Choice. So many people talk about choice. So many fight for choice, believe in choice, educate about choice. I embrace choice.
So what about my right to choose? Isn't choice, by nature of the word, a two way street? Doesn't choice involve deciding to have a baby or not? What happens when a woman chooses to have a baby, but can't?
Not to worry! I have "choices," too.
I can "choose" to "adopt." Ever looked into adoption? Let's call a spade a spade. You can no more adopt a baby than you can adopt a puppy. "Adopting" a puppy costs about $300-$600. Isn't that actually "buying" a puppy? Sure, it may be a puppy that was rescued from the jaws of death, but in the end, that little pound puppy comes with a price. So do babies. "Adoptions" range from $5,000-$40,000. Adoption is a beautiful, kind, and loving action. But it is a beautiful, kind, and loving action that involves the transfer of money in exchange for a human being. Yippee for choice.
I can "choose" IVF. A typical course of IVF involves roughly $20,000. I found a kind-hearted "shared risk" program through a local IVF clinic. If the heartbreak of infertility isn't enough to put a couple over the edge, why not throw in a little gambling to keep things exciting? With a shared risk program, you fork over $20,000 to the IVF clinic. If, after six rounds of IVF, there's no baby keeping you up at night, you get 70% of your money back. I'm sure the remaining 30% is well spent on the grief and broken dreams that you couldn't have achieved without loads of synthetic hormones coursing through your veins. If you take home a baby, the clinic keeps that $20,000 - even if it takes only one round of IVF, which would otherwise cost about $8,000. But I'm sure the comfort of being a new parent, faced with new stresses and worries, will help couples forget the fact that they had to pay the equivalent of a fair sized down payment to reach equal footing in the reproductive rights department. And don't worry if you don't have $20,000 in the bank. There are many, many, kind hearted creditors out there willing to put it there for you. For interest rates often as low as 10.99%, you can finance a baby you can't afford! But wait a minute. Clearly I'm talking about poor fools without health insurance. Thank GOD I have health insurance. What's that? Infertility treatments are optional, and therefore not covered? Of course. That makes sense. After all, I chose to go through over three heart wrenching years of infertility. I thought it would be fun. I thought my husband, friends, and family would get a kick out of watching me disintegrate into a grief-stricken mess. I enjoy lying on a cold table with my feet in stirrups having an asshole doctor prod around. And I thought, why have a baby the old fashioned way? Who wants to concieve in the comfort of home? In an intimate environment alone with my husband? Ugh! Let's bring in some white lab coats. Let's get some speculums in here!
I can "choose" to get a big fat discount on my IVF by participating in a pharmaceutical study. I've always dreamed of whoring myself out to a drug company, and now I've got my chance. Of course, I'll still need to fork out about three grand, and I'll have to turn my entire reproductive system over to the drug companies for a few short months, but hell. Why not? Some people get to bask in the excitement of early pregnancy - should I become pregnant, I'll get to bask in that excitement while making daily trips to Boston to have my blood monitored to see how those drugs are doing. I wonder if the experimental progesterone that I'll be forced to use throughout the first tri-mester will have an affect on my baby? Good thing there are pathetic fools out there to test those things!
I can "choose" not to have children. In fact, I've always hoped to leave no legacy in my life. I've always wondered what it would be like to die alone.
So what about my reproductive rights? What about the fact that infertility is on the rise because we're pumping synthetic estrogens into our world via pesticides and plastics? Why is my plight less important than that of a flacid 60 year old man? Isn't my right to be a mother just as important as my right not to be a mother?
Come on feminism, I've always been there for you. Where are you when I need you???