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My abortion 'I don't want to be eternally attached to someone I do not love'

I feel like a woman and for the first time I feel like a responsible adult who made a very painful decision for all the right reasons.

IT WAS A Wednesday. I was working early and when I finished I went to Boots and picked up two pregnancy tests.

I honestly didn’t think I was pregnant, but wanted to put my mind at ease. I remember seeing the two lines show up and I burst into tears. This couldn’t be happening. I had just handed in my notice in work and I was leaving in a month’s time to work in Spain for the summer. I took another one. Positive. I was pregnant.

I told the father

He and I were not together. In fact he was my ex and us getting together shouldn’t have happened in the first place. He freaked out telling me I couldn’t keep it, but I didn’t know what I wanted. I cried every day, with absolutely no support from him.

The minute I shared my confusion with him he lost it. He said some very nasty and unimaginable things that left me feeling even more alone and scared.

I constantly tried to imagine life with a baby. Of course I would love it unconditionally, but I was 22, without a full-time job, and no means to provide for a child. The father had made it clear that I would be on my own.

So many mothers and fathers do a fantastic job as young single parents, but that’s not the life I wanted for me or my child. My mother was 16 when I was born and although my father didn’t have any input in my life, she had a lot of support from my grandparents, and my aunts and uncles.

Now my grandparents are separated and both are very sick. My mother lives abroad and none of my family would have the means to support me financially. I didn’t want to be a single mother on benefits, struggling all the time and giving up my freedom. That might sound selfish but I had plans. I wanted to go back to college and get my degree. I wanted to establish myself, travel and live more before I settled and had kids.

False stories online

I researched everything thoroughly. There are some pretty nasty things on the internet, including a lot of false statistics and promises of how you will always regret your abortion, and live your life forever paying for your “sin”.

Lucky for me, I don’t care what God thinks of me. I won’t even get into the irony and hypocrisy of this sort of propaganda from the Catholic church, considering all that’s come to light in the past few years. One thing I will mention is that I know a woman who had a stillbirth in the late 1970s, who wasn’t allowed to have a ceremony or have her child buried in a graveyard, because the baby had not been christened. Where is the humanity in that?

As well as all the horror stories there were also a lot of amazing stories told by real women who believed it was their choice. It was the hardest and most painful decision I have or will ever have to make, and it was not made lightly or carelessly. It was well thought out and well researched.

Travelling to England

I made an appointment in Liverpool (the earliest appointment they had). They were the longest two weeks of my life. Although I knew what I felt was right deep down, I still felt mixed emotions about it. It’s instilled in us to believe that abortion is wrong, that it is murder.

The clinic was surprisingly very pretty on the outside, and in a quiet neighbourhood. I could hear birds singing and see blossoms falling from the trees outside and I suddenly felt relaxed.

The staff were all very nice and there were lots of other girls in the waiting room. No one looked at each other and I wondered why, after all we were there for the same reason. I sat down and breathed for what felt like the first time in 3 weeks. I knew that I had made the right decision and this was what I wanted. I didn’t feel scared anymore. I felt like I was taking control of my life and making the most responsible decision I had ever made.

It was my body, my future

I felt brave and strong, almost empowered at the fact that I had done this myself for myself. Not for my ex, not for anyone else. It was my body, my future, my decision.

I took the tablets, one orally and four I had to insert into my vagina myself. I was then sent home with a bag of painkillers, a pregnancy test, condoms and lots of leaflets. They were very informative and non-judgmental while also making sure that I was 100% sure of my decision.

The cramps started about an hour after. They progressively became worse and the blood started. I’m not going to lie. It was pretty grim and the pain was absolutely excruciating for me. I had constant vomiting and diarrhoea for nearly 3 hours. I was shaking from the pain and I remember thinking it was never going to be over.

I didn’t feel regret

What I didn’t feel at any stage was regret. I don’t know why the pain was so intense. I know that for most women it’s just like bad period cramps. Perhaps it was a psychological thing, because I had worked myself up so much the previous few weeks.

All I know is I would have preferred to be at home and in my own bed than in a strange city, lying on a hotel bed, feeling vulnerable.

I don’t feel like a “baby murderer” and I do not feel like a bad person. I made a very hard decision at a time in my life when nothing is certain.

It is so easy for men and women who have not been through this to spew words of hatred at women who have terminations. But what is ever said to men who walk away from their children? To women who have children and don’t care for them properly? To women who have children and walk away?

Yes, I want to be a mother

I am a child of a father who walked away, of a mother who was too young to have a child and probably resented me a bit because of it. Yes, I want to be a mother, and I will love my children unconditionally. But I want to give them a good quality of life. I want them to look up to me and be proud of me.

I don’t want to spend my life struggling to provide for a child, explaining why their dad isn’t around. I don’t want to be eternally attached to someone I do not love and who does not love me or even care much for me.

I feel brave. I feel strong. I feel like a woman and for the first time I feel like a responsible adult who made a very painful decision for all the right reasons. I am not a criminal, nor should I be made feel like one. No one has the right to have an opinion on your body or the choices you make with your life, especially people who have no idea what it’s like to be faced with a crisis pregnancy. I won’t be shamed into silence.

The author of this article has requested to remain anonymous.

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