Can We Talk About Abortion Yet?

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.

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. Erin
    7 May, 2018 / 7:27 pm

    I feel exactly the same way about it. I had my son at age 20, and I love him to absolute pieces. But I know now how life changing it is, and I am NOT ok with going back to newborn, no way. NOPE! I use protection, and ensure I don’t get pregnant, but if a miracle happened and I did end up pregnant, I’m confident I wouldn’t want to keep the baby. I feel like every woman should have a right to the same choice and the same thought process.

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 9:45 am

      absolutely! I have dabbled with the idea and occasionally I think ‘maybe’ but friends of ours had a baby recently and as nice as it looks, I’m glad we don’t

  2. Nichola
    7 May, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    I like how honest you are. Your kids are lucky to have parents who value honesty over worrying what others will think. My boys and I have discussed the same issues and have different views. It’s good to talk and break down the stigma of such an important issue.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 9:44 am

      thank you! I think it’s divisive and there will be others who I’d consider to be far more capable parents who’d disagree with having these frank discussions with kids but I think the best we can do is arm them with information so they’re never in a situation where they understand more about life as they grow up

  3. Michelle
    8 May, 2018 / 3:32 am

    Wow what an intense subject to have to talk to your daughter about. I’ve just turned 40 and I am childless….not through choice but through circumstance. Would I love to have a child? Yes but due to health issues I have never wanted to do it alone. I agree that it is a woman’s choice to choose what is right for her. I think you did the right thing being honest with Ella.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 9:42 am

      terrifying as it is, she’ll be surrounded by sexually active teens before I know it. She’s 13 this year so just 3 years away from it being perfectly acceptable and so once we started talking I realised it was an opportunity to impart some information and (hopefully) advice that she might remember when the time comes

  4. 8 May, 2018 / 6:16 am

    Interesting post. I personally don’t think I would have an abortion, not for any moral reasons just my personal choice. I have no objection to abortion and have supported friends through them. It’s important that we do start talking about this. There are countries still debating very strict laws on this. Talking about it shows that we all have to do what’s right for us personally.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 9:41 am

      Before I had children I would have said exactly the same thing and assuming it’s not really a morality issue then you may have several children and then feel differently. I mean, everyone has their limit 😉
      It’s absolute insanity to me that westernised countries are still so adamant that abortion is a terrible thing and I’m gald I had the conversation with Ella because I would have hated for her to hear stories about the upcoming vote and thing I was on the wrong side

  5. 10 May, 2018 / 8:46 am

    This post could not have come at a better time for me… this was like reading my EXACT situation. Literally… all the way down to the Friends reference.
    The stereotype of an abortion is devastating to woman. As you said.. it’s taboo to talk about.. but it’s our right. This has made years upon years of women grieving in private and all alone all because of judgment.
    I went through this experience, has my daughter at 19. I would never trade this for the world. And if I had a chance… I would never change that decision. Next thing I knew, she’s 10 and I’m pregnant again. What do I do?!? I knew I did not want another child right now.. and for so many reasons. But I was wiser than I was at 19. Because of this, I knew the hardships in which I would face as well as the strain it would be on my daughter and a future child.
    Thank you for opening this conversation..I know many woman will be shocked and thankful to have read this and know they are not alone.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 9:39 am

      In our situation you can see why people would not understand how you could abort a baby now and not when you were a teen and it was interesting to me that my daughter had assumed I was anti-abortion when we’d never discussed it. For me, it has nothing to do with ethics, it’s just how you feel when it happens and whether you can handle the fall out of another child. If you can’t, nobody else should force that on you

  6. Mimi
    11 May, 2018 / 8:21 am

    This is such a wonderfully nuanced view of abortion; the problem is people are looking for black and white statements on the matter. I know I could personally never have an abortion, as such I make sure my contraception is IRONCLAD! But I believe all women alive should have unconditional access to safe and supportive abortions. The problem is that too many people feel how I feel – ‘I could never do that, it would be awful’ – and expand it out, ‘oh therefore I must stop others from doing that too!’ NOT EVERYONE FEELS LIKE YOU IDIOT

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 9:36 am

      100%! And before I had kids I would have said the same thing, I just could never. In honesty I still haven’t had to truly make that choice and the older Milo gets the more I worry I wouldn’t be able to and like you I have to be totally confident in my contraceptive methods because of that. But I can absolutely see why someone would make the choice not to have a child and I don’t understand why anyone would want them not to have that choice

  7. 11 May, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    I’m 23 and recently had to decide whether I was ready for a baby or not. I’m married with a mortgage but it just isn’t the right time for me so Monday I’m taking the first pill and I’m happy with my decision and don’t think I will be sad or guilty; i want to do so many things for me before I have to be responsible for a kid!

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      11 May, 2018 / 5:38 pm

      and you shouldn’t have to explain or justify that decision to anyone else!

  8. Rosie
    12 May, 2018 / 10:04 am

    Brilliant post, very interesting read

  9. 12 May, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    We definitely need to talk about issues like this much more openly, so thank you for being so candid. I have similar views to you, I am definitely pro-choice but I don’t think I could have an abortion just because the ‘what if?’ aspect would haunt me forever. It’s such a personal decision and we should all have the right to be able to make that choice for ourselves.

  10. Eilish
    7 July, 2018 / 6:40 am

    Well done Khila. You’re such a responsible parent talking so openly to Ella about this. It’s so important that girls grow up with the freedom to make their own choices and you’re doing everything you can to make sure she knows all her options as she grows into a woman. Talking openly to her reduces shame and it’s such an important part of being a woman in this century! If only all teens could grow up in a household free from shame and full of support and unbiased information.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      Author
      8 July, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      Thank you! I agree. If we spoke more openly it would be a non-issue for the next generation

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