Abortion is such a controversial subject it seems that we only have 2 choices; we are either Pro-choice or Pro-life – almost like there is no other option.
Some people are pro-choice and some are pro-life but for me I am both – I am pro-choice for life, all lives. This has a lot to do with how my own experiences have shaped my views on the subject. Before my pregnancy with Zoë I would have said I was Pro-life all the way; however my view expanded when we got the grim prognosis at the 20 week ultrasound. My daughter had cranial abnormalities and was diagnosed as not viable for life. With this prognosis there may be some people that might end the pregnancy and they might have hardcore pro-lifers calling them murderers because of that choice. For me the choice was not an easy one however I decided to carry on with the pregnancy. It was a choice I made with much internalizing and discussion with my husband. Not everyone given the choice might make that decision and that might be the right decision for them
I knew within myself I wanted to give her a fighting chance at life and if she didn’t live – it would not be by my choice, if I didn’t at least try to give her the chance I might carry around with me a burden of guilt and feel like I killed my daughter. Yes, I could have decided to terminate the pregnancy as the medical professionals were right and if she’d survived being born it wouldn’t have been much of a life and it would be heart-wrenching for us as parents and terminating the pregnancy might have saved us the heartache. The medical professionals didn’t expect me to even carry Zoë to term yet at 42 weeks I had to be induced and she still kept on fighting though it ended up being a losing battle. If I had terminated the pregnancy I wouldn’t have the memories I have of her In Utero, those memories of her movements I still treasure even though it got to be pretty uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have been able to say I’ve had 1 vaginal birth.
There are the rare occasions where I wonder if I made the right choice, I also wonder if I made the right choice in not choosing to have a c-section. If I had terminated the pregnancy I might have had many moments of regret and doubt.
One of my happiest moments was hearing the heartbeat of my babies, until then the pregnancy didn’t feel real even if I had morning sickness and I don’t know how I would have felt if I had miscarried any of my babies, maybe if I had miscarried Zoë in the first trimester that loss wouldn’t have been as great as was felt when she was still-born and then again, it might have been worse – I don’t know. Every situation is different and every person reacts differently
I guess that’s the thing about abortion, it’s not exactly a clear-cut subject; it’s never absolutely wrong or absolutely right. In my opinion there needs to be a bit more empathy and less judgment when we hear about someone having an abortion as even if we are told a reason, there may be more to the story and unless we’ve been in a similar situation we have absolutely no idea what the person may be going through. There may be those who abortion is the only medical option or logical option and just like many issues that we come across today, everyone has different views and I believe it’s not acceptable to force those views on others.
One of my favourite quotes is from Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who – “A person’s a person, no matter how small” Both the unborn baby and the mother are important and what affects one has the possibility of affecting the other. If a woman is pressured to go through with a pregnancy that she doesn’t want or if it puts her life at risk then that could lead to pre-natal/post-natal depression or maternal death. No matter where someone may stand on the issue of abortion everyone is entitled to their own views. I could not have an abortion but now after what I went through I have a bit of empathy and understanding for those that choose that option, we need to love the person even if we don’t agree with their particular views.