Commentary #119: Abortion

Image Credit: South OC Beaches

I’ve been through every single emotion since yesterday. On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that has plunged the nation into darkness, fear, and uncertainty.

I’m rethinking everything about my own life, even though I do want to have children. I’ve always wanted to have children. But now, I’m not sure I want to bring a child or children into this world.

Many of you know that I was raised in the United Methodist Church. Overall, I had a good church experience. I was never abused or traumatized, nothing drastic like that.

At the same time, I was taught to not have sex before marriage. Abortion was frowned upon, but not even really mentioned or discussed.

However, I had to educate myself today on the stance of the church on abortion.

What is the UM position on abortion?

I am staunchly pro-choice. And one singular event made me that way.

I was a freshman in college at Longwood. I don’t remember which class it was, or which semester, but it was either the fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008.

An anti-abortion protest took place on campus, between the Student Union and Stubbs Hall. Our professor asked us to attend, to witness it. We could leave at any time, but we had to check in with our professor before we left. I think I lasted maybe 10-15 minutes tops. I felt like I was going to throw up on the grass.

The protestors had graphic photos on signs, poster board and foam board, with Bible verses. There was a man with one of those portable loudspeakers with a megaphone that made think of the protests of the Vietnam War. They quoted Scripture constantly. Most of these people were adults, older than us. I don’t remember how many there were.

I could barely walk after leaving the Student Union. I don’t remember much of that day after that. I was horrified.

I knew, from that day forward, that I was not going to support any of that.

This was when I was 19 years old, I turned 20 in the summer of 2008. I was very naïve. I was always the good girl, the goody-two-shoes. I wanted to be the perfect child for my parents, the good Christian girl who studied hard and got good grades.

I’m trying to unlearn so many things now. I’m grateful for various counselors and therapists.

That protest altered me forever. I continued to attend church, because that’s what I had always done, but that protest was burned into my memory.

Also in college, I was in a relationship that I thought was love. I was with John from July 2006 through July 2010. July 17th, just a few weeks from now, marks 12 years since I was able to escape from him. Alive.

Now, years later, I’m fully convinced that he wanted to get me pregnant, so that we needed to get married and he could control me forever. Coercive control is real.

I remember looking up Planned Parenthood for the first time in my life, incredibly afraid, sometime in 2009. It was one of the few times that John wasn’t watching me.

I’m fortunate that I didn’t get pregnant then. I refused to have sex with him for the first two years, because I wanted to save it for marriage. I thought we were going to get married. I still remember my mom’s face when I told her that we were thinking about getting married after graduation.

He controlled me sexually. He sexually assaulted me more than once. In early, 2009, he nearly raped me. Thankfully, I was able to get him to listen to the word “No,” finally, after screaming it over and over. Once wasn’t enough.

I’m so glad I was able to get out.

I’m so glad that I have a wonderful man in my life, Al, who supports me (and women) 200 percent.

Moving Forward

I’m ready to fight like hell.

I’m donating to Planned Parenthood.

I’m ready to vote, like tomorrow.

If you’re not registered to vote in the U.S., I beg you to do so!

I’m screaming. It might be from a keyboard right now, but I have a voice. And I’m not afraid anymore.

And to those in Washington, D.C., you just pissed off so many people.

I’m still a Christian. But I will always be pro-choice.


Bans Off Our Bodies

How to Register to Vote

Planned Parenthood


We Won’t Go Back

Women’s March

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #7: “Save Karyn: One Shopaholic’s Journey to Debt and Back”

“To everyone who’s ever second-guessed a decision they’ve made, our past makes us who we are. Have no regrets.”
~Karyn Bosnak, 20 Times a Lady

One of my favorite places to look for books is in thrift stores.

I can’t remember when or where I bought this book, but I do remember that it sat on my bookshelf, collecting dust, begging to be read.

Toward the end of January, I picked it up for the first time in a long time, thinking it would be a good read on the plane for my recent trip to Florida.

