7 years ago I had an abortion.
At the time, it wasn’t really a decision, just something I knew I needed to do.
However, I know that in making that choice, the outcome of too much alcohol and misplaced judgement, that I have been able to have in a career, become financially independent, grow as an individual, travel the world, meet incredible people, learn what my passions are and how I can positively impact my little circle of life.
It’s not something I discussed with many people at the time. I was embarrassed, ashamed of making a mistake that could have had a monumental impact on my life. Having sex is not something I discussed with my family. Neither was the decision to have an abortion. I know I have a supportive and non-judgement family, I know now and I knew then that they would love and support me whatever I chose to do. But honestly, I just didn’t know how to instigate that conversation. And then time passed and it didn’t seem to make sense to bring up something that had already happened. So it kind of just became a secret. Writing this is the bridge to letting the people who are closest to me into one of my biggest secrets. It doesn’t need to be a conversation, it’s just something that no longer needs to be a secret. Because I don’t feel ashamed or guilty about it. And if this post can help anyone else release the stigma associated with abortion or any other secret they’ve been too scared to tell the people closest to them, then I know this is worth sharing. However you tell them, I promise the people who love you wholeheartedly and without condition, will continue to do so. Telling them might actually surprise you and bring you closer because vulnerability has a funny way of showing people how fucking brave you really are.
I had a medical abortion which was simply taking medication and having what felt like a painful, heavy period albeit technically a miscarriage.
Having an abortion, to me, is the saving grace of late prevention techniques. It should be seen as no different as to taking the morning after pill, being on the contraceptive pill, using a condom. They are all designed to prevent pregnancies, this method just means that you still have the freedom for your life to carry on as you know it, if any of those methods were not in play or effective at the time you had sex.
For me, I found the process of having an abortion was more about the mental side effects rather than those on my body. Having a boob job or even lip fillers would have been a far more invasive procedure on my body.
And I think the reason the mental aspect of it was a big deal was because it is still seen as a taboo subject. There is guilt and shame associated with having an abortion. I was left wondering if that may have been my only opportunity to become a mum, if I was a bad person for putting my life ahead of a smattering of cells, had I made the right choice, is this something I could forgive myself for, knowing that I would have to live with this decision for the rest of my life.
And that guilt and shame is magnified exponentially when it is illegal. To have to travel out of your country, away from home, when all you want is to be able to go home and crawl under your own duvet in your own bed is not ok. There was a girl who had travelled over from Ireland when I was sat waiting for my appointment. And that is still the sad reality for the women of Northern Ireland. And watching it go backwards in the States is pure mind boggling.
Despite all the thoughts I’ve had about my own choice, I never once had to concern myself with the thought about whether it would be allowed. Whether someone else, someone who has never met me, who knows nothing about my situation or circumstance, or who will never know the emotional attachment to bearing a child because he’s a man, would have autonomy over my body and the path my life would take. My heart breaks at the thought of women having their choices taken away from them. It’s bad enough if it’s just bad timing, a mistake, the wrong person. But to imagine that you could be made to carry and give birth to a baby, when you are only 11 years old, or have been raped, or have an ectopic pregnancy that could in fact kill you, well quite honestly, I can’t and don’t want to imagine it.
If you are pro-life, I have no issue with you choosing not to use birth control, or choosing not to end an unwanted pregnancy. But I do have an issue with you taking that choice away from someone else.
To take away the rights of these women to make choices about their bodies, their state of mind and their lives, is truly horrific.
#youknowme I’m not a bad person, I made the right choice for me in the mess of a bad situation. I’m so excited about becoming a mum one day but I know that it’s because I’m ready for it, because I can love with my whole heart without resentment and without what-ifs. My body, my life, my family, my choice.