electionsThere are many interesting elections happening right now. The hotly contested governors seats are noteworthy, certainly, but the one that I find most relevant to my life is the California election deciding whether or not parents will have to be notified if their minor daughter wants an abortion. Now, granted, I'm not a minor, but that time in my life is not that far in my past. At this point I could have an abortion and wouldn't have to tell anyone, but the idea of girls having to tell their parents (or having someone else tell them) is disconcerting to say the least. I know people who've accidentally gotten pregnant (don't we all) and a lot of people who've had pregnancy scares and the idea of having to tell your parents about your sex life because of that is revolting.
Now, of course, one could just say don't get pregnant and you won't have to face either an abortion or having to tell your parents about an abortion, and that would be true, but of course it isn't that easy. I have a Behavioral Science class this semester that is about sex, and I really like the class. Yesterday, in class, the presentation included something that hit home. The professor stated that when people are lacking self-confidence they often leave the issue of protection up to the partner. I've done that. I have had unprotected sex because I was insecure, inexperienced, and uncomfortable with bringing it up. I could have ended up pregnant and it was only through luck - along with some good timing - that I mananged to not have to deal with that. I was 19 when I lost my virginity, though I would have probably done it much sooner if I had found anyone that I cared enough about to do it with earlier. So it really is only luck that I was never pregnant and a minor. My parents are pretty conservative and I was raised with the idea of not having sex until marriage. They don't know that I've had sex and I quite likely will never tell them. I love them, and they probably wouldn't have forbidden me to have an abortion, but I really wouldn't ever want to be forced to tell them that I'd had sex. If I ever tell them that, I want it to be because we have good communication and I feel comfortable telling them about my private life, not in a flood of tears because the government told me I had to.
I will never again have unprotected sex. I don't ever want to have an abortion, which is what I would do if I were to get pregnant right now. A friend of mine had a baby less than a month ago. It was totally unplanned. She's still in college and I know that it'll be hard for her to finish now, though I have no doubts that she will. That whole situation really impresses upon me the importance of birth control. I honestly feel a little guilty for having had sex in the past without considering the consequences - guilty for the fact that so many other people do something as stupid as I did and I got away completely scot-free.
I really hope that the amendment in California doesn't pass - for the sake of girls like me. I especially think this is important while our country has such a focus on abstinence only education. I knew what birth control was and I should have made better decisions, but part of the responsibility for my actions lies with people who should have given me more information about how to handle sexual situations, especially with regards to things like condoms. I'm currently taking a class about sex because I feel uninformed about the issue, however, I do feel that much of what I am aiming to learn in that class is stuff that should have been taught to me at a much younger age.