How do you feel about abortion, the A word?

I’ve been trying to think of another topic for today’s post, but I just couldn’t get this title out of my head, in which case I say, so be it. This topic is probably the biggest thing I could ever be indecisive to write about on my blog.

 

Not only is it controversial as all hell, but it is a personal recount of something no one but my very close friends and family know about.  It opens me up to a lot of abuse and criticism, but you know what? Thats okay – I am strong enough to handle it.

 

Today, six years ago, I walked into the Marie Stopes Clinic in Pretoria with the intention of having an abortion. That’s right, I did.  And I went through with it too.

 

Need a breather?  Okay – take five.  Big news, I know.

 

Right.  Hope you are over your ailment, lets get on with it:

 

I was 17.  I made a mistake, and this was how I chose to fix it.  I’m not asking for forgiveness from you, I’m merely letting a part of myself out there that will hopefully allow for the following:

  1. Remind you that I am human. 
  2. Let others out there know there are always options. I don’t mean mine was the right option to select for everyone, it just was for me.
  3. Create awareness for those of you who don’t understand the inside story of a woman having to go through an abortion.

 

The first thing people ask me is if I feel guilty.  It’s a difficult  question to answer, really.  Yes, I feel guilty for having to be in that situation in the first place.  Yes, I regret having to go through the abortion – it was definitely not a pleasant experience. But do I regret making the decision?  No.

 

My reasons are my reasons and I won’t hash them through now, but mainly what you do need to know is that I knew I could not and would not have a baby at that stage of my life. For a long time I swept the fact that I had been down this road under the carpet.  If anyone brought up the ‘A’ word, my eyes would glaze over and I’d walk away or change the subject. 

 

What did bring me back to the real world was when my daughter died.  In death, you always need someone to blame.  I chose to blame myself.  Despite being a Christian in those days, I believed that this was punishment for ‘killing’ my first child, having my second one die on me.

 

Through studying psychology and becoming a counseller, I have since changed how I view my abortion.  I don’t feel that I was punished.  But then again, I also don’t practice Christianity anymore either, so far be it from me to be a hypocrite in that regard. Bottom line is, I know without doubt that I made the right decision all those six years ago.

 

There are a lot of after effects when it comes to abortion.  Almost everyone I have come across in the last few years has had their own theory on why abortion is wrong, and if not wrong, then being pro-choice comes with conditions:

  • Abortion is okay, only if you have been raped
  • Abortion is acceptable only if you are unmarried
  • Abortion is permissable only if you can’t afford raising the child

 

You know what I say?  Fuck that!  Abortion is a difficult choice to make. Even if you are a married homeless person who was raped by a Rabbi.  Knowing that you have a life growing inside of your body freaks most woman out. Now imagine having to make a decision on whether you should end that life or not.  I would put it right up there with having to choose between pulling someone’s life support out from under them or or not.  And believe me, I am overly qualified to state that sentence.

 

The point I am trying to make is, being pro-choice is standing up for those who you believe are entitled to make their own decisions about their own life and that of their unborn child. Yes, to be fair it is a life and I don’t undermine that.  The fact is, as a mother, it is their decision. THEIR decision. How dare anyone assume that they have the same right to judge. To each, their own.

 

I am happy that I had the right to make my own decision.  I am happy I could be a 17 year old with a second chance at being 17. 

 

I am pro-choice. Proudly.

 

 

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