Pantsuit Nation—Meet Rachel

05/30/2017 09:54 am ET Updated May 31, 2017

Edited By Libby Chamberlain

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Pro-Choice is not a liberal slogan, nor is it a conservative slur. The women who make decisions about bringing life into the world do so for their own personal reasons, like Rachel.

Rachel, Texas

This is my family.

I was married at eighteen, a mother by twenty, and divorced by twenty-two. Years later I was pregnant once again, but this time I wasn’t excited, or even happy—I was terrified. I did not want to raise another child. I wasn’t in a relationship, I wasn’t even sure which of the two men I had been seeing was the father. I considered every avenue, made phone calls we never expect to make and appointments at clinics that I previously thought were for trashy people.

Rachel, Texas - Photo by <strong>Melissa Lynn Photography</strong>
Pantsuit Nation
Rachel, Texas - Photo by Melissa Lynn Photography

I thought I was trash. It’s not until you are in another’s shoes that you often see how misguided you are, how blind to others suffering you are. And how easily you can end up there, despite the precautions taken.

And then I connected with these two amazing women, and felt in my bones that they were meant to be parents to my son. They changed me, whether they know it or not, into a much more open-minded and loving individual. My son changed me as well.

I am pro-choice, more so after becoming a birth mother than ever, because I have felt the pain and emotional roller coaster, health complications, etc. that women go through when they carry a child they do not parent.

Abortion wasn’t my choice, but I wouldn’t ever push anyone to carry a child if they aren’t mentally and emotionally prepared for it (and most women considering either option lack real support, something vital to climbing out of the darkness that’s left postpartum).

I do not believe we have a choice in who we are attracted to and who we love, but I did have a choice in who would raise this amazing boy and I chose two women. Not because they were two women but because they laugh more than any two people I have ever met, are strong, smart, and full of love.

I was eight months’ pregnant when I opened my newsfeed one morning and saw the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage equality. I bawled and called the people I wanted to talk to most, and we discussed whether there was time for a wedding before the birth or if they should wait until little man could be a part of the celebration. They waited, and six months later we partied down at a beautiful ceremony.

I will fight every day for my family, blood and chosen. I will march in protest, and I will fight with information. I was born into an incredibly conservative Catholic family in Texas, had only ever voted for a Republican until this election, and previously rolled my eyes at friends who got excited for Pride because to me it just meant lots of traffic. Please don’t abandon those with different political viewpoints than yours.

Had my friends, who continued to spread information and knowledge and slowly won me to their side, given up on me, and walked away, I wouldn’t have been in a place to find these women, people with whom my soul will always share a connection.

I am a birth mother, a single mother, I am a minority, and I am so happy to be a part of Pantsuit Nation where love trumps hate.

Check back on Thought Matters tomorrow for Rajib's and Lauren’s stories!

Want to read more inspiring stories like this? Enter here for a chance to win one of seven copies of Pantsuit Nation.

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Libby Chamberlain is the founder of Pantsuit Nation. She lives in coastal Maine with her husband and two young children.

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