Of abortion: Burden on women gives them choice

To the editor:

It is troubling to me that almost all letters opposed to abortion are written by men. Yet men do not have to go through a pregnancy. Men do not have to birth a baby. Men do not have to carry a baby in their body for nine months. Men do not get smart or nasty remarks when they are pregnant and unwed. Men do not get raped and wind up pregnant. Men do not get morning sickness.

Now, before the reader thinks I am an old maid or stupid man who should be whatever, read the rest of the letter. Before my wonderful wife and I were married, we discussed having babies. I told her that I would like to have a big family. Her response was, “So do I, but what do you consider a big family?”

My reply was that I would like eight children. Her response was, “Well, I was considering six as my goal.”

So we agreed on seven as our goal. She asked, “What if they are all girls?”

My reply was “That would be fine, because they would all be as beautiful as you. But, what if they are all boys?”

Her reply, “That would be okay.”

Two years later when I was in graduate school and she was finishing up her third year of college over Christmas vacation, she went to the doctor for a physical prior to getting married. When I picked her up from the doctor’s visit she was a bit subdued. She was unlike her usual, happy self. She did not answer me until we got into the car. Then she started crying. I asked her what was wrong.

She replied, “The doctor told me I would never have a baby.”

I put my arms around her and told her, “God brought us together and he knows we want to have babies, so we will have babies.”

She had great trust in me and we both had trust in God. Our first baby, a boy, was born while I was still in graduate school. Two years later, while we were in the Army in Denver, Colo., we had a baby girl. She was born two weeks before President Ike was taken to the same hospital for his health problem. Then we had a new baby every two years (plus or minus a few months) to reach our goal of seven while I was an Ag Extension agent in Potter County.

Once our youngest was in school, my wife went back to college to finish up her degree. Then we had a surprise 13 years after our set of seven. We were in our 40s. We discussed whether to have an unexpected baby or not. Finally, I told her that it was her decision and I would back her with my full support. Her decision was to go ahead with the late-in-life baby. We had a boy when I was 48 and she was 45. It was different, but we managed. As usual, she still had the bulk of work, feeding (I could not produce milk) and raising. He now lives in Texas, has a job as supervisor of the service employees in a resort and is the father of three well-behaved and intelligent kids. I guess he was our gift. Yet, I would not condemn a woman in that circumstance who decided it would be too much if there was not a father who would take on part of the burden of raising.

How many of you who object to a woman having an abortion regardless of the happenstance behind the pregnancy have (1) ever had a baby (it is not easy and comes with pain), (2) ever raised eight children and put them all through college or had children who were not capable of going to college (it is expensive and needs to be addressed early on – – like no later than the day the baby is born), (3) ever been raped – it has to be traumatic, or (4) ever been broke – how do you raise a child properly with no money?

John Brockett