Early on in my daughters life we took her to Parliament Hill and walked her around showing her the beauty and the history and some of the things I love about my home town. One of the things we did was to go and see the Famous Five. These women who went all the way to the UK to change Canadian women’s lives. Because of them Canadian women became persons under the law.
Today I feel as though the world is moving backwards and women are less than persons, with fewer rights, especially when they’re pregnant.
There were times when I was pregnant when it felt as though I didn’t matter. I was an incubator for this person who was suddenly more important than me. It was especially difficult because my pregnancy was hard on me – physically and mentally – and I didn’t feel that immediate connection to this thing growing inside me that everyone told me I would be feeling. I acted as though it didn’t matter that this person who didn’t completely exist yet was suddenly more important than me because that was the way I was supposed to feel, wasn’t it? Wasn’t I already a bad mother?
And now I have a little girl and I have to explain to her why some people in the world think that safe abortion should be illegal no matter what the consequences for the women they are turning away. I have to explain to her why the men in power feel the right to make decisions and create laws that make difficult decisions even more difficult. I have to explain to her that even though some people call her equal, in reality she is less than, because she can carry a child and that makes her body fair game for legislators.
I don’t begin to know how to explain those things.