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Sexism, Reproduction, and Abortion

I write as a U.S. Jewish woman with mixed Mizrahi and Ashkenazi heritage. As a single woman in my thirties, I have been struck by how encompassing the issue of reproduction has become in my life. Worries about getting married and having children are a constant pressure in my head. I have worked hard to set up a life that I love, and I have to constantly battle the idea that unless I “attach” to a man and reproduce, it won’t be worth anything.

A couple of years ago I got pregnant with a man I wasn’t in a relationship with. The more I discharged, the more I realized that sexism had everything to do with my being in that situation. For example, the man had refused to use a condom even though I’d asked him to several times.

When I found out I was pregnant, I felt that my only choice was to get an abortion. For me to become a parent, my entire life would have had to drastically change course. Because I am a woman, raising a child would have fallen to me, and I would have been largely alone in it. In our society, women don’t generally have a big community around them to help them raise children, support them financially, and make sure they don’t become isolated as mothers. I would have had to make sacrifices in terms of my employment and financial security. The man who was the father would have been able to continue to live his life unaffected, unless he chose to be involved.

Sexism continues to leave women with limited options for their lives. I am so hopeful about the work we are doing in RC to end sexism and make sure women have the opportunity for big, full lives, with no limits.

Anonymous

(Present Time 184, July 2016)


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00