I Am the Face of Entitlement

See that photo?

That is me, and my three-year-old Ben. When I was in my third trimester with him, my husband lost his health insurance which covered our entire family — my pregnant self, our oldest son who was a young toddler, and of course himself. When the economy tanked in 2008, before the presidential election, he was laid off. While sitting on the “union bench” we lost our benefits because he didn’t put in enough union hours.  Makes a lot of sense right?

So there I was, ready to give birth… no health insurance, and in a panic.

What did I pull together and do? Like most people hit by the economy, I went to the local department of health and that day they had me registered for Medicaid, or Husky as we call it in Connecticut.

Over the next calendar year we experienced several hardships including my husband being turned away by a number of companies because he was “over-qualified” for the positions he applied for. A veteran, looking to support his family being turned away, repeatedly.  But this was the state the entire country was in!

We got WIC for our son, when we figured out he couldn’t tolerate my breast milk. We became the 47% of moochers who are lazy and don’t want to work for a living. (Insert a big eye roll there!)

We got lucky a year later when my husband got hired by a company 45 minutes away from our home. While it was trying and expensive as the gas prices continued to rise, we were spoiled rotten by the extra $90 more than he received on unemployment we got a pay period. Real Rockefeller’s right?

Just when we started to make ends meet, a mixture of antibiotics and failed birth control landed us our daughter. Which in turn landed me a full-time job from home writing about my pregnancy. We got lucky. Very lucky. And from that moment on it seemed like our luck turned around. Not because we are entitled, or because we have a trust fund. Because we worked hard and never stopped trying to better ourselves and our family. When a door would close, we would knock on fifteen more, until one opened. We didn’t sit around and sulk in our misfortune. We worked for what we had, just like most American’s do.

When this election season rolled around, I found a lot of issues important to me as a woman. In the past four years, we have seen so many religious based, anti-choice laws and propositions brought into our government. We have seen attacks on Planned Parenthood funding, and bickering over the future of Roe v. Wade. Issues that should not be issues in the year 2012. Roe has been in place since 1973, can we just leave it the hell alone already?

Of course the debt, the economy, jobs, health care and foreign policy were important to me. Everything about America and what will impact our family in the years to come is extremely important to me. But as a woman of childbearing age with a daughter, the issues of female reproductive health care are extremely important to me.

When I hear old white men calling rape a gift from God, or some asshole insisting that if a woman is legitimately raped, she cannot become pregnant – there is a really big and scary issue upon us.

As a strong pro-choice feminist, these were issues important to me. And clearly millions of other women across the country because the jack-holes who made those statements got voted out. For the first time in history there will be more women and minorities serving our country on various levels of government. That is a big deal, and America spoke clearly.

If you call the American middle class struggle many of us have been going through the face of entitlement, I am proud to wear that badge. But then I think we should stop and take a look at what entitlement really means!

  • Amy

    Thanks for writting this! I too lost my health insurance while mid way through my pregnancy – read: after paying out the deductible. At first I thought I was lucky because I was 25 and could go back onto my mother’s insurance until age 26. Turned out that I would be covered for everything unless it is related to pregnancy. I too had to turn to medicaid. I don’t know what we would have done without it. We had saved for my maternity leave but that would not have covered mine and Milo’s medical bills.

  • Judi

    Why did you have to point out that the fools who said that stuff about rape were white? If they were of another race, would you have pointed that out? I highly doubt it. Last thing…the fool DID NOT say rape was a gift from God…he said any child is a gift from God! Do you not believe your children were gifts from God? You really need to get your facts right before you decide to post.

    • @Judi – I call it like I see it. I believe my children are a gift from God. If I was raped, and became pregnant, I would NOT believe ANY part of that would be part of anything to do with God. Simple as that. Although, I am sure no matter what I would have said you would have disagreed with. There were more statements about rape than just that. There was Rep. Roger Rivard who said “Some girls just rape easily” or Tom Smith who compared having a child out of wedlock to getting pregnant as the result of rape. It doesn’t make the comments any less offensive or ignorant.

