NORMA JEAN: Fruits of Love

Dear Norma Jean,Let me say you looked good enough to eat...at the NuCity Personals Party: absolutely delicious. I also was able to see your child...and see the pleasure you so clearly enjoy in him. ...The real reason I write, however, is to respond to your column about the safe sex letter. The letter writer was concerned about safe sex and STDs, but you, then, drift to pregnancy awareness. You refer to the fact that with a lover of five months, the topic of condoms never came up once, but he still was shocked by the reality of your pregnancy. You seem to carry resentment for his behavior. I feel for you, and for him, in that you couldn't "plan" this child/parenthood....I suspect that he indeed understood this as a possibility, but perhaps didn't understand that pregnancy was a likelihood in your particular relationship. Indeed, there are some very effective birth control measures available. STD awareness is a serious matter, especially with AIDS and all the other serious diseases, but this issue should not preclude discussion about possible pregnancy and parenting as a result of sexual relationships. The fact that you decided "not to abort" does not mean that he would have come to the same conclusion. ...You might have discussed this...and pre-agreed on a particular action should a pregnancy occur. It is only in this manner that planned parenting can be achieved.Yours truly, Joseph GordonDear Joseph,Thank you for the well-intended letter and, of course, the flirtatious compliment. About four years ago I looked even more delicious to eat -- before the birth of my 10-pound child, breast feeding, sleepless nights, brand new daily worries... I'm finally recovering my glow, my life and power, three years later.Still, I have to take issue with you on a few points. Have you ever had a condom break on you? Have you ever had an abortion? Have you ever watched a lover of yours endure an abortion? Nobody wants to endure an abortion, but the decision to have one is always tangled up in an agony of indecision, fear, guilt...and perhaps even necessity. Do you really think two people can really "pre-decide" what action to take in the event of conception? And as for conception...men should be privileged enough to know what a baby feels like, inside.I've had too many abortions. "Too many" translates into "more than one." Each time birth control failed, or a condom broke (which did happen to me), and I found myself "with child," the significant other (of the moment) uttered, "I'm not ready for this!" or, "Don't expect any support from me emotionally. I just.. well.. I can't do this!" or "I have to finish school...I'm just not ready yet...next year." Many women who find themselves in this position (and inside a hormonal cyclone) go directly to the clinic to dispose of the "mistake." It is a mistake not to plan a pregnancy, you suggest. Yes, and it's a mistake to contract AIDS, too. And it's all too human to err.I understand your note is well-intended, but this is a glaringly imperfect world, inhabited by flawed, unconscious, "I won't come in you," " I'm safe" adults. Pregnancy is not about the convenience of the couple. It is about something bigger, something spiritual perhaps. It's about the larger picture in life; life's wake-up call. I agree that children should be planned in the best of all possible worlds. Teach your children well.Love,Norma Jean

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