The Abortion I Never Had

I wrote this last summer, but I've been thinking about it recently.

I work with several single mothers in various age and ethnic groups.  Some are in management and some are on the low rungs of  the corporate ladder.  So low that they need  government assistance.

The consensus may be because I'm in a comfortable position that I'm pro-life and that I don't understand how an "unwanted child" can have an impact on someone who can't afford to take care of a child.

What I see among my single mother co-workers are their families rallying together.  Some of the younger girls have gone back to school and are graduating.  They're leaving our work place for better paying jobs and getting off assistance.

The more established women have stuck with our company and are doing well.  All the kids of these women are healthy and happy.  In some cases the father might not be around, but the extended family has stepped up to the plate.

Is there really such a thing as an "unwanted child?"  I used to think so.  Not anymore.

I was reading Christina Hendriks'  heartfelt article about her experience of having an abortion and it brought back memories of my own near miss of that experience.

"Back in the day" abortion is what my generation did.  I didn't have one, but I probably would have.  I knew several women during that time who had several abortions and they still suffer the loss of those children to this day.

One woman I worked with in the early seventies went to a clinic every three months to have an abortion.  After about the fourth time, even the clinic was disgusted by her behavior, and they told her not to come back ... till 1990!

I was in a serious relationship.  By serious, I mean I was engaged with a ring, but no date.  He was in college full time and I had a good job with a major company.  And then we had the scare.

The situation quickly became all about him.   HE needed to finish school.  What would HIS parents think?  HE couldn't find a job to support us and a baby.  HE didn't want to get married then (to me anyway, as I found out later).

To our shared relief, it was a false alarm.  But guess what he wanted to do to celebrate?  Yep.  That's when I decided, I had better do something to protect myself and I went to the doctor who prescribed the pill.

Two years later, I started having migraines and I was off the pill.  It took longer to get rid of the guy and even longer to get rid of the migraines.

20/20 Catholic hindsight is like looking at that time in my life as if it were a different universe.  My faith has brought me to a new understanding of love, sex, marriage, but especially abortion.

I was spared the painful experience Christina and others have had.  The Lord gave me a gift.  At the time, I didn't realize it or appreciate it, but I do now.




Leave a comment
  • Not all abortions are regretted later in life.

  • In reply to GabbyEsp:

    Rape and incest abortions you mean?

    Or the run of the mill college dorm room sex kind?

  • In reply to gwill:

    Run of the mill, teen sex kind. It was a very painful decision to make at the time but I can honestly say that I've been grateful for having - and making - that choice every day since then. I'm 41, married and child-free. No regrets.

  • I agree, not all abortions are regretted later in life. Every choice has a consequence. There is no denying that regret could be one of those consequences, but it may also not be a consequence. It depends on the person. To speak in generalities about a very personal, painful choice isn't exactly giving an accurate picture. Not only that, but to say that your typical person who has an abortion has had many more abortions is completely and totally inaccurate. There are solid statistics that back this up:

  • In reply to rgreen155:

    I didn't say a typical person who has an abortion has had many more abortions. I said "One woman I worked with in the early seventies went to a clinic every three months to have an abortion."

    Thanks for your comment!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    I guess that I feel by using this woman as your only example of someone who has an abortion in your story, you are feeding into the misconception that women who have abortions are actually using it as a method of birth control and doing it frequently. In other words, I feel that you are misleading your readers. However, I don't disagree with your overall point. I'm glad that you didn't have to go through the uncertainty and the stress that is involved in deciding to have an abortion (I would never wish that upon any person). I'm glad that you had the freedom and the strength to make a choice that was best for you.

  • Honestly, I'd prefer the woman who had the abortion and "regretted" it over the woman who didn't/couldn't abort but wanted to and "resented" it and became one of those "lazy parents" you hear so much about. You know, the parents who could care less about education or where their kids are at 1 in the morning. Yes, I would prefer to have you feeling "regret," than to have in our society the kid who is 15 and in the 7th grade and a future pimp, the kid who is high on meth and kills a family of 4 in a head-on collision, the kid who is in a gang selling drugs on a corner, the kid with 18 arrests and 4 convictions for violent crimes, and the kid who ends up shooting someone in a botched robbery.

