Wednesday, April 19, 2017

hitting my limit

Yesterday, after spending another day of my maternity leave at Legislative plaza, I learned at 5pm that the committee decided to table SB 1180 for a day due to some amendment written by a Right to Life representative. A delay tactic, if you will, in an attempt to lose the opposition's steam. I returned to my car, paid yet again for the expensive city parking, then sat in traffic for an hour and a half battling downtown Nashville in the rain. I listened to my daughter cry hysterically in the back seat while I cried hysterically in the front. I was angry, sad, defeated and consumed with guilt.

Yesterday, I officially hit my limit.

I hit my limit with the affiliations I'm helping support. I know I'm an ideal face to abortion for you. I get it. I'm a white, educated, middle class mother. I can speak coherent sentences and I look like the committee members' daughter or grand daughter. But I am not some puppet you can parade around. This isn't some "story" for leverage, this really actually happened to me. In real life. So every time you put me on the spot and drag me into a room with a politician to share Grace's story (without even so much as asking me first or thanking me for doing so), you need to understand that a little piece of my heart gets torn away, stomped on, and left on the floor of that office.

I hit my limit with men in politics. I am so sick of you having the authority to create and pass abortion bills with absolutely no medical training or basic knowledge on the topic. The truth is, you will never understand the power of womanhood and the choices we face. A friend once said to me, "We have the power to create life and end life, and men will always be threatened by that power." 

I hit my limit with the stigma that surrounds the word abortion. Stop fearing it. It isn't some scary and taboo thing that only bad people choose to do. 1 in 3 women in this country will have one in their lifetime. Believe me, you've met one, you work with one, you're friends with one, you might even live with one. You do not live in a Christian bubble of righteousness.

I hit my limit with our political system, both Republicans and Democrats alike. Everyone votes by way of their party out of fear of reelection, and votes are decided long before committee meetings even begin. Did you know that politicians trade votes? Like if one politician is trying to get their bill passed, they make deals with other politicians to vote a certain way for a vote in return? Maybe I've just been living under a naive political rock my whole life, but this was news to me. If state level politics are this sleazy, I can't even imagine what goes on at the federal level. 

Yesterday an extremely influential politician at the Capitol listened to my story in the privacy of his fancy office. He sympathized with me, he agreed that we made the best choice for our family, he expressed how he felt this bill was unconstitutional and cruel. And then, this man (who I will not name because at this point it doesn't even matter) looked at me and said, and I quote: "But no one is willing to die on the sword for this bill."

And so, I'm stepping away for awhile. I'm going to enjoy my last few weeks of maternity leave with my daughter. I'm going to work on her baby book and wear sweat pants and take naps with her and cuddle the shit out of those chubby little cheeks. And I will just have to live with the guilt of throwing in the towel. 

I did the best I could, Grace.


2 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you Hadleigh. I know you feel defeated, but you are not in my eyes. You have been a warrior through all of this. And it is so appreciated that you have tried so hard to help the change. It's someone else's turn to step up. You have done more than what is asked of you. Enjoy the rest of your maternity leave. Grace is proud of you for speaking up, but more importantly proud of you for being a good mom to both of your children. I'm so appreciative of you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, Had! You have done so much and are so brave. You shouldn't feel guilty at all for throwing in the towel. Enjoy the rest of maternity leave and enjoy that sweet little baby!

    ReplyDelete