It Burns! It Burns!

This was originally posted here on January 19, 2007.

Someone threw holy water on me once.

 
She
didn’t know me. She knew not my favorite color or novel or whether I
had gone to my high school prom. She hadn’t met my parents or my
children or my great-grandmother who, at 98, still smoked a pack of
Camels a day. She had no idea that I learned to read when I was just
four years
old or that geometric theorems gave me migraines. She never heard that
love song a pretty boy with a guitar had written for me or the story of
how I’d secretly longed to be a member of the Brat Pack since the
totally bitchin’ eighties and the arrival of Molly Ringwald. She’d
never seen that old home video of me breakdancing when I was nine or
that picture of my childhood pet, the great Gatsby.

 

She didn’t even know my name.

 

I
looked down at the drops of oily water freckling my arms and then back
at the stranger before me. The brochures and paperwork set out
methodically on the table just moments before were, no doubt, wet as
well. I stared at the smirk on her face and the blatant hatred in her
eyes for but a moment before returning to the task at hand.

 

Just as she didn’t need to know my name, I needed not her reasons.

 

As
I dabbed here and there with the paper towel, I wondered at my lack of
anger. The voice that had always been first with the quick retort and
witty debate was strangely silent. I looked around the room at all of
her supporters and their stern faces and then at those that I stood by…
She walked over to a group thick by the door and grinned in triumph at
her three children just as the beginning of the program was announced.
The woman in nun’s robes next to me laid a hand on my shoulder and
squeezed gently in encouragement before taking her place at the podium.

 

The button on my shirt said, “My Body. My Choice.”

The brochure in my hand said, “Keep It Safe. Keep It Legal .”

And the banner across the entranceway said, “This IS What Catholic Looks Like.”

 

Although
I’ll always harbor a little regret for not pretending to melt and
wither away on contact, I’ll never forget the lesson that I learned
that day:

 

Even within those bonds born of love and faith, we travel different paths. Who am I to judge the way that is right?

This is but one of my many memories associated with my ongoing Commitment for Choice. It is a personal memory… A personal reflection. And today, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I wanted to share it with you as well as a bit of food for thought:

The abortion debate often boils down to semantics. Is it a baby? Is it murder? Is it moral? Is it just?  Plenty of questions with  plenty of people willing to step-up and give you plenty of answers. Fortunately for you, I’m not one of those people.

I won’t tell you that abortion is wrong.

I won’t tell you that abortion is right.

What I will tell you is this:

In no way, shape, or form should any government have the power to tell a person that their body is no longer their own- that the choice is no longer theirs. Yes, today we’re arguing over the semantics of a medical procedure… But if we continue to sit idly by and loose our right to choose, tomorrow we’ll be arguing  about our rights to even conceive at all.

Don’t let that happen.

Blog for Choice Day

January 22, 2008
Categories: Daily


1.©2008 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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3.Blog title courtesy of Oscar Wilde, pseudonym Virginia Woolf, design JudithShakes.