When I was 24 years old, I found out I was pregnant. I was using birth control, but as we all know, it doesn’t always work. At that time, I was working in a job that paid for the basic necessities and not much else. I did not tell my parents about my situation, but I did tell my boyfriend. He immediately said that he would marry me and we would raise the baby together.
At 24 years old, I could barely take care of myself. I could not imagine raising a child, and I certainly did not have the resources to care for a child. I told my boyfriend that I couldn’t marry him; I just wasn’t ready. For the life of me, I simply could not wrap my head around having a baby, caring for it and raising it. How in the world could I do it? I couldn’t.
Back in those days, if you needed to have an abortion and you were over the age of 21, you could have one. It is not an easy decision. Having an abortion is not just painful in body, but in mind and soul. Also, I was afraid that my situation would cause pain to my parents. Many years later, I told my mother about it. She understood my decision, but even that never stopped my guilt and sorrow over what I felt I had to do.
Now that there is more so much more controversy about abortion these days, it brings me back to my young self. At the time, abortion was the only recourse for me. I realize that this is a huge political deal these days; however, I still feel that it is up to the woman to decide her course.
Whether or not to abort an unwanted pregancy is a personal issue. I knew that, for myself, I could not provide for a child. Actually, I never wanted children of my own; I never felt that it would be in the cards for me. It did not mean that I didn’t like children, I just knew that I wasn’t cut out for motherhood.
It’s so easy to point the finger at someone who has to make a decision about abortion. Unless you are in that situation, do not judge. You cannot know what that person’s life is like, what choices have to be made. Don’t think for a moment that having an abortion is easy; it is not. It isn’t just your body that feels pain, it is also your heart, your mind and your soul.
I wish that people would realize that having an abortion is not a frivolous thing. I will tell you that rarely a day goes by when I think of who that child would have been. I still feel that I was not the woman to raise that child, but I always hoped that that sweet spirit eventually went on to a family who wanted that particular child.
I hope so.