  • Judi

    But the only one to say that rape was a gift from God was you!!!! You can back peddle all you want, but you said it…not the fool in government. I too, am glad all of those fools got voted out, as it should have been….

  • Tina

    @ Danielle – on the subject of your rights, specifically as women and the right to a choice, what should be done with the resulting “matter” in a failed late term abortion? What would you consider more extreme? 1.) a view that no abortion at any stage for any reason should be left as a choice such as the “white men” you referenced? or 2.) a view that if a late term aborted baby survives, has a beating heart, and is breathing…it should be left to die. And since it is known that late term aborted babies have survived many times, who decides when the baby is living and when it is not while still in the womb? I suppose since you are “entitled,” it is you. Would really like to know your view on this…

    • @Tina – I believe all these issues should be left between a woman and her healthcare provider. Period.

      • Tina

        I suppose I’m trying to get you to think about this. At what stage in a baby’s life should the baby have the right to live? Really looking for a specific answer here. At what stage should a nurse in the clinic attempt to save the baby as it lays there breathing in a closet and bring in another doctor? Let’s say, hypothetically, the baby lives for another 48 hours – do you believe the doctor and mother still have a right to decide if it lives or dies?

        • I believe it is a private decision to be made between a family and their providers. I answered your question and will not go into extreme hypotheticals.

          • Tina

            Interesting, because you’re so willing to go into extreme hypotheticals when making your own points. Yet, you’re not willing to address those from the other side. Less than 1% of abortions are performed due to rape, yet you make it a central point in your article to communicate your frustration with those who don’t see it as part of their pro-life decision and are therefore in conflict with your rights as a woman.

  • And less than 1% of abortions would even bring the situation you are discussing. So I guess we are even.

  • Wow.
    As a Black woman I sometimes feel that anything I say it attacked. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Becca

    I have to agree with Danielle calling out their race. WHY do you ask????? Because as a white woman I have never heard any man of any other race trying to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. I have never heard a man saying a child produced from rape is God’s will, that a “woman’s body has a mechanism to shut the whole system down so she cannot get pregnant when it is a legitimate rape.” I do however believe that unless mother and/or child’s life is in danger than abortion should not go beyond 12 weeks. I also have to agree again with Danielle and say it is also none of my business and that of the patient and doctor.

  • Great Post

  • Judi

    @Becca…really you think only white men are the ones telling a woman what she can and connot do with her body? There are no black men who are pro-life? My you live a sheltered life.
    I don’t agree what those idiots said about rape either. I do disagree with the fact that if you have a late term abortion, (which I also do not agree with) and said child is born alive, the doctor and whoever else has a duty to save that child. Many, like Danielle believe it should be up to the mom…tha tis if the mom says let it die…the doctor does nothing. In my opinion that is murder, plain and simple! By the way, I am pro-choice.

  • Tina

    @Judi – glad there’s someone here who’s willing to come out and call out the blatant ignorance. I am confused, however, by your statement, “In my opinion, that is murder, plain and simple! By the way, I am pro-choice.” On one hand, you call it murder and I obviously agree with this. But at the same time, you say you’re pro-choice? What does it mean to be pro-choice but then also consider charges of murder for surviving aborted babies? Murder is a serious thing, right? Is it not so serious since we’re talking about a breathing “thing” left on a table to die? Wake up! Is it murder when third world country mom’s stick a born female baby in a bucket of water to drown since they want a boy to carry on their family? And somehow…being pro-choice as a general stance…in turn, according to you can involve circumstances of straight up murder, right? Given your conflict, I’ll ask you what I asked Danielle, When does the baby have the right to live? It’s important for you to actually have a firm foundation of belief in place…especially if you believe my example to be murder. For reference, many many women would stand with you in being pro-choice but then believing this example to be murder. And they have also helped put Obama back into office. Yet, he voted 4 times against legislation that would have prevented the murder of these late-term aborted babies. Obama is right there with author of this article. They believe that if the baby has been alive for 2 days by some miraculous will to live, it’s still up to the mom/dr to take that baby and hold it down in a bucket of water, to die.

