I was stupid and got into an argument with a troll on twitter over abortion. My mother did not want to have a child, yet abortion was not an option for her at the time. It was a punishment that she and I both lived with.
I made the statement that while I am happy to be alive today, I do wish she had been given the choice. Yes, even if it meant I would not be alive today. That idea flipped out one particular troll who deemed that this must mean that A) I am suicidal, and B) I should not have children of my own.
This seems bizarre to me. Why must if I accept the past should be different, can I not be happy in the present as it stands?
If my mother had been violently raped to become pregnant, which thankfully she wasn’t, should I be pro-rape? Should I not wish she had not been raped? Is it somehow a manifest of wanting to die to see her, not as my mother, but as another woman deserving of freedom and life?
What if my birth had been a manifest of some great, bloody genocide? Would people think I am strange for wishing the horrors had never happened, even though that would mean my life would not have happened?
So why then, am I odd for wishing every woman, including my mother, has access to choice and reproductive freedom? Yes, if she had been given a chance she probably would have not had me. And I am OK with that. Just as I would be OK with going back in time and stopping a rapist, or going back in time and preventing a genocide. Going back and giving the many women forced into pregnancy a choice about their bodies is fine with me.
Not because I want to die, or I am somehow unhappy, or I hate children. But because I see her as a fellow woman, a fellow human being, a fellow person.
Yes, the past affects the present. That does not mean we should ignore the atrocities of the past because today looks good. That only leads to ignoring the pain of today because things may be better in 10 years. Things are better today because between then and now many women fought tooth and nail to make things better. Sadly, my mother did not get to benefit from those gains.
Thankfully I will.