Inconvenient Dreams

30 Mar

When I was 10 years old I had a conversation with myself about what I wanted to do when I grew up. I toyed with zoologist, marine biologist and the like, but settled on either veterinarian or lawyer, primarily because the latter 2 have higher income potential. You could say I’m a long-term planner. By the time highschool rolled around, I ruled out vet because I wasn’t very good at science or math. Everything I’ve done since I was 14 was so that I could become a lawyer. I made careful decisions to ensure nothing I did would jeopardize my future career.

I started having sex when I was 17 and even with all my sex education, I let my partner tell me that the pull-out method was good enough. At the time, I went from always being busy with extra-curricular activities, to sex, drugs and booze in a matter of months. I was upset and desperate for attention, so I bought it. After a scare with a late period, I decided I needed birth control. I tried to talk to my mom about it and asked her to take me because I needed it to “regulate” my period. She said I was fine. So I took the initiative, found a doctor and got it myself. Since then I have been exceedingly diligent with my birth control. Looking back, I know I am so unbelievably lucky I didn’t get pregnant during the 6 months I was having unprotected sex.

Fast forward 9 years. On March 22nd I wrote the second of two bar admission exams. To get to this point I had to complete a 4-year undergraduate degree and attend 3 years of law school. I have racked up $140k of debt in the process. In June 2012 I will get called to the bar after my 10-month articling period, which starts May 2011. I am facing 8-10 years of debt repayment after spending 9 years and countless weekends studying to get to this point. This is the culmination of a 16 year dream of mine. But if I were to require an abortion, many people would decry my decision as a matter of “convenience.”

If I were to get pregnant now, I wouldn’t be able to finish my articling period before the fetus was born. I would likely have 1 month remaining, which could defer my ability to get called to the bar by 3 months, minimum. All because some people think my dreams are inconvenient. During my time off I wouldn’t be able to make debt repayments and I would have to live off my partner’s income, which, while good, is tight. Could we do it? Certainly. But I do not believe that reaching my 16 year dream is a mere “convenience.” It’s my dream and I have worked exceedingly hard for it. I am entitled to enjoy the rewards of my hard work. Suggesting that women have abortions for “convenience” diminishes the hard work of women and is beyond insulting. Living my dream is my right. Not having my body hijacked, especially when I am doing everything possible to prevent pregnancy, is my right. I refuse to be told that my dreams are inconvenient and should be sacrificed.

To all the women out there with inconvenient dreams, never stop dreaming and never stop fighting. It is just as much a tragedy when a woman is forbidden from reaching her dream as it is when a man is forbidden. You are entitled to every dream you can dream — dreams are never inconvenient.

14 Responses to “Inconvenient Dreams”

  1. Just Someone March 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Im not a fan of abortion, but Im also not a fan of how the right wing treat abortion either. I believe that if you willingly engage in an act, which could result in an outcome that would have a serious impact on your life & dreams, that you should take full responsibility for whatever the outcome is.

    You know that no birth control is 100% guarenteed, you know the risk when you choose to have sex, you know you might get pregnant, you know that you are risking the chances of acheiving your dream, and despite being aware of the risk, you choose to engage in that act. That is your choice, that is your right.

    When conception happens, and a baby is created, there is then someone else that you need to consider, not to mention the father. That person, although they may just be a few cells, has as much right to life as any of us. When you make the desicion for that person, as to whether or not they are given the chance to live, you are taking away their bodily autonomy, you deny them the chance to make the desicion as to what happens to their body. Granted, they are not mature enough to make desicions, but the principle remains. The fact that they cannot defend or speak up for themselves, only serves to enforce this principle.

    You speak of it being a matter of convenience, it would be an inconvenience for you to have to give up your dream in order to take responsibility for your choices. It would be more convenient not to have a barrier to fulfilling your dream. The fact that we are talking about your child being that barrier does not change the fact that we are talking about a matter of convenience.

    I believe that when a woman is not given the choice about what happens to her body and as a result she becomes pregnant, that in those situations, she should be given the right to choose whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. Although as heartbreaking as it is to have that child terminated, I still believe that it should be the woman’s choice.

    In the case of a child developing serious disabilities which would result in that child having no quality of life, for example being ‘brain dead’, that the parents should be given the option of termination for the sake of the child.

    I do not agree with demonising or victimising women.

  2. WentRogue March 31, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    I like how Just Someone feels qualified to decide under which circumstances a woman can acceptably have an abortion. But wait! What if Just Someone Else disagrees with Just Someone, and feels that “in the case of a child [sic] developing serious disabilities which would result in that child having no quality of life, for example being ‘brain dead'” an abortion is not justifiable? Uh, oh. We’re headed for some conflicts…hey, Just Someone: maybe it would be best if you figure that women are the experts on their own lives–not you. Not Me. Not Someone Else.

  3. Just Someone March 31, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    WentRouge, I tried to avoid the snarky tone with my comment voicing my opinion. Id appreciate it if you would do the same. It makes it alot easier for me to take your comment seriously if youre not trying to insult me.

