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I had an abortion when I was 19, and then I lived happily ever after. 

by Anonymous

December 19, 2017

I had an abortion when I was 19, and then I lived happily ever after.

 

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It’s absurd that we continue to legitimize the controversy of abortion, since its legality was determined before I was even born.  Should we also debate the legal voting rights of women and black people?  Should we debate the legality of freedom from enslavement?

 

I marvel at the cognitive dissonance that allows some people to feverishly fight against abortion while also feverishly fight for gun rights.  One abortion kills one cluster of cells; one gun has the potential to kill multiple, fully-functioning, umbilically-independent people.  Do anti-abortionists care for the future-child when it is born?  Do they want to provide it with free healthcare?  Do they want to also ensure it won’t be shot with a gun when it’s 3?  What about the woman carrying it?  Do they care for her health, welfare, and pursuit of happiness?  Resoundingly, no.

 

If we disagree with abortion, then we should also disagree with male masturbation.  It could be argued that the true source of life is found in the motility of sperm.  Every time a man ejaculates outside of his “intended” collection vessel — a vagina — there are millions of sperm being prevented from fulfilling their natural task of initiating life.

 

Just because a cluster of cells has the heartbeat of perceived life does NOT mean that the same cluster of cells could possibly survive outside of a woman’s uterus at the time of an abortion.  If anti-abortionists want to preserve life at conception, then they can collect those heartbeat-cells and grow them in their own petri dishes instead of self-righteously imposing their beliefs on women who are unwilling to become mothers.

 

And what is life?  Plants don’t have heartbeats, but they are most definitely alive.  Animals have heartbeats, but we kill them on a regular basis and hungrily devour them.  Cancer is an unexpected growth of cells within a live body, but we have no qualms about removing them when they arise.  American culture is too sentimental, absurdly hypocritical, and inadequately scientific about these things.

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At the time of my abortion decision, I was a directionless 19-year-old.  I wasn’t in an abusive relationship, I wasn’t raped, and I cannot claim some other extraneous event that would compel easy sympathy.  It was just me and my then-boyfriend — who is now my husband of over 20 years — and we had “unprotected” sex that resulted in an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.  My boyfriend/husband actually possessed a great deal of direction and was finishing his bachelor’s degree, so we both knew that a child would derail our lives — and in hindsight, our predictions were completely accurate.  I wanted an abortion, and my man supported my decision.

 

I had been raised by a Second-Wave feminist mother, and I never felt as if abortion was something shameful.  I grew up knowing that she staunchly supported a “woman’s right to choose” — a rather condescending phrase to permit a woman’s innate occupation of her own body.  I knew she would understand and lend her support.  I called her with the news, and she didn’t waiver or disappoint — she paid for it, in fact.

 

My man came with me to the appointment; however, penises aren’t allowed in those places, so he had to just drop me off.  It was about as torturous as any other vaginally-invasive procedure, but it was surprisingly quick.  I remember worrying about protesters, but there weren’t any, and the doctor was thankfully kind and utterly non-dismayed.  The aftermath was terrible with excruciating cramping unlike anything I’ve experienced before or since, but it was over.

 

I can say without a doubt that choosing that abortion was the best decision we ever made as a couple.  It allowed us to remain unencumbered by parenting or financial stress.  When my man graduated college the next year, we decided to move to another state and get married.  I went to school, obtained a degree, and started my first business.  He went to law school, became a fancy high-paid attorney, and we had our first PLANNED AND FULLY-WANTED child when I was 29 — it took a whole decade for us to feel ready to be parents.  My man became the primary breadwinner and I became the primary caregiver.  At 31, I gave birth to our second child.  At 33, I gave birth to our third.  At 37, I gave birth to our fourth.  Now I’m 41, and I love who I am as a mother, who my husband is as a father, and who are children are as individuals.  They are all healthy, amazing, beautiful, kooky little people who astound me on a regular basis — and I could not be more grateful for each of them.  My family is my whole heart.

 

It is of critical importance to point out that I do not pine for that “lost” child.  I don’t sit around and sentimentalize it’s fictitious existence.  I don’t flog myself for some guilt that our society expects me to have.  I don’t keep track of some silly anniversary or make-believe birthday any more than I would mourn my past menstruations.  I have absolutely no guilt, only gratitude, for both that procedure and the one facility in my home state of North Dakota that was able to perform it.

 

My decision to have an abortion was simply a fork in the road, and I chose one path over the other — and I chose wisely.

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