    Raising a child is hard, hard work and you have to WANT it. I never understood why people think that by forcing others to have children they don't want, those people will somehow magically put in all the necessary effort starting at birth to raise the kids to be contributing members of society. Newsflash--many of them can't, and many of them don't.

    Christina regrets having an abortion? Well, I regret that there are certain people who weren't aborted (starting with the gang member who shot those two girls at Albany park, the kid who shot the six-year as she slept in her home, the kid who recently shot a one-year old, and the kid who raped a 68 year-old woman at a train station).

  • In reply to AOM35:

    What about adoption as an alternative? How many people are eager to adopt and actually have to go out of the country to find children. I was adopted. My biological mother was a teenager at the time. Thankfully, I was born in 1960 before abortions were legal. My adoptive parents gave me a very good life. I graduated from college, have a rewarding career, great family. There are millions of people who never got the chance to live their lives. Their lives were prejudged for them to not be worth living. That is something to regret.

  • In reply to TheReg:

    Your life is testimony to all that is good when a woman decides to carry her baby to term and give someone a precious gift that turned out to be YOU! God bless you!

  • From one of my Facebook readers: "... the abortion I never had is going to be fifteen this September and lives with her adoptive family. Baby daddy acted much like your ex. Best decision ever."

  • AOM35 - don't forget the other option - Adoption! Nobody said the birth mom has to keep the child. Sure, it's not easy to give away a baby, and a woman might wonder all her life what it would have been like to keep that child, but she will always know that she made some other couple very happy. And most likely, she will realize it was best for the child.

  • In reply to HalfFull:

    See my above comment from one of my FB readers. It says it all!

  • In reply to HalfFull:

    I love how people say this. Have you been through pregnancy/adoption as a poor young mother? Guess what -- it sucks. While we're comparing "Facebook friends," I have a friend who works for a wonderful organization here in Chicago that provides pre- and post-natal support to low-income mothers-to-be. One of her mothers was pregnant, didn't want to be, but she had been persuaded to give her baby up for adoption. Suffice it to say she was physically miserable during her pregnancy (which is often the case even when you WANT the baby), which interfered with her ability to hold a job and as a result she went on public assistance (cue the chorus of "those lazy people on welfare"). In addition, since she was disinterested in the baby she didn't get great prenatal care despite the agency providing it, and she smoked during the pregnancy. Why? Because she didn't want the baby -- again, you can't force someone to be a good parent when they don't want to be a parent, even during pregnancy. Oh, and no one wanted to adopt her baby. Suffice it to say she got an abortion next time around.

    I know five couples who have adopted or are looking to adopt. They either want nothing to do with the US adoption process or aren't interested in the black ones or the ones from "bad families" (e.g., history of mental illness, etc.) It's bizarre to me because I would think they would just want a baby (which is what they "say," but behind closed doors, not really want they want).

    I'm all for adoption - my family is a product of adoption. But saying adoption is a "solution" for abortion truly underestimates both the difficulty of adoption and the reasons for abortion.

  • I think all hindsight is 20/20, not just the catholic variety. Tell me, would you rather have a world were people can have an abortion and choose not to, or a world where people want abortions, but legally cannot?

    after all, didn't He give us, free will?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to darkangel:

    Yes He did give us a choice, and that choice starts with choosing not to get pregnant if you are unable or not ready to raise a child. And what about the free will of the child being killed? Why are they not given a choice in the whole mater? It is their life that is the most affected afterall.
    Asking if you would rather have a world where people can have an aborton and choose not to or a world where people want abortions but cannot legally is like asking whether I would rather live in a world where murder is legal but people don't or where it is not so they cannot. It would be better if nobody chose that route but since millions choose to end precious innocent life every year in our country, I wish it was outlawed.

  • In reply to Ann Steinbach:

    The options were abortions legal and no one has one, or abortion is illegal yet people still have them. Aren't you conceding that you cannot stop abortion through education and alternative options so the only way to stop them is to make them illegal?

Leave a comment