Today is Blog for Choice day. I don’t have very much to say about this year’s theme, which is pro-choice hopes for the new administration and Congress. I’m proud my state is among the states suing over the vague, sweeping, awful new HHS regulations, but I don’t have anything to say about it that you couldn’t read somewhere with more authority. I thought I’d mark the occasion with an interesting quote I marked with my Book Darts lately. This is from Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett, a memoir about her friendship with late poet Lucy Grealy.
In the days before Roe v. Wade, I doubt that many American women were wracked with guilt over having abortions. They were too busy wondering if they were going to be butchered. So when luck went their way and they made it through the procedure safely, it was a cause for celebration rather than remorse. What legalized abortion brought to this country, along with safe medical practices, was the expectation of shame, the need to wonder if you were doing the right thing, even though you knew exactly what you’d do in the end. We could have our abortions but we had to feel horrible for the decision we made, even if it was hardly a decision at all. So while social decency compels me to say that on the train uptown we cried and cursed fate and wondered what life might be like with a baby, the truth is we did not. I could not imagine Lucy looking after a baby for an afternoon, much less a lifetime. She did not try to imagine it at all. [page 128, Perennial trade paperback]
I don’t really have any burning comments on the passage. I just think it’s an interesting perspective from up close.