Mother’s Day and Memorial Day—Both days can raise a mixture of responses.
For many, Mother’s Day is a day of celebration. For others, it can be a difficult holiday. It honors the women who gave birth to children or adopted them. It lifts up the mothering they gave those children. Many mothers brought their children into the world with intention and joy. Yet, there are those women whose life circumstances forced them to carry an unintended pregnancy to term. In some cases, those children were taken away and never seen again. Some women have longed to be mothers, but have not been able to carry a pregnancy to term. Other women have been criticized for choosing not to be a mother. For those who have lost their mothers, the holiday can bring up intense grief and sadness.
GRR works for the rights of all women and girls to determine whether and when to bear a child.
There is a kind of irony in Memorial Day. Those who have served their country are honored in a much-deserved way for their willingness to risk their lives for their country. Some have died, some have survived. Some have wounds, both physical and spiritual, they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Ironically, there is no honoring of the risk that every woman faces when giving birth. Too many women die while giving birth to life. With maternal mortality rising in this country, it is time we recognize that risk. The survival of a fertilized egg is honored more than the survival of a woman whose life is threatened while carrying that fertilized egg and while bringing a child into the world.
So let us honor the risk women face because of pregnancy. Let us fight for the right of every woman to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion.