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Thankful every day.

by Anonymous

June 10, 2019

Content Warning: rape, physical abuse

I am thankful every day that I had an abortion.

 

Living with the trauma of an abusive relationship is my daily reminder. My reminder that I’d be dead or stuck there if I was tied to him with a child. My reminder that a child would also have become his victim.

 

The conception wasn’t a result of rape. It happened early in our relationship, when things were wonderful. I had just started at university, was job hunting, partying a lot, loving life, taking the pill. It was early in our relationship, when things were wonderful, before he started raping me.

 

There was no hesitation in my decision, it was just a medical procedure that was necessary because my birth control had failed. I was not ready in any way for pregnancy or a child. I was privileged enough to be able to access a termination relatively easily and safely. It was expensive for a uni student, but my boyfriend paid half. I was ashamed at the time. So I didn’t tell anyone. I never doubted my decision, but I didn’t think I could handle the judgement.

 

The descent of our relationship happened afterwards. Drugs and alcohol were a factor in the emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Twice he strangled me so hard that I passed out. I thought that I was dying as my consciousness slipped away. I was surprised to wake up. I wore a scarf for a week to hide the black fingerprint bruises on my neck. I can’t remember how I explained the burst capillaries in my eyes. I avoided my family. I had very few friends.

 

In a way, what happened afterwards might make those people who support conditional abortion accept that my decision was justified. But I hadn’t noticed any warning signs that my new boyfriend was an abuser. I’m so thankful that I was able to avoid bringing a child into a domestic violence situation and I’m thankful that when I was able to leave, I didn’t have that extra layer of difficulty. But none of this was not a factor in my decision to have an abortion. Had there been a law that made abortion illegal except in the case of rape or incest, I still would have been forced to continue with a pregnancy I didn’t want and would today still share a child with my rapist.

 

Access to abortion should be available for anyone with a uterus that does not want to be pregnant and have a child. Whether that pregnancy is a result of rape, incest or consensual sex is irrelevant. We should trust women and people who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy that they know what is best for themselves and their bodies. Regulating the bodies of people with uteruses is about control. It’s not about saving lives.

 

Almost 10 years later, I had a child that I was ready for and I’ve gone on to have two more since then. This has given me even more perspective. Pregnancy, childbirth and parenting come at a huge physical, emotional and in many cases, financial cost to a person. People with unwanted pregnancies should be able to access straightforward procedures to opt out of this huge life changing situation. I’m so thankful that I was able to.

 

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!