I know it’s still ‘taboo’ but the subject came up with my daughter yesterday and it made me wonder whether I was being too candid with a 12 year old..
The conversation went like this;
Ella: You know if you have another baby
Me: I’ll stop you right there
Ella: I know, but if you were pregnant you wouldn’t have the injection
Me: An abortion?
Ella: Yes, you’d have the baby
Me: I don’t know whether I could say I wouldn’t have the abortion, actually
Ella: *looks confused*
I can see why she may have assumed I was pro-life because I had her when I was 19 and she was very much unplanned but my reasons for having her were not ethically bound. I have absolutely no problem with abortion, I don’t think it’s killing a baby I think it’s choosing your own life over creating another one. When I was 18 and pregnant (and for some reason not on MTV) my thought process was, do I want a baby ever? what if this the baby I get to have. For me it was that simple. As an adult I’ve known friends struggle to conceive and I, myself had a tough time having Milo (Lee has a platinum coil in his abdomen right now but that’s a story for another time) and while we were trying and I thought it was never going to happen I was thankful every day that I’d had my girl when I got the chance.
But not everyone feels that way. Maybe you don’t want kids at all, maybe you’re just not as dead set on them as I was. Lord knows I’m not mother of the year and I don’t love to be seen as a Mum (I think that stems from having become one so young and wanting to keep my own identity) but I had no doubt that I would be one and I’d have been bereft if that hadn’t happened for me. The only time I would actively discourage an abortion is if I knew that someones happiness depended on them one day having a child. To me, giving up that opportunity (because that may be your one shot) may haunt you for the rest of your life.
So what if I was pregnant now? Well, a couple of years ago I thought I was and my first instinct was, abortion. I knew in that moment that I did not want another child and I would absolutely not be keeping the baby if I was pregnant. I wasn’t but it was a shock.. a little like when Phoebe lied to Rachel about her pregnancy test to see how she really felt.. until you’re faced with the situation you truly don’t know how you’d react. Whether I’ll have another in the future, I don’t know. I’ve said no for so long and in theory I know our lives would be so much easier if I stick to that but there’s always the niggling maybe. Right now, however, had I had that abortion 2 years ago I don’t think I’d be sitting here grieving for the baby I didn’t have. I have my family, I’m perfectly content and it wouldn’t have made me sad.
That’s my issue with abortion in a nutshell. Will it make you sad? Obviously initially it’s a very emotional thing to go through but down the line.. do you think you will be okay with it? Whether you’re a teen in trouble or a woman in her 40s, you have your own reasons and shouldn’t feel any judgement for the decision you choose, just be sure it’s your decision and you’ve considered the long term effect it might have.
Maybe it was too early to discuss this with Ella but I don’t think it’s ever too early to learn a little perspective and sensitivity and that sometimes your opinion isn’t welcome or needed. No matter which side of the fence you stand on, you have autonomy over your own body and you can choose whatever path is right for you. You don’t have to justify your reasons but you should have people you can talk to so the best we can do is raise our children to be those people.