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I met my husband when I was 40 years old.
We got pregnant two months after we started dating. It was the first time I ever got pregnant. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, so I did not even consider abortion, but this pregnancy brought many worries, fears, and concerns.
I did not want my husband—who was my boyfriend at the time—to marry me just because I got pregnant. We barely knew each other. Even though I was madly in love with him, I wanted to have some time to get to know him and solidify our relationship before we brought a child into our lives.
My hopes, excitement, and fears were washed away by a miscarriage. It took me three years of fertility processes and two more miscarriages to finally get pregnant with our son.
We were living in Israel at the time. When I was about 16 weeks pregnant, my doctor asked me to perform amniocentesis. In Israel, it’s common to perform this test, but if you are over age 35, there is no doubt that you should.
I refused. I was 43.
Many of my friends my age took egg donations or used a surrogate mother. I got almost naturally pregnant with my own egg. There was no way I was going to abort this baby, no matter what syndrome or disease he might have had. My doctor raised an eyebrow but accepted my wish.
In Israel, I’ve heard stories about women whose embryos had minor issues, like one missing finger, and were advised to perform an abortion. I had a friend, who was strongly encouraged to abort at an advanced stage of her pregnancy. The doctors were certain her daughter was going to have the most severe level of down syndrome. My friend performed this abortion just to discover her embryo was totally healthy.
This was all infuriating. It felt so unnatural and cruel.
Now, I live in the United States and need to deal with a different type of cruelty related to the same subject.
How can religion dictate our lives, even when it’s not our religion? Who knows if there is a soul? Who can say for sure when it enters the fetus? Jews say it happens on the 40th day of pregnancy. Muslims say it happens after four months of pregnancy. Christians say it happens at conception. I guess we’ll only know the truth when we leave this world. Even then, we might not know.
What we do know is that until a baby comes out to the world, it is a part of a woman’s body. How can anyone decide for a woman what to do with her own body? How can anyone force her to raise a baby she does not want?
According to Ayurveda, the psychology of a child depends greatly on the mother’s reaction to her pregnancy. Whether a woman is happy to find out she is pregnant or not has a huge impact on the happiness of her future child.
Can you imagine the psychological influence a mother has on an unwanted child? A child who is going to screw up her life and ruin her chances to get out of the poverty cycle. A child who will make it impossible for her to get proper education and do something meaningful with her life. A child who might remind her of the meanest person who raped her, every day of her life. How can she love this child? How can this child ever thrive?
The world does not need more frustrated parents who resort to alcoholism and drug use. The world does not need more physically, emotionally, or sexually abused children.
Since I became an astrologer, I get to hear lots of people’s life stories. At first, it was shocking. I really had no idea. So many people have suffered from neglect or abuse in their childhood. So many women were raped by family members. So many people did not get emotional nourishment.
The people who come to me seek growth out of their hardship are willing to work, and they have the means to do so. But there are so many people who get stuck in a vicious cycle that does not allow them to grow. They are uneducated, poor, and feel defeated.
Every child is a blessing, but blessings that are forced on you are often not received in happiness. For every child to receive the love he deserves, his life should come from the choice of his parents.
I shower my son with love. I want him to feel loved. I want him to feel safe in this world. This is one of my ways to make this world better, to raise a healthy, happy, confident child who trusts the world. He will be an inspiration. He will bring my love to the world.
But what will happen if he gets his girlfriend pregnant at a young age? Will his life be doomed? Will he have to work at a gas station to provide for his unwanted baby? Can his life be ruined by one ripped condom? Or by one foolish night?
I want my son to be a free and foolish teenager. COVID has done enough damage. We learned to be careful touching others, hugging others, and even being in one space with others. I want my son to feel free in the world, to trust the world. I don’t want to terrify him about the consequences of unprotected sex like I didn’t want to terrify him about the consequences of hugging a friend during the pandemic. I want to teach him and educate him from a calm place. I want him to be allowed to make mistakes.
I come from a country that is governed by religion. It only got us into trouble. I am a spiritual person; I have my own beliefs. But when religion makes the rules, it creates immediate injustice. For instance, in Israel, you can only get divorced in a religious court, which only permits a divorce if the man is willing to divorce.
The ban on abortion makes me feel like I was stripped of all my rights. I am 49. I will probably never get pregnant again, but if I did, I want to have a choice. I want my son’s girlfriend to have a choice. I want all the people in the world to have a choice. I want the world to be fair and just. I want children to be raised with love so that they can grow to love.
I want to find the middle path.
Abortions should not be encouraged and should not be banned. Religion should be practiced in a prayer house and not in a court of law. Is that too much to ask?