OK

After reading several articles on the Michigan GOP's plan to offer a tax credit for fetuses, I have finally lost it. This insane attempt to give fetuses personhood, at the expense of both living children (the tax credit for children was cut last year) and the taxpayers of Michigan, proves once and for all that the fetus fetish has gone too far. The Michigan GOP is trying to legally make women hostages to a fetus.

And so, to Personhood supporters, I say to you: Look at me. I am a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife. I am a niece, and an aunt. I am a cousin. I am a friend to many, and an enemy to one. I live, I breathe, I speak, I write. I cry, I scream. I love. I laugh, often. I bleed. I dance, I sing. I am a person.

When you attempt to declare a blastocyst a person, you are stripping me of MY "personhood." I saw a tweet the other day that put it beautifully: "Personhood is conferred when a woman says to herself, "This is my baby." Yes. Exactly. I have felt babies in my womb kick. I had a Doppler, and I listened to their heartbeats, to the sound of horses galloping, and rejoiced that all was well. I had frequent ultrasounds, and eagerly drank in the sight of my unborn children. Between appointments, I pored over the printed ultrasound pictures, worrying that a nose really was potato-shaped.

I had a miscarriage, once, too. I cried, and suffered, and many friends cried and suffered with me. I had a D & C, after which I threw up. During the vast flood of blood at home, I found and held a tiny little empty sac in my hand, and mourned what could have been.

But...and this is something that you refuse to acknowledge: My living children were wanted, and they are deeply loved. Unwanted pregnancies do not have "personhood" conferred upon them. They are an intrusion, a parasite, a thing. However they were conceived, they are not wanted. They are not loved. They are not named. No nurseries are planned. There is no sighing over tiny booties and cunning little hats. There is, instead, a desperation and determination that the thing be removed.

Who are you, to force an unwilling woman to confer "Personhood" on something in her womb? To force her to host, for nearly a year, something that stretches her belly and grows her breasts, that weighs heavily not only upon her consciousness, but her very life? Where will YOU be when that child is born, unwanted and unloved, perhaps to be disposed of in a toilet or restroom garbage can? Perhaps to be abused, as the object of anger over his or her very existence?

Smugly congratulating yourself that the fetus was "saved"? Or completely ignorant, on to harassing more Republican lawmakers to pass ever more draconian laws? Do you understand that you cannot, ever, force a woman to love an unwanted child? Eliminating safe and legal abortion will not end abortion. It never has. Women will always seek to get rid of unwanted children, and have for centuries. Their reasons why are none of your business. An end to legal abortion has always meant the deaths of thousands upon thousands of women, depriving their families and friends of the joy they found in them.

How do you possibly justify stripping women of their humanity, reducing them to nothing more than a vessel? How do you justify the fact that unwanted children can have terrible lives of desperation and fear? How can you lavish more love and attention upon a clump of cells in a stranger's uterus, than you do to starving children in your own area?

You should be ashamed. Life is for the living. To loudly proclaim that a fetus is entitled to all the rights of breathing, laughing, huggable people is unconscionable. Particularly since the fetus is not YOURS. You will not be responsible for it in any way, shape, or form. You will have merrily skipped along, living your life, feeling self-righteous, leaving devastation in your wake.

Fetuses are not people until they are born. As a mother, I know that. Fetuses have the potential to be people, but until they are out of the womb, they are not. My daughter was born sort of grayish-blue, with the cord wrapped around her neck. My husband said, "Oh my God, she's d---" and my doula kicked him in the ankle. My beloved OB quickly unwrapped the cord, my husband cut it, and my beautiful daughter turned rosy pink. She was a person. And I love her, and my son, so much that it makes my heart hurt. This, and only this, is how it should be. This is the sacred bond between mother and child. You should not interfere with that.

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