I believe life happens at the very instance of conception. I am not one of those people who consider a foetus “just blood” until much later in the pregnancy. From the very minute the sperm and egg make contact and unite, I believe that a person has taken life. So, you can say I am pro-life. I have very strong reservations against abortion, and wish I could do more to educate young girls, and women, about how horribly it affects your life…more emotionally than even physically. As strongly as I feel against abortion, I feel equally as strongly about the women who have had to go through it. Some of my closest friends, as well as some people I counsel, are such women and I know that if they could go back in time, they would do things very differently. Contrary to popular belief, only a very small number of them are battling infertility today. A lot of times, people draw a direct parallel between abortion and infertility. Right from when I was a child, we were told stories of how so and so woman was so promiscuous, had however many abortions, and is “looking for children” now. Whilst this may be the case in some cases (especially if infections set in), the consequences faced run far deeper than the inability to conceive. For the women I have been involved with, it is often a lifelong feeling of guilt and regret.
Jennifer* was not what you would call promiscuous. She was in the university and had a boyfriend, with whom she believed their relationship was going somewhere. Well, she was later to find out that she was one of many. Around the time she found out about her boyfriend’s other girlfriends, most of whom were on the same campus, she missed her period. For days, she held her breath and prayed fervently for her period to appear. It didn’t. Her best friend took her to a screening laboratory near campus, and the blood test confirmed her worst fear. She was pregnant! Abortion never even crossed her mind. For the next few days, she mapped out mental plans about to proceed with the pregnancy. She would find a way to tell her parents, and try to raise money to travel abroad, to stay with her Aunt, who was a nurse. She was certain it would be easier there, and was even beginning to look forward to it. She then decided to inform her boyfriend of the pregnancy. Predictably, he wasn’t happy about it. He pleaded with her to terminate it and convinced her that he would be even more dedicated to her. The thought of her returning to being the only girl in his life was enough to convince her to change her mind. Suddenly, starting again with her boyfriend was more appealing than going along with the pregnancy. She proceeded to have an abortion. A week later, her boyfriend dumped her. Today, she is married to someone else, and has 4 beautiful kids of her own…but not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about her baby. This year, her child (she’s convinced it would have been a boy) would have been 16. Her heart breaks anytime she sees a young boy in that age bracket, and always wonders what it would have been like to have a child that age. “Will the guilt ever go away, Nicole?”, she has asked me a few times. I’m not brave enough to tell her that it probably might not.
Tutu* and her boyfriend were probably the most fertile people on the face of the planet. She got pregnant probably every other month, and she had deployed every abortion method known to man…pills oh, drinks oh, the actual D&C oh, name it, she had done it. When she got pregnant probably the 10th time, she made up her mind not to tamper with it. Her mind was all made up. One of her “friends” even retorted once “Why doesn’t she want to terminate it? When it’s not as if she hasn’t done it before!”. Thankfully, Tutu’s boyfriend was in it for the long haul, and after their daughter was born, married her. They have 2 other children now, but she still carries the weight of what she did in the past. But unfortunately, their story didn’t end there. In the course of their marriage, they have also had cause to terminate more pregnancies. Now, that’s the one I just can not condone!
I was shocked recently when I was told that the majority of abortions are actually by married couples! Not devastated teenagers, or rape victims, but couples in seemingly happy and healthy relationships. For me, that is ALL SHADES OF WRONG, regardless of the reason. Some excuses I have heard are that they only just had a baby, or that their finances can not support another child. Yes, I know birth control fails and mistakes happen, but once there is life is involved you just have to look at the big picture. I was told the story of a woman who went to ask her family doctor for an abortion, when she found out she was pregnant with her 5th child. When asked why, she said it was because having a baby would be too expensive. Looking contemplative, the doctor pulled out a notebook and began to scribble. He asked her how much she anticipated she would have to spend on the new baby, and how much each of her children cost her (feeding, clothing, school fees, et al). When he was done, he said to her “Well, it appears it’s your 1st born child that’s your most expensive to maintain, and not this unborn baby. So, why don’t you bring him here, and I’ll kill him instead.” She got the message, and went ahead to have her baby. No matter how hard up you think you are, having a baby won’t dramatically destabilise your life, at least not in the beginning. My friend’s husband didn’t speak to her for months, when she was carrying their 4th child. She refused to have an abortion, and he was livid! Today, that 4th child is his favourite and I’m sure he won’t be able to bear the thought that he had almost had this child killed.
Back in the day, I was engaged to another gentleman. We both were carriers of the sickle cell gene, and wondered how we would go about raising a family. The only solution for us was to undergo genotype screening any time I got pregnant, and terminate if the child had the SS genotype. Out of stupid love, I was ready to give up my own convictions and go ahead with this plan. It was God that literally saved me from that relationship, as I wonder how on earth I would have carried the weight of that guilt, over and over again! When I was growing up, my parents were friends with a couple who apparently both carried the trait. They had already had 2 healthy children, but unfortunately, the 3rd was a sickler. They then went on to abort what would have been their 4th, 5th, and 6th child, as they all proved to be sicklers too. They got divorced a few years later, and I sometimes wonder if the guilt from all those terminations could have maybe contributed to their split.
I would like to end this by pleading with anyone considering an abortion to reconsider. You will most definitely leave a piece of your heart behind in the abortion theatre, and you will remember it for the rest of your life. If your circumstances truly are not able to accommodate a child, please consider offering the child up for adoption instead. Please, please, please don’t take a life…I beg you. As for the women who have had abortions and are plagued with guilt, I’m wrapping my cyber arms around you and praying that you find peace. Jennifer named her son, and she prays for him constantly. She acknowledges him as if he had not died a foetus, but as a real child, and has been able to cope better this way.
If you, or anyone you know, is considering an abortion, please send a message to me here.
Baby dust to all!!!!
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