I gave her a lot of grief, but I just want to point out that Senator Marrero was the only person yesterday to stand up and tell things from the pro-choice side and from the side of reality.
I’d like to have the opportunity to say there is a different perspective. There are those of us who really do care for and respect a woman’s right to make choices about her own body. … I don’t know of anything that’s more private or more important than for a woman to be able to decide whether she would like to carry a baby under whatever circumstances. It seems to me that some of these decisions are very agonizing, very difficult for people to make. But it’s a decision that should be made between a woman and her husband or her partner and her physician or the people who care about her. It seems to me unreasonable that the legislature should make this important decision for a woman.
We have so many children in this state right now who are in state custody who are being taken care of because they were in abusive situations. If you force people to have babies who don’t want or need babies, I can’t even imagine how many abusive situations you’re going to run into. Every child should be a wanted child. That is what a lot of us in the state of Tennessee sincerely believe, that a woman should make choice to have a child, to love that child and to take care of that child, and that is her right to make that decision. I oppose the state of Tennessee and the legislature making that decision for a woman. I applaud the fact that the constitution in the state of Tennessee guarantees a woman’s right to privacy. Nothing is more private than what you do with your own body.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I feel like anti-abortion folks think that babies are magic. That, if only they can persuade, or, if necessary, force, a woman to have a baby, she will transform into the perfect mother. She won’t drink or do drugs while she’s pregnant. If she doesn’t want to be a mother, she’ll happily give the baby up for adoption, and the baby will end up in a happy, perfect, wonderful home.
I have witnessed first-hand how this is not the case. How women who shouldn’t have children at all have babies because “Hell no, she’s not having an abortion” who still drink and do drugs and smoke throughout their pregnancies, who refuse to consider even in-family adoptions because “it’s mine,” and who put those children in dangerous situations again and again and again. I have seen the cigarette burns and the bruises from straps.
Babies are not magic.
They are not so powerful that they will be able to protect themselves from situations they should have never had to be in to begin with. If a woman knows she can’t hack it as a mother, the State should not force her to be one. That is not fair to her or her children.