The Brigid Alliance

St Brigid of Kildare

Learned about this non-profit organization today – The Brigid Alliance. I wish things were different but here we are. You might be surprised if you’ve not been listening to as many adoptee voices as I do every day, to learn how many will say plainly – I wish I had been aborted. Beyond that, many do not wish to have children themselves. Here’s one example –

I’m an adoptee, former foster youth and former kinship foster youth. I do not want to be a parent. I have multiple reasons some of which include severe mental health issues, cost, responsibility, dysphoria etc… I am on long term birth control and am in a long term serious relationship. Abortion access is not limited in my state currently but could definitely become restricted. If I were to become pregnant, my first choice would be abortion. However due to limited access, I know that might not always be possible. My question is what advice would you give to someone who is pregnant but doesn’t want to be a parent and can’t access abortion?

Clearly, pregnancy prevention should not be all on the woman in a committed relationship. Agreeing to a vasectomy, which is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to the man’s semen. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. A vasectomy has a low risk of problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. The man can opt to have a vasectomy reversal in the future. This is a surgery to undo a vasectomy. During the procedure, a surgeon reconnects each tube (vas deferens) that carries sperm from a testicle into the semen. After a successful vasectomy reversal, sperm are again present in the semen and a man may be able to once again get his partner pregnant.

In the case presented in this blog today, the male was not willing – so what else ? Pre-emptive preparation can help. Research what pharmaceuticals can be accessed online and know what the resources are in your state before you need them. The LINK> National Women’s Health Network has a fact sheet on safe and effective FDA-approved abortion pills (aka medication abortion) which are now available by mail in several states — without an in-person clinic visit.

Lastly, today I learned about LINK> The Brigid Alliance, a referral-based service that provides travel, food, lodging, child care and other logistical support for people seeking abortions. They prioritize clients who are beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy and for whom it’s generally more expensive and harder to find a provider near home. They are part of a growing ecosystem of support organizations propping up abortion care access in the US due to an increasingly hostile environment post-Roe.

The group takes their name from a story about St Brigid of Kildare who ministered to a nun who had failed to keep her vow of chastity, and became pregnant. Based upon a 1987 translation of the story: “A certain woman who had taken the vow of chastity fell, through the youthful desire of pleasure and her womb swelled with child. Brigid, exercising the most potent strength of her ineffable faith, blessed her, causing the child to disappear, without coming to birth, and without pain. She faithfully returned the woman to health and to penance.”

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