    Sometimes people need to be made to be responsible. Thats why we have laws. Thats why you cant get drunk and then drive yourself home, that would irresponsible. You choose to consume the alchohol, you know what the outcome is likely to be, so you take responsibity for your actions and you call a cab.

    Our society is becoming one of passing the buck, not taking responsibility, taking the path of least resistance, instant gratification. And before you direct associate those terms to having an abortion over bringing up a child, take a moment to think through what Ive said, instead of posting an immediate, emotional and angry response. I am not a mysoginist, I am not interested in demonising women. This is a topic for society as a whole to deal with, not JUST the women who is pregnant, because she chose to have sex.

  4. Not Guilty March 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    @Just Someone, first I’d like to point out that if you believe in the myth of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, then you must agree that abstinence didn’t work so well. So really, tough shit for women who have a womb eh?

    Second, you completely missed the point of the post. You have decided that my dreams are not a good reason to abort. You have decided that they are simply a convenience and tough cookies. Unless of course I fit into one of the categories of which you approve of abortion. For your body, that’s fine. For my body, abortion is acceptable for any reasons. My dreams are not about convenience. You think they are and thus you are a typical anti: imposing your beliefs on me.

  5. lyahdan March 31, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Would someone please explain to me how abortion is not responsible. I keep hearing that those who chose to engage in sex should be held responsible for the possible outcomes, but nobody tells me why scheduling an abortion rather than bringing an unwanted baby into the world is irresponsible.

    As for convenience. When you’re granting a couple of cells (that, btw, have a really good chance of not making it to birth even when wanted) the same value and right to life as people who have been born, it’s really hard to take you seriously when measuring convenience. Your priorities and scale seem more than a little skewed.

  6. Tanya DeBuff March 31, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    But Just Someone, you ARE demonizing women. The women who choose to have sex and then decide to have abortions. It’s not your job or place to judge them, or anyone elses, or any god’s. Your opinion boils down to saying that you know what’s best for my body and for everyone else’s body too. And, ya don’t. You know what’s best for you, and that’s all you can know.

  7. Not Guilty April 1, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Just Someone: First off, there is a HUGE difference between making someone be responsible by making them spend $20 on a cab, and making a woman be responsible for having sex and forcing her to risk her life. You are comparing 2 completely different things. Perhaps we should “make people be responsible” for their bad eating habits and deny them healthcare or organ transplants.

    Second, “This is a topic for society as a whole to deal with, not JUST the women who is pregnant, because she chose to have sex.” Are you serious? You think the choices I make with respect to MY body are a decision for society? Are women property again? If you sit there and claim you aren’t misogynistic and then come out with that winner in the next sentence, you clearly don’t know the definition of misogyny. Thinking that “society” gets to have a say in a woman’s decisions is perverse. Abortion is between a woman and her doctor. The man doesn’t have anything to do with it unless the woman lets him in. You need to learn a little something about personal autonomy.

  8. jrm83 April 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Just Someone, I notice that you didn’t include life and/or health of the mother in your acceptable reasons for having an abortion. Was that just an oversight or do you actually believe that if a woman became pregnant from consensual sex, death is a consequence she should have to accept?

  9. Jameson April 5, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Just Someone = Just Another Pro-Liar Troll.

    In other words: not worth bothering with.

  10. Katlyn April 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    I may get bashed for this but I agree with Just Someone. Having sex means that there is a risk of pregnancy no matter what precautions you take. If you were really doing everything you can to prevent pregnancy then you wouldnt be having sex. Its not that hard to not get pregnant; its called self control. I think this is beyond the topic of abortion. Why do you NEED to be having sex? You dont. So if your dream is so big that you would abort a fetus for it, then its big enough for you to not be having sex. Having an abortion is not responsible, if you were responsible you wouldnt have gotten pregnant in the first place.

  11. Steph L April 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    So Katlyn, a married couple should abstain from sex unless they intend to procreate? (Married couples have abortions too, ya know). Or someone in a long term committed relationship?
    You claim abortion is “not responsible,” then explain to me how having a child you have no means or interest to care for is somehow the responsible move.

  12. lyahdan April 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    So women who don’t want to be pregnant ever should look forward to a life of celibacy? Women who, for medical reasons should never be pregnant? Yeah, I think lifelong celibacy is too much to ask.

    That’s a relatively large area of life that you’re suggesting cutting off over the welfare of embryoes. Embryoes that nature ‘aborts’ in larger numbers than women ever have, by the way.

    I still don’t understand what is not responsible about abortion. If I become pregnant, I have a few choices, all of them requiring that I be responsible for organizing and scheduling the care, paperwork, etc. for them. Denial until I’m in labor in my bathroom might be irresponsible, abortion isn’t.

  13. N. June 17, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Katlyn, women DO need sex. It’s a basic human drive. Granted, there are exceptions, but in general, it is simply inherent in human biology to need sex. It is utterly ridiculous to think of human sexuality as some kind of switch that can be turned off at will.

    What is not needed is to be tied to unwanted, frequent childbearing through one’s life. this leads to poorer outcomes for the mother AND any children. 61% of women who obtain abortions are already mothers. think about it.


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