Pro-life until it was my life.

by Nina

September 10, 2019

Pro-choice for other women, pro-life for myself. That’s where I had always believed I had stood.

When I saw the sweeping tides of regressive policies escalating, I told myself that if women’s rights, my rights, came under attack the way I saw coming, that I would break my silence, brave the stigma and shout my abortion in hopes that maybe, hopefully, I could be one tiny pebble rippling outward in efforts to normalize a procedure that is politicized to the point that voices of people who actually have abortions are all but muted. Invisible.

My two abortions were vastly different experiences. I was first 23 and had just moved across oceans to start my life in a tropical paradise, commencing a dream I’d always hoped would come true. I met him my first week here, I immediately fell head over heels, and after religiously using condoms, I took a positive pregnancy test 5 weeks later. My immediate thought was “I have to have an abortion..” but that quickly evaporated. For a variety of reasons, I felt like this pregnancy was “my baby”; meant to be, and something I wanted to continue. I felt immense pressure and ambivalence; it was the most agonizing time of my life thus far. I prayed deeper than I ever had before, and I heard a voice, clear as day…”you CAN have this baby…” I knew in my bones that this pregnancy was RIGHT, and it was a knowing that I cannot explain in words. I asked him, “can we keep it?” Coldly, detached, he simply replied, “no.” I reluctantly agreed to have an abortion, and in that I gave all my power, my voice, completely away. I experienced significant emotional turmoil for years to come, and I promised myself I would never EVER have another abortion again, no matter the circumstances. I would NEVER again give my power away to another person.

13 years later, and I was 36 years old. I’d been celibate for years, and I just wanted, so badly, to feel human touch. I met him, he seemed nice, and after being with him once, I was very unexpectedly pregnant…again. “I have to have this baby”, I thought. I had promised myself already. I was 36. I had two degrees. How could I justify an abortion, I thought. I ran out to get prenatal vitamins, quit vaping, and told family. Over the next days, the instability that was this man became frighteningly, shockingly clear. As the days passed and I agonized, I felt that same quiet voice whispering, my higher self speaking… “this is not right..” I felt this wrongness in every cell of my body. I prayed for a miscarriage so I wouldn’t have to decide. It was the second most agonizing time of my life.

I walked into that abortion 99% certain that I did not want this pregnancy or ensuing child. Knowing in my bones that not only was this child not wanted, but that its father would make our lives a living hell. I accepted the fate that seemed a better option of the two, as I would be the only person to suffer. I accepted that my spirit would shrivel and die on that table. I looked at the blueberry sized embryo, and I accepted that I was a terribly selfish person, but regardless, I could not stand the idea of carrying this pregnancy.

It was much more physically painful and afterward I trembled for many minutes. I cried on and off for a couple of weeks. And then, something happened. I healed. Not only the part of me that mourned my second pregnancy, but the far more tender part of me that mourned the first. The past began to dissipate. The pain that had shrouded me for over a decade began to give way to sunlight, and faith, and personal power, and 100% self-forgiveness and self-compassion that had eluded me for so many years.

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