A comment over at another post calling a pregnant woman a mother, and expecting duties and obligations to be fulfilled by the sheer action of conceiving made me want to write directly to this point.
Being a mother involves more than just pregnancy, just as being a father involves more than just inseminating someone successfully.
As a ‘mother’, I could choose to walk away from my child, and never nurture, care or put another thought into them. It seems rather unfair to all involved (and to mothers) to call me a mother.
The understanding of the writer was that the future child had put an obligation on the ‘mother’ simply by existing.
My understanding of life is that it is NEVER under a guarantee. My mother could have died in childbirth, leaving me without the care she has given me. I could have been born into a family who did not want me and mistreated me. I could have miscarried without any intervention.
No one DESERVES life. We either get it or we don’t, and throughout it we fight to make the best of ourselves, for ourselves.
Whilst I do feel very strongly about children’s rights and advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves, I would not expect anyone to kill themselves, or put their own life aside in order to let a child live.
The hard and fast of it is that as unappealing and totally unclothed in “decency and morality” as it is, we all only have ourselves, and to expect someone to give their own life for someone else is more than our society should be able to ask of us, if there is a safe alternative.
I don’t expect much from this world, but I do expect the right to my own bodily autonomy, and the right to put myself above all others. Because no one else should have to.
Selfish though this is, this is what I expect.