- Posted February 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
I cried. He cried. Of course anytime you have sex you can become pregnant but we didn't expect or want this. I was 22 and completely unstable. Our relationship was very unhealthy; verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse... This was not what I had ever envisioned motherhood to be. This was not at all what I wanted for a child.
I knew that one day when I was ready to be a mother there was a very specific plan I had for doing so. This wasn't it. I was still smoking a lot of pot, in and out of college, low paying jobs - when I had a job - and my partner wasn’t father material. He didn’t even want to be a father - ever.
When we left the hospital they gave us the paperwork saying "congratulations" and "come back for your follow up appointment" assuming that we were going to bring a child into this crazy life we were living. The hospital was operating under the assumption that every pregnancy is a gift or a joy.
For me it was the right choice and I do not regret it. Not at all. In nature the body has miscarriages when cells are not splitting or developing properly -when the baby wouldn't be able to survive. I view abortion as an extension of that: my potential child wouldn't have survived on the outside. It was the best thing for me and the best thing for that mass of cells that *could* one day become a child. Assuming it thrived in my body anyways.
I don't look back on the "what ifs" or the "shoulds" or the crazy questions that get thrown at me regarding my decision. I made the best choice I had back then. Nobody else knew my life back then so nobody knows what would have been a better choice. I'm proud of myself for making the decision; it was tough. I wasn't going to perpetuate the cycle of poverty, the cycle of violence, the cycle of abuse that happened in my family. I was going to get right before I ever chose to have a child and I was going to raise my baby better than anyone. If I never got my life straightened out that was fine – I would never choose to be a mother then.
I'm 29 now and I have a 4 and a half month old. She is the love of my life and I am in a position where I can be the mother I want to be and raise her in the manner I want to. I have a loving partner who is supportive and dedicated to us. We make enough money that she will be okay and we won’t have to struggle to meet her basic needs. Not only will she be able to eat and have shelter; she’ll be able to take music lessons and play soccer. Go to camp over the summer. My mental health has been fairly stable for awhile and I no longer party. I was ready for her. She was a surprise that I was ready to embrace and that I am in the position to have her now makes her so special to me.
I do not regret my earlier abortion because if I hadn't had it I would not be as successful as I am. I wouldn't be as great of a mother to that child as I am today. I would not have had the opportunities I've been given. I know these things because I know myself and I know where I was at. You have to trust women, you know. You have to trust that we know what our life is like and what choices are best for us.
I am thankful to live somewhere where abortion is accessible; thankful to have been living in Iowa City at the time. Thankful to the Emma Goldman Clinic and to my friends who were supportive and understanding. I know that one day when I tell my daughter about the birds and the bees, when I teach her to champion women’s rights – I will tell her of my abortion and in that moment I’ll be thankful for her respect and understanding.