Like “The Happiness Project,” I powered through most of this book by the end of that weekend. This book was quite a bit heftier than “The Happiness Project,” but I was very pleased with myself once I finished it.

It was really nice to be reading again!

I’ve always loved human-interest stories. I feel drawn to them. I’m fascinated by other people’s lives, especially those who have experienced tragedy, struggle, or hardship.

In several ways, I identified with Karyn.

First, there’s the settings of Chicago and New York City.

I was born in Manhattan. I have visited the city many, many times throughout my childhood because my parents took me back to the hospital where I was born prematurely, every year until I was in middle school. It has always been a special place for me. The city excites me. I love watching movies that involve NYC. I love the architecture. I love Central Park. I have had the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall as a senior in high school in 2007, and visit The New York Times as part of my main college internship in 2010.

Personally, I would never want to live in a big city, but whenever I have an opportunity to visit, I will!

Photo montage!

Mount Sinai Hospital Image Credit:

Mount Sinai Hospital
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Central Park Image Credit:

Central Park
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Brooklyn Bridge Image Credit:

Brooklyn Bridge
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New York Public Library -  The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Image Credit:

New York Public Library –
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
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The New York Times Building Image Credit:

The New York Times Building
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Governors Island Image Credit:

Governors Island
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Carnegie Hall Image Credit:

Carnegie Hall
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Chicago is also an exciting city. I’ve been fortunate to visit there a few times, with one of my dad’s sisters having lived in one of the suburbs for almost 20 years. My heart will always default to NYC, but I look forward to the next chance that I can visit Chicago!

Second, managing money and spending beyond the means.

I’ve never considered myself to be a true “shopaholic,” but I have struggled with managing my money before. There were a few times in college where I didn’t any pay attention to my bank account – I thought I was being responsible, that I was okay.

I ended up overdrafting a couple of times over the course of a few months. That was absolutely mortifying. My parents were angry and upset, but they were more than willing to help me get back on track.

Ever since that wake-up call several years ago, I have tried really hard to get better with my money. Now, as Al’s fiance, I am preparing for our future together. I am more committed than ever to saving every penny that I can and I’ve been watching my accounts like a hawk. It feels so good to see my savings grow and grow. Every dollar counts!

I am proud to be currently debt-free, but I know that so many young adults like myself are not so lucky. Student loans, car loans, credit cards, mortgages, bills in general. I’m sure it feels like a never-ending cycle.

Seeing Karyn’s journey unfold from the pages made me laugh.

It made me cry.

It scared me straight.

As I was reading, I immediately thought back to last year, when I was winding down my 10-month stay in my apartment in Newport News. It was tough, those 10 months. Note – I never went without the essentials, I was able to pay my rent and utilities on time, but it felt like such a drain every month. I felt like I was never getting ahead. I was saving as much money as I could, but it was hard.

Moving back home was one of the hardest decisions ever, but it was one of the best decisions. I needed to experience my independence, for a little while. But I am more grateful that my parents let me come back home!

I have taken that amazing opportunity to squirrel away money like a madwoman, as much as I can, as fast as I can. It feels so good!!

In addition to saving away, I have finally started to realize just how much stuff (a.k.a., crap) I have.

A few weekends ago, I looked around my bedroom and I almost broke into tears. I felt overwhelmed. I felt greedy. I felt absolutely disgusted with myself.

I realized that at that moment, I was fortunate enough to have SEVERAL ROOMS in my parents’ house, rooms that were full of things that I called mine – Furniture, clothes, jewelry, shoes, books. It was too much. It was a tipping point.

I’ll elaborate more on that in a new post, but let’s just say it was a humbling and eye-opening experience.

In short, I took so much away from this one book. It helped me evaluate my life, where I am, and where I’m going. It was awesome!

This will be on my bookshelf forever. I plan to re-read it!!

Karyn is an inspiration. Her experiences from 1999-2002 are still relevant now, for so many.

She turned her life around, and it is so awesome to see that in those pages.

I would absolutely recommend this book.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