“I Think She Was a She” is a poem written by “slam poet” Leyla Josephine, in which she talks about the abortion she had as a teenager.
Before getting into the content of this poem, you might like to know just what a “slam poet” is. “A slam itself is simply a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams before an audience, which serves as judge,” according to poets.org, the online site of the Academy of American Poets. “The work is judged as much on the manner and enthusiasm of its performance as its content or style, and many slam poems are not intended to be read silently from the page.”
This slam poem was delivered via an online video. “I think she was a she,” the poem begins. “No, I know she was a she, and I think she would have looked exactly like me,” Ms. Josephine declares. With a heavy Scottish brogue that is sometimes difficult to understand she then goes into much detail, explaining how that as a mother she would have taken pains to protect her baby daughter, would have talked about her grandfather when the daughter was older, and would have taken pains to teach her all the things the poet’s mother had taught her.
The poem is touching and almost melancholy, something that might have been written by the mother of a child unfortunately lost before birth. But, of course, that is not what this poem is about. Here, Ms. Josephine condemns the cultural shame forced on her ever since making that fateful decision.
The tone of the poem then takes a sharp turn: “But I would’ve supported her right to choose; to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine. I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time."
Ms. Josephine is not sadly recounting a miscarriage; instead she is proudly describing why she had an abortion and how it was truly the right decision for her. “I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I’m so sick of keeping these words contained. I am not ashamed," she says of her decision to abort her child. She said that the child she created with the “boy I loved” was just too much responsibility for her as a teenager.
Lines of rationalization follow, as she tries desperately to justify what she did. She stubbornly claims dominion over her own body. And she regurgitates the statistics on how many abortions occur in a year in order to justify hers as just one more. And then this, in conclusion: “But this is my body, and I don’t care about your ignorant views. When I become a mother, it will be when I choose.”
Let’s review some of what she said.
Ms. Josephine states, "I would have died” for her aborted daughter’s right to choose, “just like she died for mine." The right to choose what? Aren’t we told abortion is just the process of eliminating a mass of unwanted cells, like having a tumor excised?
But she said her daughter had “died” for her right to choose, tacit recognition that her baby was living person; that abortion ended the life of her child. In which case abortion is murder, the deliberate killing of the child she and her lover created through a willful act.
"I'm sorry, but you came at the wrong time." You “came” at the wrong time? The child decided to create itself without first checking with mom and dad? Among the three persons in this story, the child, as the creation of mom and dad, had no choice whatsoever in this situation.
However, the artfully designed words that are intended to justify what she did in fact subvert that effort. She and her boyfriend willingly indulged in a sexual act, likely unprotected. For her, abortion is nothing more than a way to be rid of the consequences of her behavior.
Abortion is not a crime only because it has not been legally established that life begins at conception or at some point prior to birth. However, Ms. Josephine admits abortion ended her child’s life.
But her statement that she lacks shame at the same time reveals the contempt she holds for the life she created, and her comfort with being able to wash away that inconvenience at will.
Once accepted as a solution for inconvenient situations, abortion takes on even more bizarre forms.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sees abortion as a means to reduce the number of poor children.
“Frankly I had thought that at the time [Roe v Wade] was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.” … “It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.”
That is a stunning perspective from an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and helps explain why our country is in such deep trouble today.