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Freedom To Choose

  ** published on Elephant Journal 2/14/2013:  http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/02/freedom-to-choose-ella-lauser/)lady liberty vintage graphicsfairy008c

“Liberty, taking the word in its concrete sense, consists in the ability to choose.”

Simone Weil


When discussing abortion, a highly charged political point as well as a big decision that deserves much space and time for reflection, I’m concerned that we aren’t aware of how a child is brought into the world and how they are brought up affects everyone involved.


To choose what is right for your life is, in my opinion, the key to honoring life itself.

I’m pro-choice in all aspects, however, that doesn’t mean I’m not pro-life; they are not mutually exclusive except in the war between right and wrong. I respect everyone’s choice and individual opinions, even if I don’t agree with them nor they with me.


I choose to give my attention not to war, to fighting, and dualistic  black and white philosophy but to love, truth and compassion.

What is true for one, is not true for another because of ideals.  Ideals change, truth does not and it is through curiosity, critical observation and/or examination that we become wiser, freer and have the ability to create change for the highest good.  Inquiry leads us back to ultimate, unwavering, un-sell-able truth- the kind that just rings.


In my experience s as a doula, supporting people through challenging circumstances and often uncomfortable questions, I’ve become a devotee of questioning, honoring and understanding well-being, with a particular interest in primal prenatal and perinatal health. Very powerful lessons have come through conversation, studies that have given light to subjects I never considered, and questions in my inbox in the middle of the night titled “Help! I’m Pregnant“.


A colleague and wise adviser of mine has been studying the story of Womb to World for upwards of 20 years as a Registered Nurse,  Maternal-Child Health Nurse, Birth Consultant, Labor & Post-Partum Doula Instructor, Primal Period Educator.  Her name is Anna Verwaal and she recently brought to my awareness something that I think all people should consider and reflect upon especially when politicians are in debate about Personhood Measures that will make it more difficult for people to choose whether or not to have abortions.

Like Anna, I advocate for the journey that shapes our life, from womb to world.

Consider what goes in to the climate of our collective womb, consider that the emotional turmoil of not wanting to have a child has lasting effects in society.


Womb Ecology, shares studies that reflect the genesis of antisocial behavior and being related to pre labor intrauterine life.


What I found incredibly revealing and helpful to clarify my understanding in the battle of the womb was their perspective from primal health research specifically on “Deviations usually classified as criminal behaviour:”

When exploring the Primal Health Research Data Base, the keyword ‘criminality’ leads to research indicating the importance of prenatal factors. Two Finnish studies suggest that certain maternal emotional states in pregnancy are risk factors. In one of these studies the authors identified 167 children whose fathers had died before they were born.(64) Also identified were 168 children whose fathers had died during the children’s first year of life. Then the medical records of all 335 of these children were followed for 35 years. Most of the fathers had died during the Second World War when cigarettes and alcohol were severely rationed, if they were obtainable at all. In both groups, the parents were of comparable age and from comparable social classes. All the children grew up fatherless. However, only those who lost their father while in the womb were at increased risk of criminality (plus alcoholism and mental diseases). The results of this study suggest that the emotional state of the mother during pregnancy has more long-term effects on the child than during the year following birth. The other Finnish study researched 12,059 children born in 1966 and followed to the end of 1998.(65) The pregnant mothers were asked at the antenatal clinic if they felt themselves to be depressed. The Finnish Ministry of Justice provided information on criminal offences for all descendants. For male children of prenatally depressed mothers there was a significant increase in criminality.

Smoking in pregnancy is a well documented risk factor for criminality.(66) In one study(67), involving a cohort of 4169 male and 3943 female subjects born between 1959 and 1961, a dose-response relationship was found between the amount of maternal prenatal smoking and criminal arrest in male and female subjects.

More than 4000 male subjects born in the same hospital in Copenhagen were followed up until age 18(68) and then assessed again at the age of 34.(69) The authors looked in particular at the interaction between birth complications and early maternal rejection. The main risk factor found in these studies for being a violent criminal is the association of birth complications with early maternal rejection. Early maternal rejection by itself is not a risk factor. We can conclude once more that very early influences are implicated in violent criminality.

Have you ever thought about what brutal criminals often have in common?

They are often unsuccessful abortions and these criminals have suffered from severe early childhood developmental trauma.

Saddam Hussein was not just an unwanted child who never knew his father but had a mother , “depressed over the death of her 13-year-old son from cancer, [who] tried very hard to have a miscarriage by hitting and bumping her stomach…. In Arabic, his name means “one who confronts.”  Yeeesh!

Can you imagine what that must’ve felt like for the mother, for the baby yet to be born?

What about a child who is subject to hostile, abusive environments both in the womb and in early development?

One of the most terrifying examples of this is Adolf Hitler, a murderer of millions and a violent criminal of astronomical proportions.  “There is substantial proof that child abuse has severe psychological effects that cannot be reversed. The effects include, but are not limited to anger, hatred, aggressiveness, hostility, poor school performance and poor relationships with peers and/or the opposite sex. Many victims of child abuse often become offenders in violent crimes (Dunning, 2004).”

