed in the actions of the Governor and the Virginia Legislature that limit women's access to reasonable and prudent health care and place unreasonable restrictions that intrude into the confidential trust and privacy concerning procedures that are only appropriately made between a woman and her health care provider.
Modern health care made it possible for me to have children spaced reasonably apart so my body could recover. Prescription birth control helped my doctor treat ovarian cysts, critical bleeding, and endometriosis. I am healthier because of it. Moreover, I know had I really lived in the 18th century, I would not have survived my condition. I have the option and luxury of studying the lessons of history from the vantage point of modern understanding. I'm not certain many of our legislators even know what that is.
The legislature - and certainly no MAN - has any right whatsoever to intrude into women’s private health care matters. I chose to give birth naturally to all five of my children, and even chose to give the first up for adoption at birth because I was still in school and too young to be responsible enough for her. She was raised by wonderful, loving parents, she found us when she became an adult, and we are grateful for her and all of our children. However, I still defend to the utmost any woman's right to choose not to give birth, through whatever means she and her doctor deem reasonable and in her best interests, and I will not stand by and have any access to health care denied because of intrusive, invasive, and unreasonable legislation. My choice to give a child up for adoption was the most searing, difficult decision of my life, and I would not force that decision on anybody. Every woman must have the choices available to her that make sense for her body and her situation.
No procedure should be dictated by an uninvolved non-medical entity, most especially the Virginia Legislature and government. I am very, very disappointed in our governor, senators and representatives and will voice my dissatisfaction in the voting booth.
Thanks to Planned Parenthood of Virginia for keeping this issue before the hearts and minds of the public. Hopefully a day of reason is not far off, in spite of legislative efforts to the contrary.
If you would like to add your photo and story, please see Planned Parenthood of Virginia's tumblr.