A woman finds out she is pregnant. She makes the choice to be a mother. In the ensuing months she changes. Her body, her plans, her outlook, and the world as she knows it – everyone’s world around her for that matter – it all changes and it changes fast.
She is overjoyed. She is transformed. She is vulnerable. And it all started with her choice.
That’s where we say it begins – in Canada it’s a woman’s choice – right?
We say things like, “she is expecting” but in all reality there is a baby growing right there. It gets to the point that the baby inside of her can see and feel and hear. Her baby is alive and the woman quite literally feels that fact every day.
Would you ever not wish a fully rounded pregnant woman a happy mother’s day? Would you correct someone who did and say, “Oh no, that thing has to take a breath on the outside before you get a happy mother’s day out of me?”
No, she is a mother. Motherhood has begun.
So why don’t our laws reflect that reality? How can it be that a woman who has chosen motherhood, who is more susceptible to societal violence, and has more than just her own life to protect, have no more protection of law than a woman who is not pregnant? How can it be that when the child she chose to be a mother to is harmed or killed that there is no criminal accountability for the very life that she chose?
How can we honestly say it was her choice to become a mother when there is no law to acknowledge her motherhood when a crime is committed against her?
There are people that will tell you there is no difference between choosing motherhood and choosing an abortion. Or that any perceivable difference must be ignored for a “greater good”. Not surprisingly, the most ardent of these voices are women who have never experienced motherhood for themselves.
What is good about a “greater good” that doesn’t extend to motherhood?
To protect mothers where motherhood begins is not irreducibly complex. Those that insist we continue to treat it as something to be ignored are determined to miss the point regardless of the cost.
The sad truth is that these crimes against pregnant women and their unborn children are most often perpetrated by domestic partners. Who then is left to stand up for these women who chose motherhood when they are no longer here to do it themselves?
To Arianna Goberdhan, Cassandra Kaake, Olivia Talbot… Happy Mother’s day.
Happy Mother’s day to every woman that ever made the choice to be a mother – to the ones that had that choice violated and then disregarded – and to the ones who are willing to stand up and demand that violent criminals be held accountable for the reality of their crimes against motherhood.
Protect your mother. Protect every mother. If we’re not doing that then what are we doing?