Imagine being rejected by your mother, father, love, the world…

What could that do your well-being, humanity, life?

For the record, I do not believe that once the fabric of our precious lives has been crumpled, burned or mistreated that we are incapable of healing however our awareness and education about the consequences of choice are paramount for our world to be treated, created and sustained wisely.

Emotional well-being and the emotional well-being of the world is dependent on freedom and learning from when it is infringed upon.

What does freedom look like to you?


I invite you to welcome life with love and consciousness…

Let that freedom ring and echo ” hello beautiful world, I’m here for love.”  





Mythic and Downright REAL Fabulosity…

Welcome to February, the word of the month is Fabulous (because it is).

Just to brush up on the definition, this is WHAT FABULOUS LOOKS LIKE…

Fabulous |ˈfabyələs|


extraordinary, esp. extraordinarily large : fabulous riches.

• informal amazingly good; wonderful : a fabulous two-week vacation.

• having no basis in reality; mythical : fabulous creatures.


fabulosity |ˌfabyəˈläsətē| noun

fabulously adverb

fabulousness noun

ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [known through fable, unhistorical] ): from French fabuleux or Latin fabulosus ‘celebrated in fable,’ from fabula (see fable ).


Fable |ˈfābəl|


a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.

a story, typically a supernatural one incorporating elements of myth and legend.

See note at fiction .

• myth and legend : the unnatural monsters of fable.

• a false statement or belief.

verb [ intrans. ] archaic

tell fictitious tales : I do not dream nor fable.

• [ trans. ] fabricate or invent (an incident, person, or story).


fabler |ˈfāb(ə)lər| noun

ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French fable (noun), from Latin fabula ‘story,’ from fari ‘speak.’


I love the story of beauty in the image of this soon-to-be-mama. She embodies fabulous, she is speaking and telling the world with her freedom to sparkle and have some serious sass!

The stories we tell of who we are, what pregnancy looks and can feel like ARE SO IMPORTANT, in fact they are of mythic proportion because they are how we shape our world.

Legends, let’s be them.

*Dearest Sienna, thank you for letting me show the world your beauty. I’ve never loved you more! Little guy is going to mega impressed with how pimpin’ you were at 34 weeks.  ;-)

Help, I’m Pregnant

Hi Ella,

You’re the first person I thought to ask… I just found out I’m pregnant and I don’t know how to tell my boyfriend. Help!!!!


Dear Alice,

Thank you so much for coming to me and trusting me with such big news.

Before talking to your man, I would highly suggest taking a minute to breathe and get centered. Most of the women I’ve connected with over the years have been so caught up in the news of being pregnant that they didn’t stop to feel into it. How do you feel? Know, that there is no right or wrong emotion, ever. I don’t know how old you are nor the details of your relationship to your boyfriend but first things first, listen to your wisdom in your body and heart.

Take care of you for a moment here. Whether it’s the eighth pregnancy or the first, it can come as quite a shock. I gather that this is unplanned and unintended so after you catch your breath, grab a journal or a piece of paper and ask yourself a few questions or just ask your body, focusing on your heart’s response. In my opinion, 99% of people never feel ready to be a parent even if they thought they were and we never know what will unfold. However, we do get to choose what steps we take.

As I used to teach in my teen pregnancy talk, there are only three options: becoming a mother, adoption and abortionYou are the only one who knows what’s true for you in this moment in your life. And, yes it is your body so ultimately it’s your decision. Most importantly, ask to be heard. And then offer him the same opportunity.

Sharing the information with your partner will be a more gentle and empowering experience if you have a bit of clarity as to what you plan to do. Planned Parenthood (although they get a bad rap for being in your face pro-choice) has great resources for any/all of the choices I mentioned. They can put you in touch with adoption agencies and other centers of support. Check and see where the nearest clinic is to you and make an appointment.

I totally respect your choice, whatever you decide in the end. Give yourself a little time depending on how far long you are and get as informed as possible. Choosing to go the adoption route may prove hard if it’s your first pregnancy; emotions are bound to make a few appearances. I took a surrogacy course during my studies at UCLA and a lot of “firsties” shared that it was really challenging to release their child to the adopted parents after a nine month wait/bonding.

Consider your health, your health care/insurance, your current work (physical requirements)- consider your life as you know it. Terminating the pregnancy could prove to be a less challenging and time-consuming option. Please hear that I’m not saying to go one way or the other but based on my teaching experience I like to represent as much of the big picture as possible.

Thank you for your courage and for your vulnerability with yourself, your man and with me. I’m truly honored. I hope this helps. You’re gonna be just fine. You are so loved and you’ll know what’s the best decision, choose what will serve your highest good (and everyone else involved).



P.S. You can’t control how everyone else is going to react/respond to you, so just get clear about what you want to create and come from that place. Honest, compassion, love and trust begins with your relationship to you- start there and then come to your boyfriend with that vibration.