May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

Becoming a mom was the most profound act that ever happened to me. I liken it to suddenly shifting from being the center of my universe to one of the furthest satellites. It's not without tedium, pain, anger, and frustration, but it's also not something I would change for a second. My kids are everything. When I started writing on C&L, my youngest was still in preschool, and I'd sneak some writing in during her naps. Yesterday, I spent the morning with her registering for classes at the community college. Next week, I take my eldest to go tour UCLA housing choices for the Fall. It's stunning how quickly time has flown.

But I chose to become a mom. I was in a long-term committed, stable, non-abusive relationship. We had completed our education, had a reasonable income level and insurance that wouldn't make a high-risk pregnancy (which I had) financially difficult and we were emotionally prepared to enter this new phase of our lives together. That's not to say there haven't been struggles. But I was privileged enough to be able to have my life in a place to welcome both my kids.

I think about that now in the face of these new abortion laws cropping up in red states. Take away any one of those conditions, and the calculus for me might have been very different. And up until a few years ago, I believed that this country respected me enough to let me make that decision for myself.

But sadly, no more. And I will posit to you that it is absolutely a case of respecting women, not saving lives of "children" at issue. Writer Gabrielle Blair (a mother of six) wrote this, which I immediately shared with my own daughters:

If you want to prevent abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Men seem unable (or unwilling) to admit that they cause 100% of them.

[snip--lots of really good stuff you should fully read and internalize]

If we’re discussing abortion law — and not how to hold men accountable for irresponsible ejaculations, and the unwanted pregnancies caused by them — we’re wasting our time. Shift the conversation. Stop protesting at clinics. Stop shaming women. Stop debating whether or not to overturn abortion laws. If you actually care about reducing or eliminating the number of abortions in our country, simply hold men accountable for their actions.

What would that look like? A real and immediate consequence for men who cause an unwanted pregnancy. What kind of consequence would make sense? Should it be as harsh, painful, nauseating, scarring, expensive, risky, and life-altering…

… as forcing a woman to go through a nine-month unwanted pregnancy?

Just as the undocumented worker problem never seems to go to consequences of those who will hire and exploit their status (like Donald Trump), the abortion issue never actually demands any consequences for the person responsible for the pregnancy (which is the man ejaculating sperm).

I just want to put this out there, because there's little more frustrating about being a mother than the expectation that all the sacrifice, all the labor, all the pain be all on one side. Maybe the way to truly honor mothers and celebrate life is by not doing that any more.

ABC's "This Week" — Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Panel: former Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.; Mayor Rahm Emanuel, D-Chicago; Maggie Haberman of The New York Times; and Seung Min Kim of The Washington Post.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Pre-empted by sports event.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Robert Gates, former secretary of defense; and Hank Paulson, former treasury secretary. Panel: Susan Glasser of The New Yorker and David Nakamura of The Washington Post.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Panel: Congressman Michael Waltz, R-Fla.; former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.; former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Democratic National Committee secretary.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" — Christopher Hughes, co-founder, Facebook, and former publisher and editor-in-chief, The New Republic; Ambassador Bill Burns, president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Richard Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations; Ambassador Paula Dobriansky; Raghuram Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India and former chief economic adviser to the government of India.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" — Chelsea Manning; Betsy Reed, editor in chief, The Intercept; Carl Bernstein; Catherine Rampell, columnist, The Washington Post; Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs, Princeton University; and Jess McIntosh, co-host, “SignalBoost” on SiriusXM.

"Fox News Sunday" — Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass.; National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow; philanthropist Howard Buffett. Panel: Juan Williams, GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, Jonathan Swan of Axios and Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Sen. Mitch McConnell.

So, what's catching your eye this morning?

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