    • Tina, I just want to interject something here as well. These late term abortions are NOT because a woman wakes up one day when she is 32 weeks pregnant and decides… “Oh, well I don’t think I am really cut out for this motherhood thing… I think I’ll have an abortion” these are very much wanted pregnancies with tragic and sometimes dire circumstances. They are heart wrenching all around, for everyone involved. D&X procedures are not legal for ANY reason, they are legal for serious medical issues.
      They also make up less than 2% of all abortions which take place.
      This is a great piece on the face of late term abortion, and who has them : http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-true-picture-of-the-women-who-face-late-term-abortion/2012/07/27/gJQAxSCjEX_story.html

      • Judi

        @Tina…I believe a woman has the right to chose what to do with her body, i don’t think there should be late term abortions. A 12 week old embryo is not going to survive outside the body..it is not viable, but it is not murder, At that point, it is the mother’s choice…I know it sound hypocritical…but that is how I feel. Hell, I am Catholic and still feel that way.
        I in NO WAY helped put obama in office…I know he voted to let the babies die. Our country is going to hell in a hand basket, good thing he can not run again,,,,let’s hope he does not trash our country anymore than he has!

      • Judi

        @ Danielle So you still believe that a woman who has a late term abortion and the doctor botches the procedure and the child is born alive , the mother has the right to say kill the child…like putting down a dog.

        • @Judi – No, that is not what is being said. What is being said is a parent should be able to choose their child’s course of action. Situation : A woman is having a D&X because her baby has a type of abnormality, and is born alive. The mother makes the choice to hold and rock her baby until he/she passes away. Will you compare that to murder or putting a dog down? Because a parent opting for no medical care for a child with no hope of living unfortunately happens more often than any of us would like to think or admit. Like the link I posted above, the mother made the choice for her son not to live a life of pain, shouldn’t all parents have that same choice?

          We are not talking about putting dogs down, we are talking about parents making caring choices for children they very much wanted but unfortunately cannot live.

          • Judi

            Okay…I will give you that. If the aborted child is born alive and has no chance for survival and the mother holds the child til she passes, that is fine, no baby should die alone. But what if the child survives, day after day, would you deny the child norishment and medical care?

  • Tina

    Thanks for reiterating Judi – you answered my question and in most party, I can level with your stance!

    Danielle – please watch this video:

    Danielle, the point is, you say it’s up to the doctor and physician to decide and you have this imaginary idea that mom’s are only having these abortions out of love for their unborn child. Do you suppose that there are no stories of mom’s having a late term abortion due to a non-life threatening situation (mental retardation, deformity, etc). And you back this up with an opinion article written by a mom who’s trying to justify her position and garner support. What if the Dr was wrong? What if there was that chance? Isn’t that worth her inconvenience? Doesn’t every human being deserve the right to live and to fight for it? If that child I see you holding in that picture was diagnosed with a terminal illness that caused severe pain, would you take it upon yourself to spare him his future misery? Is that your choice to decide what level of pain constitutes ending his life and at what stage in his life? Would he have a say?

    • I will pass on the video, but just like every choice in life. We as parents do what we think is best for our children. Some times that choice is to let go instead of being selfish with our wants.
      Do I think these abortions are ONLY happening because of these deeply sad situations, of course not. We don’t live in a perfect world where everyone follows the law, or doesn’t lie. It is just the world we live in.

      At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it, I still feel these choices are between Doctors and parents. Not strangers. You wouldn’t wish to have me, or someone else you don’t know making your choice, I do not wish to have you making my choices. It is just a simple fact.

      Nor does my opinion on anything I said change, even though this has spun into a completely off topic, and extreme abortion debate.

  • @Judi – IF it was *MY* child, of course I would. But it is not my choice to make when it comes to other people. My point as a whole isn’t to come off heartless or selfish. It is just to give other people their privacy with their own medical choices, just as I would like to keep my own right to do the same.

  • Tina

    True obamunist at work, love that you get to control which comments to allow, lol. You know you are wrong…whether you can admit, we know it.

    • @Tina – If you would like to comment without insults, or name calling, you are free to!

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