Why I Don't Regret My Abortion by T. Joy Nichols
Secular Woman opposes all attempts to criminalize or limit access to comprehensive reproductive services such as contraception and abortion.
The following picture was posted on Secular Woman's Facebook page:
One of the respondents to the picture stated that she was one of the "1 in 3" that had chosen to have an abortion and she didn't regret it. When asked to elaborate on her reasons, she wrote the following and gave us permission to publish it here:
It was legal, and it should remain so. It should also be more accessible. There are too many stresses on women and their families regarding abortion, a simple medical procedure that is as safe and helpful. Extremists, whose beliefs and fears should be kept more private, are far more concerned about potential life than about the actual lives and circumstances of contemporary families. THAT is MOST unethical and based in emotionalism and irrationality, not in rational concern for humanity and the family, be it nuclear or other.
It was the most ethical choice. The foster care system was and is overburdened and there were already far too many children who needed loving homes stranded in the system. Considering all of the problems with overpopulation and the environment; overburdened health care, foster care and social service systems; and diminishing opportunities for women, who were then making less than 60 cents to every dollar a man made, how could it not have been the most ethical choice for a single woman with no college degree, an unsupportive boyfriend and an estranged family? I'd have more time, energy, and resources – both economic and emotional – to devote to the care of my only child who was born later, when I was ready to be a mom. I'd have a child who was a WANTED child.
I did not have to bring a child into the world whose father was not ready or willing to be a good father, much less a good boyfriend or husband. He did not want anything to do with the child that would have resulted if my pregnancy was carried to term, which I considered doing. I was not compelled to marry an incompatible and emotionally unhealthy partner who wanted absolutely nothing to do with my pregnancy, much less prenatal care.
The government and/or adoptive parents did not get another mouth to feed due to my extremely low income and inability to care for an unplanned family. The government and I did not have to contend with bringing up a child that would have been born unhealthy or deformed due to a variety of predisposing factors, both hereditary and environmental, such as being on the pill when the pregnancy occurred, being a smoker, etc.
The potential for abuse – greatly increased when non-natural parents are involved in a child’s care and upbringing – was eliminated. The short-term pain of having an abortion would never match the long-term suffering of spending a lifetime wondering whether or not the child I had brought into the world would be wanted and well-cared for by the adoptive parents, with whom I would never interact, and who are at higher risk for abusing than are natural parents. Research on the emotional well-being of adoptive children (at the time that I needed an abortion) strongly indicated that adoptive children suffered a great deal more severe psychiatric problems than did those who live with their natural parents. The child was spared not knowing anything about its hereditary health risks, true family history. The child did not have to wonder how much it pained me to let him or her go, and whether or not he or she was in fact a wanted child from the start.
It was MY body and MY choice and MY struggle.