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I was bored and appalled by the notion of sex, but I was also a teenager with a very teenager-like interest in it. If we didn't have the baby, people would find out, and everyone would hate me. Even if I didn't want this baby, surely I could give an incredible gift to someone who couldn't have what I had been given.And, somewhere in there, I was tripped up in a twisted sense of personal responsibility. I decided I needed some knowledge and opinions that didn't come from someone who thought that Rush Limbaugh was doing the Lord's work.That, combined with the dopey, painfully naïve belief that "everything happens for a reason," lead me to the adolescent-brain-rationalized reinforcement of what I'd always been taught about abortion: Not only was it murder, it was lazy and irresponsible, and in working-class redneck America there are no two greater sins. Then everything else the Republican party did after 2001. I knew virtually nothing about the actual mechanics or biology of an abortion, and I knew nothing of how babies were adopted.Eventually, logical acrobatics became more difficult. This lead to a fairly profound realignment in my ways of thinking. In 2003, after a friend from high school was killed in Iraq, I decided that I had nothing in common with the Republican party as it stood. I felt like my head should have been swimming with what I wanted to do. I was with a man I loved and planned to spend the rest of my life with. Back then, the Internet wasn't what it is today, but I was able to find the basics about the procedure without too much trouble.Get an abortion." I was a smart, awkward kid who was good at school and bad at sports.I shared my crayons with everybody, even the kid with the snotty nose and weird sweatpants that the other kids avoided.
In the span of a year, I had gone from living with a man-child that I assumed I loved but never wanted to marry to marrying a man who was so very different in so many ways.
I wound up struggling in areas of my life I didn't expect. The absolutist logic that made a world of sense to me when I was twelve years old seemed now impossible in a world so filled with uncontrollable circumstances. Things were hard for us now, but we were just starting out. So why was the only thought that formed when I thought of my future was a calm, but extremely firm "no"? After I felt like I had objective knowledge about the procedure, I sought out the pages dedicated to anti-abortion messages, and I read them carefully, looking for something that would maybe jar me into feeling something besides "do not have this baby." I found the articles to be emotionally coercive, often appealing to God's will and service through moral living.
Still, though, the "everybody deserves a chance at life" mantra I had grown up with wouldn't let go. Every working-class family is broke when they first start out. I was prepared for Husband to start talking about the same dutiful future I figured I should be imagining. I no longer believed in God as He had been represented by Christianity, and the moral duty that was invoked sounded an awful lot like the sophistry that Christian extremists used to justify the war in Iraq, or discriminate against gay people.
After a decade or so of hanging on every word Rush Limbaugh said, I could rationalize and re-contextualize with the best of them. We tried to talk about our situation, but conversations quickly devolved into few options. In the world I grew up in, honoring the way you were raised and the beliefs you were raised with is a big deal.
My "buck the system/damn the man" attitude toward "big government" extended to disliking and disregarding what I considered to be arbitrary social constructs. Even though I had rejected the religion and the politics, I expected to remain loyal to the ideas that I had been taught about family and responsibility.