The conversation between the women is coming to a close. Lil is finally telling her secret to her friend, explaining why she looks so old.
‘It’s them pills I took to bring it off’. Them pills prescribed by some shady dude. Them pills helping her terminate another unwanted child. Them pills taken because she didn’t have access to safe abortion. It is truly tragic to me to think that women had to take matters in their own hands when faced with another harrowing pregnancy. Another potential child that might ravage their body and kill them or another mouth to feed when conditions were already hard enough or another child that might not make to adulthood.
Here is little George, in his fancy suit. Such a charmer and thank goodness. All these children. Of course they were loved. And probably for most women, it was just the way it was. people had many many kids. But I can’t help but feel that this must have been a terrible burden for many of these women. A burden on their body, their lives, their education, the loss of the possibility to own their destiny.
The stitching evokes the love for the children. In the past, children died more often because of unsanitary conditions and economic precarity. This would cause their mother’s hearts to break even more. You have child after child after child and many of them just don’t make it. It is so much to ask.
I say thank goodness for birth control, for planned parenthood, for medicare. Thank goodness for resources that help us take care of children once they are born, to make sure they have access to a life worth living instead of blindly making sure every embryo comes to term without any consideration whatsoever of the type of life that child will be given.
I know these are heavy issues that don’t sit well with everyone. I am amazed that TS Eliot even broached the subject of abortion in 1922. I think it is so important to keep the dialogue going, to talk about things. Otherwise people stay camped in their positions and there can be no discussion of ideas. Please feel free to leave me a comment here.