Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Living by One's Convictions

I was impressed yesterday to learn that Gov. Palin has a five month old son with Down's Syndrome. Many an expectant mom would have made a different choice. My heart also goes out to Bristol Palin who is an expectant mom at age seventeen. I agree with the Governor's announcement that this is a difficult choice requiring lots of support. Today a young woman, still a child herself really, will need to contain an infant's raging, teach subjectivity to a toddler, and, later, help with homework perhaps alongside her own studies, and frankly discuss sex with her teen. I am so happy that just eighty-eight years ago women who had reached majority age were granted choice, to vote.

In February 2008 on this blog I reviewed the film "Juno" and asked the presumptous question of how an otherwise educated teen could find herself in the predicament of being unwantedly pregnant. I will not presume to ask such a question now, as the decision belies the wanting. (Many decades ago when I was a teen, the belief was that only "good" girls got pregnant because they were not planning to have sex, and so were unprepared---recognizing birth control is not 100%).

In our consulting rooms with our therapy patients, nothing is off limits to discuss. This, unfortunately, is not so in the personal forum nor the political arena. Not all teenage girls have a supportive, educated, or well to do family. Regardless, there are those girls who may not want to carry a pregnancy to full term. Palin, of course, wishes to over turn Roe v. Wade, and so lives by her convictions. I applaud those who do. In a world troubled by people and countries who find it hard to recognize the center of subjectivity inherent in each other's experiences, I do not, however, expect others to live as well by my convictions. Having daughters myself, I am for freedom of choice, for them, their bodies, and their dreams.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Dr.Alexander-Guerra was far too gentle with comments on Gov.Palin. Why so oblique? It is very unlikely that Bristol Palin had a choice once she got pregnant. Not only would the political arena of the Governor demand the outcome, but, with pathological accomodation, a child is too much in need of parental approval, and risks psychic annihilation if asserts her own subjectivity with a rigid parent. How could a child 'choose' when her own powerful mother is anti-choice! Why not just say that? And why did Dr. Alexander-Guerra not add what a poor (and dangerous) choice Palin would be for a country which allegedly prides itself on freedom, including freedom to think and to choose? Palin may be a good choice for McCain, who is too moderate for right-wing Republicans, but she is not a good choice for America.