Abortion – An extremely taboo topic riddled with judgement, strong opinions, shame and secrecy. But why? Are we not living in a day and age where we are learning to be more accepting of others, their journeys and choices? How can we preach this to our children but then around a coffee table or in front of a screen, so many of us seem to think it is ok to weigh in on someone else’s life altering decisions and make it idle gossip?
I know so many women who have had abortions.. amazing women, intelligent women, strong women. The fact that they have had an abortion has not swayed the way I think of them or who they are. We should be supporting women through such a life altering decision and the aftermath of emotions that goes along with it, NOT making them feel worse, guilty or ashamed. Displaying such a lack of empathy and support can lead to women bottling up their emotions, triggering an onset of depression or anxiety.
So many women…
Women who have had to sit through ultrasounds and tests, only to be told their unborn child is incompatible with life or has life altering defects that affect their quality of life. A heart wrenching position to be in for these parents, and a life altering choice they have to make.
Women who have had abortions because they suffered at the hands of domestic violence – Who is anyone to judge a person for making a decision that will prevent a child growing up in an abusive home?
Women who have goals, ambitions, a plan and a child was simply not apart of that vision.. yet – they find them selves pregnant and what feels like for them that their lives are unraveling before their eyes – this is THEIR choice and THEIR journey that THEY have to live.
Women who have several children already and are struggling to make ends meet. They’re over worked, under paid and struggling with life in general and then find themselves pregnant – they consider the entire family dynamic and choose to not add to putting further strain on the family unit.
Women who are young, who are in school, who are at home with their parents. Women who are still children in so many ways themselves – they choose their youth, their future, their education.
If you do not walk in these women’s shoes, know their situations or truly understand the reasoning behind their choice then who are you to judge? Because I promise you – these women are carrying their choice with them EVERY SINGLE DAY, for the rest of their life – I promise without a doubt it was likely not an easy one to make. But because abortions are such a taboo topic in society, these women are unlikely to have been supported through their choice. But rather, suffered in silence and solitude.
I know this because I am one of these women, I had an abortion – I was 17. I lived at home with my dad and brother. I was studying to be a hairdresser. My boyfriend unemployed and infrequently attending school.
My then boyfriend – now husband was so excited about the baby but I had so many mixed emotions. The logical part of me, and the woman I was becoming knew neither of us had jobs nor did we have our own house so how could we afford to provide for a child when we could barely support ourselves? From an emotional standpoint – The little girl inside of me just didn’t want to disappoint my dad.
I confided in my mum and my sister, who helped me make the tough decision to have an abortion. My boyfriend hated me for making that decision, but my family encouraged it. It just tore away at me internally.
The day came, and I can tell you that having an abortion is one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever had. They sat me in a room and asked me questions, gave me an ultrasound where for the first, last and only time I saw my baby and I began to tear up. They walked me into a cold, sterile room and asked me to lay down on the bed. My tears became heavier and I began to cry uncontrollably – no one consoled me or questioned it. There I was, a young 17 year old, feeling vulnerable, unsupported, scared and alone. The next thing I remember was waking up in a chair and it was done, over – like nothing had ever happened. They sent me on my way like I’d just been in for a routine check up, no after care, counselling or support was provided.
In the end, my Dad did find out, and without a doubt he was disappointed. I don’t know if he was more disappointed that all of it had happened to begin with or that I didn’t tell him myself. My now husband got over it the best that he could eventually, and so did I – but every now and then we do discuss it and what could have been.
Do I regret my abortion? Yes, I guess I do but would I change it if I could? Probably not, because everything I have done has made me who I am today. I do KNOW without a doubt that I wouldn’t be the mother and women I am now if I had a baby at that point in my life and I am sure my life would be completely different. Do I think about the child I chose to let go? Often, more often than I care to admit. I wonder who they would have been but I also like to think maybe it just wasn’t their time and that they’re here with me now in one of my others in some small way.
The point I am trying to make is that there is a reason for abortion, it may not be your reasoning but that doesn’t matter because it may also not be your life to live either.
Am I pro life? Yes, I am pro the choice to live the life you choose no matter what that is – and I mean in every aspect of our being and society.
I want to break the stigma and lift the taboo on talking about abortion because I know there are so many people like me and others I know who have been put in a position where they had to make this hard choice, and it has not made them any less of the amazing people that they are.
Love, empower and encourage the women around you because you don’t know what they’re going through or been through.