* Written by Sharonia Price for YettiSays Self-Love Month | “For Black Girls” post series
In America, a country bred on the bosoms of black women, it is criminal to create life from a dark skinned womb. We, who dare to bear, are sentenced to a lifetime of weariness. We, who abort the black bundle, are convicted for being monsters. For us, it is simply a matter of which stigma you pull from America’s closet and put on.
“Where’s dad?” she asked, head between my legs, probing her tool around in my vagina. The audacity.
“At work,” I responded curtly.
“Is he involved?” she asked, continuing her voyage through my vag.
“This isn’t my first ultrasound,” I snapped, “How far along am I now?” Guilt instantly rose from my gut before I even had an answer. I was exhausted and her questioning felt deeply insincere. She rose from the low chair, her emerald eyes meeting mine.
“16 weeks. About four months” she said gently. “I’ll let you get dressed.” She handed me a tissue, taking her leave.
I traced the tracks of my tears while bitterly balling the tissue into my hand. I felt bad for my attitude, but I had to end the conversation with her, for there is no polite or delicate way to say, “I am only here for the ultrasound because it’s required to go through with my abortion.”
We are on trial from conception. And the world is our prosecutor.
How did you not know? they ask. My period is irregular, and I still had occasional bleeding.
Did you not have support? When I say my sister would do anything, anything, to be an auntie right now, I ain’t lying. My father, who has no grandchildren to date, is in the same boat. My mother simply wants me to be happy – with or without a child. So yes, I have support, and they were there no matter what I wanted to do.
Who’s the father? Will he be involved? Is he okay with this? Objection! Irrelevant! His opinion didn’t matter – at all. He loved me; he still loves me to this day.
But why was I having an abortion? In the trial of black women, this is where I stumble on the stand. I was 14 weeks along. In my time as an unaware host to an unwelcome baby, I drank, I smoked, I lived. One year (and 14 weeks) after my first miscarriage, I was depressed, unstable, and unfit to bring a beautiful black bundle into the world. I was unfit to be the mother and protector of any black angel. In short, I had the abortion to save us both. It had to be done, and in this process, it was the black women who saved me.
The doctor squatted until her eyes met mine. She looked far away in the narrow corridor of my vision. She smiled softly and tilted her head, her blowout flowing to the side.
“Are you okay, baby?” Amiable and tender, her words poured upon me like honey. Thick and sweet with a familiarity that only a daughter of melanin would recognize. I tried to open my mouth, but the dizziness knocked me back into the headrest. She tapped my hand, pulling me back to reality.
“You okay?” the doctor asked again, “Do you need anything?” I nodded, confused about which question to answer.
The nurse interjected, “Can I give you a hug?” I smiled and issued a second hazy nod. She held me like she knew me, like she loved me –squeezing me and caressing my back. I closed my eyes finally feeling safe enough to submit to the heaviness. The darkness.
My hand was in the doctor’s again. She opened the door, where I was met with the clearest image I’d seen since the dosage of twilight: Mommy’s eyes. She smiled, quickly packing up her puzzle and throwing her coat around her body. I shuffled toward her and grabbed her arm she had ready, extended for me to hold. She patted me twice, as we slowly walked to the exit.
For black girls who have experienced or will experience abortion for whatever reason – you do not have to defend your position. My sisters, look for your angels – they will be your reflection, clothed in black skin.