First off, I am 38 years old, have been in one relationship in my life with the same man for 12 years, which ended shortly after I entered PhD school. My sister, whom just turned 40, has 6 kids and one grandchild. She had an abortion after her third child due to health concerns. I did not find out about it until many years later (it was in 1992 that she had the abortion). 7 years later, while I was tending to our mother, who had suffered an aneurysm, my sister was giving birth to her fourth child. My mom was 56 and had consistently told us that "One life does not leave, without another life beginning". This message was never more true, than at that moment with my mother and I in a hospital in Reno, Nevada and my sister in a hospital in Pensacola, Florida. I was on the phone with my sister as her fourth child, Robert Tom, was born and our mother was pronounced dead.
My sister went on to have two more children before having her tubes tied. She told me she finally figured out what was causing her to become pregnant all the time, so she had it fixed.
Last year, I received a phone call from my niece, Brittany, which is my sisters third child, the one before the abortion. She was hysterical and crying and needed to speak with her Uncle Eddie, immediately. I was in luck that I was not doing anything important at the moment, so I stopped whatever I was doing and gave her my full attention. My niece told me she was pregnant and didn't know what to do. The father of the child wanted her to have an abortion and the mother of the father would be extremely pissed at her for "trying to trap her baby boy with sex and a child". I asked her if her mother knew or anyone else, and she told me that aside from the father, I was the only other person that knew about this. Both she and the father were 17 and scheduled to graduate the next school year. The call came around March and my niece told me that the baby was due around my birthday which is September 28th.
Dear Reader: Think about everything I just wrote, and imagine how you would handle this situation, think about the people involved.
Here is what I told her, now remember, I am a truly gay man that has never had a relationship with a woman. I can see myself having children in the future, but for now I want to work on completing my PhD and continuing my research in Foodservice Sanitation.
I started by asking a few simple questions:
1. What do YOU want to do?
Her answer: have and keep the baby
2. What does the father want you to do?
He wants her to have an abortion
3. What do you THINK your mom would say?
Every life is precious, and that I should have the baby
4. Who's ultimate decision is it on what happens?
It is my decision.
Then, figuring that she was planning to keep the baby by this point, I asked some follow up questions:
1. When will you tell your mom?
when she gets home from work
2. will you be continuing with school?
Yes, I am scheduled to graduate in May of 2010. Neither of my older brothers graduated college, but I want to show that I can do it, just like my uncle Eddie
3. Are you ready for what I have to say?
I then told her that it was ultimately her decision on keeping the baby, but that I would stand behind whatever decision she made and would help her in any way I could. My only request is that she continue with school, if they would allow her, and get an actual high school diploma. A high school diploma is rare in our family. My mom and myself have one. My father, my sister, and my two nephews do not have high school diplomas, but the do have GED's.
As a result, my niece is scheduled to walk across the stage at her high school late this May/June, I need to get the exact date so I can go visit and watch her make a dream come true. I will then work on helping her get accepted to either a two or four year college, because she is not like Bristol Palin who doesn't have to worry about feeding or housing Tripp.
Anyway, so there is the background to my story, and I know it is very long, but it will lead me into the basis of why I am writing.
On the Rachel Maddow show the other night, she discussed "Abortion Insurance" and how extremely odd it is, considered the object of Insurance is to protect you in the event of an unforeseen circumstance that happens in the future, such as an illness or testing, or necessary medical procedure such as appendectomy, tonsillectomy, etc. her and her guest discussed the fact that no one PLANS to have an abortion, Just like when my sister figured out what was causing her to get pregnant and she tried to fix it. All of her children were conceived while my sister was taking birth control. Since she was on birth control, the male did not use a condom. So under her precautions, pregnancy was unknown and initially considered unwanted; however my sister was adamantly against abortions, so even though it was an unwanted pregnancy, she saw it through to the end.
So this got me to thinking. Women would not purchase abortion insurance, because they might feel that if they do get pregnant they will want to keep the baby. So what would be the point of offering such a policy to a group of people that would not purchase it. But what about parents, grandparents, and men? How do they fall within this picture?
Fairly recently, men have began courting with lawsuits in an attempt to have a say in the pregnancy. Currently, all choices are generally made by the mother of the unborn child, with no need for interaction with anyone, whether they be married or not. I have also noticed that women under the age of 18, can be urged into having an abortion by their caregivers if they so desire, even though this could be cause for child abuse. See: http://www.avvo.com/legal-
So as more and more future fathers are granted prenatal rights to the unborn child, their is a theoretical possibility that Men could ultimately carry the abortion insurance on their sperm or themselves, whichever way the underwriters decide to work the language, and then abortion is covered by the man and not the woman. But unless men get to claim custody of the unborn fetus, this would be a useless insurance policy, but could be bundled into one massive policy for those men that like to sleep around a lot and offers to pay for abortions and pregnancies, which would then cover all the basses that the men are responsible for. Not to mention that if the men start the insurance payments early enough, the policy would include an annuity clause that will make substantial child support payments after the child is born.
When looking at the new health care bill, these are some of the things I think about. Is it silly? yes. Does that mean it would never happen? I don't know.
I would love to talk with my sister about her abortion, but I know that it is a very difficult subject, so I tend to avoid that subject.
As a gay man, I care about what happens to the children. If I were finished with my PhD, I would love to adopt or foster a child in need of a home.