Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Limits of Choice

Tessa Savicki, of Springfield, MA, maintains that she was illegally (without her permission) given a tubal ligation after delivering her ninth child. A reporter from the Boston Herald interviewed her, and over and over Savicki's words cut to what is the heart of the issue: "That’s my choice," she said, "This is my body."

But a few days later, the Herald prints another story about Savicki with the headline, "Public backlash stuns sterilized mother of nine." Apparently, she has gotten hateful Facebook comments and texts and people telling her she should be ashamed of herself.

I want to tell her, Ms. Savicki, don't be stunned, not when the Herald felt the need to include this in the first article:
Savicki has nine children from several men, is unemployed and relies on public assistance for two of the four children who live with her. She receives supplemental security income, or SSI, for a disability, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she said. Her mother has custody of three of her children. Two of her children are no longer minors.

Why, you might think, is that included? Why is this not about the doctors and nurses who allegedly sterilized this woman without consent?

Well, that part is about the doctors and nurses--the reporter wanted to give you a chance to "understand" what their motivation may have been. I mean, after reading that, anyone can see why the medical personnel acted as they did, a fact confirmed by the public backlash. It's a really old story by now and it boils down to this:

Poor, single women should not be having children, much less nine children. Their choices are not respected/respectable. They cost "us." Their children cost "us." Someone else knows what's better for them and the ever-burdened taxpayers.

In fact, the second page of the initial article is Savicki being placed on the defense, because, as a poor single woman, she has done something wrong in having children:
Savicki acknowledged that some may feel little sympathy for her situation, but cautioned against public judgment because she is a poor, unmarried mother of 9.

“I would never have the right to tell anyone else ‘because you have this many kids that’s enough,’ ” she said. “That’s no one’s right to say that. It’s my choice. No one has the right to say you’ve had enough.

“I take care of my kids. I love my kids. I was not ready to make that kind of decision,” she said of the permanent sterilization.

Savicki said her life has stabilized in the last decade after a rocky start. She had her first child at 13 and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade.

Savicki said she’s been in a relationship with her fiance, Angel Flores Tirado, 36, since she was 25. She lives with him and the couple’s three children. Tirado helps support the family with his full-time job as a personal care assistant. Savicki said she’s had eight of her nine children while in committed relationships and hoped for one more child with Tirado.

“It’s not like I’m jumping from guy to guy to guy to get pregnant,” she said. “I’m trying to make a healthy home for my children.”

This is our world, where a woman who may have been sterilized against her will has to offer arguments as to why this should not have happened to her.

So what if it's an illegal, invasive violation? So many will see this particular violation as the right thing, the best choice.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Absolutely disgusting. These "health care professionals" should be ashamed of themselves. Take a look at this atrocity.

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