Let’s Talk About It: Women’s Health…Who Has the Right to Choose?

Hospital Bed

(Previously posted  10/1/12 on The  Butterfly Memoirs Blog)

No matter where you look, the issue of a woman’s right to choose
what to do with her body is everywhere. No matter what your personal stance is
on the subject of abortion, it all comes down to one fact…it’s not only the
life of the unborn child that is in question, the life of the mother – her
mental, emotional, and physical health – are just as important.

How many men ever think of this? Why is it that whenever I turn on the news, log onto the internet, or listen to the radio, it is a man who feels he has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do to her body?

Did I miss something?

The last time I checked, it was MY body that carried the four children born into this world in my womb, not my husbands. I was the one who bore the pain of back aches, indigestion, physical discomfort, excessive weight gain, and nausea…and that was before the hours of labor, physical exertion, and pain due to the actual birthing process! My hubby sat by, rubbed my feet, my back, and did what he could to make sure our growing family had a roof over our heads and a food in our bellies. He did his part to show love and support, and I appreciate everything he has and continues to do to provide for us.

I was told by my doctor, when I was pregnant with my first child, that due to a medical condition, I shouldn’t have more than two kids. Why? I have a negative  Rh factor in my blood, my husband is the opposite. Because of this, if my blood was to pass on to the fetus during pregnancy, it could possibly damage my child to the point of causing serious medical issues. And if the baby’s blood,  during the birthing process, passed to me, it could cause my blood to form antibodies that could affect any later pregnancies.

Hmm….decisions, decisions, decisions. Risk bringing a damaged child who could possibly need a lifetime of medical care into this world, thus possibly needing government aid…or decide not to have the child and have an abortion if I got pregnant. And yes, I was on birth control, which is another issue all together.

In the late 90’s, early 2000’s, the birth control options weren’t as varied as they are today. I have a blood clotting disorder in my family, (C protein complex) which seriously limited my choice of birth control
without risking my life.

Despite the warning from my doctor, I ended up giving birth to four children. All of them were born healthy, thank god, with all ten fingers and ten toes. The effects of what my blood could do to my children did surface in a few of them after birth, but fortunately, it was something that corrected itself with time (anemia).

The last child gave us a major health scare.

Six months into the pregnancy, I had to go for an amniocentesis because blood test showed she could be born with spinal bifida. Thankfully she wasn’t, but as soon as I could, I had my tubes tied. That was a decision made by me and my husband, but in the end it was MY choice.  Today, women have a much wider selection of birth control options. Everything from the pill, to shots, to IUD’s and patches…the option is out there.

But one thing men must remember…each of these options runs the risk of affecting a women’s health.

Remember the birth control commercial you saw on TV last night? After shouting out all the benefits of the miracle drug, how fast did the announcer run through the side effects? 

Um, stroke, blood clots, heart attack… should I keep going? 

How many commercials later did you see an announcement for a class action law suit against the provider of a popular contraceptive? I believe the results were the exact side effects no one wants to speak about.

By the way, I was only able to take a birth control shot for two years. Eventually I had to get off of it and the results were disastrous. I was sick for nearly two months. And nearly ten years later I ended up in the hospital ICU wing after having a stroke that nearly claimed my life. My husband told me later he meet two men whose wives were also in the hospital as a result of a stroke. The common denominator: our age and birth control. I was fortunate enough to not be the one who had half of her hair shaved off and a  tub inserted into her skull to relieve the swelling. I was able- despite a bout of paralysis- to walk out of the hospital with minimal add. 

So in the end ladies, it appears the best and safest options to prevent pregnancy are two things: abstain from sex, or become lesbians.

How many men are going to jump on board of that band wagon?

Then there’s the issue of a woman being forced to give birth because she was impregnated after being raped…no matter what the age. Have they lost their damn minds? How can you say that a woman – or young lady, because women of all ages are being raped – doesn’t have the right to terminate a pregnancy? Her mental and physical health mean nothing???

What about the women who gets pregnant and due to medical problems, has no choice but to terminate the pregnancy in order to save her life? What if she is a single mother or a widow, who’s supposed to raise the baby if she dies? Since when do we let nature take its course? Back in the Stone Age before the advent of medicine, sure, but now? That’s literally signing a woman’s death certificate! If she wants to gamble with her life in order to carry her baby, that is her decision, her right. If she decides she would rather live for say, I don’t know, her husband and the OTHER children she’s given birth to, well that’s her right too! 

Why do I rant?

The isue of choice about what a woman does to her body is one of the many subjects addressed in my novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken. The heroine, Ebony Campbell has a decision to make and the consequences could prove to be disastrous, no matter what she decides. She has her reasons, and every last one of them valid.

Regardless of her decision, her emotional, physical, and mental well-being are

 How will she survive?

What would you do?



Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.






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