It is 3:19 am on Mother’s Day and I should be asleep, instead I am reflecting on parenting. For nearly two years I have led by example. I have tried to show my daughters that being politically active can be a part of your everyday life, but it has come at a cost. It has meant less nourishing food, less time outdoors, fewer play dates, more chaos, and less family time.
The truth is my activism is for them. Yes, as the mother of two daughter I passionately believe they need the right to control their own bodies and they need access to reproductive health care, including abortion. This path of activism, is also about me being able to continue parenting.
When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, I had a complication and was induced early. Luckily, she was born healthy and my body recovered, but if I ever became pregnant again I would most likely have the same complication.
This fire in my belly to protect safe and legal abortion access, that keeps me awake at night and the early hours of the morning, stems from the desire to be the best parent I can be. It stems from a desire to watch my daughters grow up, the way I do now. The reality is no form of birth control is ever 100% effective. I do not think my body cannot handle another pregnancy and I will always need options to continue parenting my daughters.
My personal experience tells me that the right to abortion is also the right to parent. Data from the Guttmacher Institute shows me I am not alone. According to their research 59% of women who have abortions are mothers. As mothers we often have to make tough decisions about what is best for our families, and sometimes that decision will include abortion.
Today, I want to wake up and give my daughters more attention and intentional parenting – I want to celebrate my family. Tomorrow, I will wake up and get back to advocating to protect Roe v. Wade in Rhode Island and around the country.