The Abortion Debate

There is a lot of discourse online about abortion access. I have been doing my damndest not to get involved, but it’s getting so hard seeing people that I know and love making terribly ignorant comments and completely demonizing women who needed to have abortions done.

A year or so ago, I wanted to kill myself because I thought I had become pregnant, and I knew that with my health conditions, I would have to abort the baby or it would kill me.

I am not being melodramatic. I love children. I would love to be a parent. If I could survive a pregnancy, I would.

Imagine laying in bed, a hand over your belly, thinking that your child; a combination of you and your soul mate, is in there starting to develop. It didn’t matter to me that it might have just been a cluster of cells at that stage if I was indeed pregnant. Knowing that I would have to abort the baby because of complications with my health put me in a very dark place.

Who was I to decide what happens to this baby? I know I would love my child. I tortured myself imagining their first birthday. I thought about their first day of school. What would their smile look like? What kind of a heart and mind would they have? Would they be an artist like me, or a skilled gamer like Justin? Maybe they would take after neither of us and bring a new unique perspective to our family.

My whole world shattered. I had made an appointment with my Gynecologist to have a pregnancy test. I didn’t want to be seen buying a pregnancy test at the store, and I needed to know for certain that the test was accurate. I had an appointment scheduled soon. In the meantime, I was left with my darkest thoughts.

I grew up surrounded by family who supported Right To Life and manned information booths that gave out flyers sharing information about what happens to aborted fetuses. There were life cycle charts, and images of abortions at gruesome early stages. Those images flashed through my mind, and it broke me.

As I laid there in my bed, suffocated by my own swirling, dark thoughts, I thought about letting the baby kill me. I did. It was a real, deep thought that I was considering. I was beyond depressed. If I had to choose between having an abortion and surviving, why would I want to survive?

Eventually, I snapped out of that line of thinking. It was irrational. I knew it was. I was letting the shame and stigma put on abortion push me towards thoughts of suicide.

My thoughts then turned from self-loathing to societal distress. Why were women like myself put in these situations? When you are in love with someone, REALLY in love, sex is inevitable (unless you’re asexual which is totally cool too). I should not be expected to be celibate because I can not have a viable pregnancy. I had asked my doctors about the possibility of getting my tubes tied, or maybe even a hysterectomy.

They told me no, because of my health conditions, risk of developing an infection were too high. Elective surgeries were off the table for me. IUDs also contributed a risk of injury and infection, so I was not allowed to get one of those either. I had been on birth control for a long time, but it caused side effects that were negatively impacting my health, so I had to be taken off birth control.

While we do practice safe sex, it is never 100% effective. The risk of pregnancy is always going to loom overhead. I could choose to never have sex again, but you should ask yourself how well you think that would fare for my relationship. (Update 5/8/2019: since this incident, my sex drive has been impacted tremendously because of the emotional trauma I endured. I no longer enjoy sex as much as I used to. The fear of becoming pregnant always looms overhead, and really kills the mood. My partner understands this, and we have found other ways to be intimate, but I miss the act of lovemaking. it pains me to have lost that.)

This post is becoming a book, but I needed to get all of this out there.

When I went in for the test and I sat in the waiting room next to a lady who was there to have a check up during her pregnancy, she turned and smiled to me and asked how far along I was. I politely told her that I wasn’t pregnant, and I hoped with my entire soul that I wasn’t lying.

After the pregnancy test was complete, the nurse informed me that it was negative. I burst into tears of relief, and I had to resist the urge to hug her and cry. I told her she had no idea how good that news was. I was a complete mess.

Having gone through this scare, I am seeing the abortion debate from a point of view that is different from many of my friends and family.

I never talked about this experience before because it WAS so personal and soul-crushing, but now that I am seeing so many people treating one another so cruelly over their stance on abortion rights, I felt the need to tell my side of the story.

Not every woman who needs an abortion wants one, but every woman should have access to abortion without questions asked, period. This is not your choice to make, and it should never be a public affair. No judge should have a say on it.

If I had to stand before anyone and justify my need for an abortion, that would have destroyed me.

Consider that before you judge anyone.

Purposefully hurtful or cruel comments will be deleted without warning or explanation. I just laid my heart out there. If you feel the need to tear me down after that, your words aren’t important to me.

Feature image courtesy of Pexels.com

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