I used to hunt deer. I used to fish. I used to raise rabbits for food and fur.
I was in my early twenties. I had just broken up from living with man for two years. I was pretty desperate for love.
I was always careful to be humane in my practices, to never let an animal suffer, to honor their spirit.
I was on birth control at the time. Every birth control method has a margin of error. 99.9% means still means that some woman will get pregnant.
In recent years, I had gone to eating only organic, free range meat. I really thought that , because of my allergies, I couldn't be a vegetarian.
My periods had never been on time in my life. I really thought it was just a normal month, then the second one came around without a period.
Over the years, I had heard many arguments for vegetarianism. Most didn't really impress me. Foods don't gross me out, and the chances of getting things like e. coli are as good for certain vegetables as for meats.
I had severe asthma, barely controlled. My pulmonologist had said I could not carry a child to term because it would mean taking me off all meds. That's why I was always careful about birth control. It was hard to believe I was pregnant.
The one argument for vegetarianism that did make sense to me was the amount of resources it takes to raise a cow vs. feed a person on veggies.
A visit to the doctor confirmed it. I was sent for an ultrasound to determine how far along I was. The bright, cheery tech at the Catholic hospital turned the monitor around and said, "look, here's your baby!" I said, "I can't have it." She said nothing else.
One thing I always told myself was that, if I got to a point where I could not kill an animal myself, I would not eat one. I believe in karma. No one else should have to do something I would not.
The Ob/Gyn was more optimistic. He thought I could carry the child, but the pulmonologist thought I would not survive. I believed him. I had a choice. I used it.
I came to that point several months ago. I looked into the eyes of an animal and knew I could no longer eat flesh. I looked at the fish while snorkeling, and could no longer eat them.
I was in the second trimester by the time I had my abortion. It was a difficult choice. The baby had already survived a third of the way. The chances the meds would hurt the fetus increased every day. The chances I would die without the meds were too great. I couldn't take the chance. I had to respect the life I had, over the life that may have been. If abortion had been illegal, would I have been able to make the choice for my own life?
Respect for life. I chose to be a vegetarian out of respect for life.
I chose to have an abortion out of respect for life. My own.