Inspired by Kristin’s genius, I’ve been rewatching Felicity — from the pilot to, I hope, the series finale. I’m currently in the midst of the sophomore year. Because of her break-in to the campus pool, Felicity has found herself doing community service at the University’s student health clinic, which has lead her to stage a sit-in to protest the school’s policy forbidding the clinic’s distribution of the morning-after pill. This happens right on the heels of Ruby learning she is pregnant and her decision to have her baby. Not a coincidence, I realize, but it also doesn’t feel as convenient and contrived as it sounds. When Ruby learns she is pregnant, she begins to cry and I cried along with her. It is heartbreaking to see a woman — just barely out of girlhood — have to face something as life-altering, daunting and confusing as finding herself pregnant with an unplanned, and unwanted, baby.
Anyway, watching these episodes of Felicity has provoked me to write about something I have thought of frequently since I found out I am pregnant: I am so lucky.
I am so very grateful for a million things, as I hope I make clear, but I truly wish I could thank all of the medical professionals and political advocates who have come before me — and continue to fight to make safer, better and more accessible medicine — who have made my access to birth control so easy. I think often about how limited in their choices women used to be — like, say, the choice between a relationship and an education — and it can easily bring me to tears when I think of how lucky I have been not to have had to make those choices, or how difficult it must have been for other women faced with such a choice. When I went to college, it was easy to get birth control from the student health center. Yes, the morning-after pill was not as easy to come by as it is today, but it was still available. The pill and condoms were abundant and I never felt there was any judgment over birth control options. During my junior year in college, a friend of mine had a scare and we walked right over to Planned Parenthood on East Mifflin Street for a free test. While the scare was real, though ultimately unfounded, the solutions were easy to access.
I grew up in a time, and with a family, in which I always knew I had options and support. It breaks my heart to think that there are women all over the world who don’t have either of those two things.
My real point, though, is that I never forget how very lucky I am that I was able to get pregnant when I wanted to. I mean, we were able to make a real, actual choice. I know we didn’t have control over whether we conceived, but we could choose — and did choose — to try. And I think that’s just amazing. I wish that for everyone. I try very hard never to take it for granted that I am so damn lucky to have been able to get pregnant on my own terms.