Cold. Hard. Truths. That's the name of the game here, and the summation of my blogging career. I pride myself on creating a place where people feel safe to open up...and hey, I walk the walk so here it is...why I had an abortion. My least favorite subject. However, my motive for writing this is to put a personal twist on a public, and hot-button topic.
“You must never feel badly about making mistakes ... as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.” Norton Juster
I was 21, working as a bartender when I met a wonderful young man. He was also a bartender and my co-worker. He was charming and took the time to get to know me. I had no idea where our budding love would take us, but I didn't want to stop it for one moment.
We established a connection beyond merely physical chemistry. We were friends. We respected each other, and he treated me very well. When I look back I believe our timeline wasn't compatible because I had every intention of marrying him...just after I attained a degree and a career. I was flying blind at that point because I had never been that far in a relationship.
Ultimately, we moved in together. Several months later birth control failed and I was/we were pregnant. Both of us were working, but living to pay bills. Not that a baby would be just a bill, but the cost of daycare is not something feminists took into account when women went into the workforce.
The initial thoughts were whether it was feasible, or even responsible, to bring a baby into the world when I could barely take care of myself. I was/am a very responsible type of person, therefore my logic came to the only viable conclusion. If you can't care for a baby, rather than depend on government assistance, the responsible thing to do is have an abortion. Certainly, I was doing this unborn child a huge favor!
I didn't waste a moment before taking the necessary steps at the nearest Planned Parenthood. I went to a quick "counseling" session at their facility. I believe they simply asked if I really wanted to do this and I said 'Yes, I have no means of supporting this child'. I was a child myself who came from a single mother periodically on welfare and food stamps, as well as job and house hopping....and the constant worrying about our resources...
Some might say this was the most responsible thing to do, and I suppose it was. Others might claim I'm a disgrace to their religion or morale. Either way, I despised being faced with the decision in the first place. Sadly, I see, and know, young ladies walking into Planned Parenthood who are also trying to be responsible. In the meantime, the children born into poverty are to less responsible women. This is a harsh statement, but please refer back to my intro; 'Cold. Hard. Truths.'
The number of children at poverty level within our glorious (best country on earth) is astonishing. Additional children coming into our country, and being born from immigrants who do not believe in birth control, is also startling.
"While government continues its massive efforts to reduce poverty, immigration policy in the U.S. has come to operate in the opposite direction, increasing rather than decreasing poverty. Immigrants with low skill levels have a high probability of both poverty and receipt of welfare benefits and services." Robert Rector, Importing Poverty
It's not OK to let kids fall into poverty level. I decided not to contribute to the statistics, which doesn't merit a reward, but it does bring up a point. How many other responsible young women have been in my shoes? Making it their responsibility for something government has a hand in, is not a "choice". When I see people using this as a political platform in favor of choice, I want to say it's ONLY a choice for the responsible.
The irresponsible do not make this choice- they either have the abortion with no second thoughts 9 and use it as back-up birth control) or have babies at alarming rates with no concern for poverty or living off government benefits. The contemplation of abortion isn't even on their minds. I think how lucky they are to not worry about facing this choice. The rape victims? Well, having an abortion doesn't erase the trauma. So please, let me hear another pro-choice rant about these supposed choices. Whatever...
I just want to know, if it's not a real "life", then why does a woman eventually mourn an abortion, going through all 5 stages of grief, as if mourning a once living person they knew and loved?
This also brings me to another point about abortion in society. There' a lot of mainstream info fed to young women that "softens the blow", and "normalizes" abortion. Just as we should not be condemning women for having an abortion, similarly we should not play down the implications either. I would go so far as stating that women who believe it's their body are largely influenced by society, really making it society's body, and choice.
I didn't make the choice based on what I wanted. In fact I don't even look at it as a choice. I wanted a child. I love the children I have now and I'm an excellent mother. I later realized the largest influence in my decision was society. I look back and the regret that plagued me was because it wasn't my choice really. You don't regret something that you feel Is a good choice. Depending on sources, up to 3/4 of women regret their abortion. Over 50% say it wasn't an easy decision.
I concur, it's not an easy decision because it's truly not our choice.
To wrap up my own story, the man I was with absolutely wanted the baby, but also supported me in the ultimate decision. After going through something like that, we never came back from it...as a couple. It led to our break-up.
As I mentioned before, I am the mother of two young children now. I had my first, a daughter, 10 years after the abortion. I questioned whether I was worthy of being a mom. It wasn't until my second child that I truly came to peace with it. I had always felt like that aborted child would've been a boy, and I prayed to God to send me my second child. I asked that the child be the one I would've had many years ago. When I found out my second was a boy, I felt a missing piece fill that void.
Everybody needs to express themselves in some form- mine happens to be written form...with an opinion. Strong opinions can be useful to others. Those who were undecided or ambivalent can just adopt your stance or gain an ability to formulate their own. Those who disagree can solidify, defend, and empower their stance.