This post was submitted anonymously.
I had an abortion. That makes me a bad person. Those sanctimonious know-it-alls holding up signs and killing abortion doctors think I’m a killer and they’re probably right. I’m a baby-killer. But, they don’t know what it’s like. They don’t know what it means to carry that.
Every once in a while, I think about that life that ended before it began. I do the math to see how old it would be now. It would be a fully-grown adult, old enough to have kids of his or her own.
I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t bring a child born of this blood into this world. Not with my past. Not with my family history. Not with my mental illnesses, hereditary legacy, and not with a mother like me.
If I could choose whether or not my own mother would have me, there are times when I would choose not to have been born at all. It might have been better for everyone-especially me. There has never been enough sunshine. There is so much darkness. I still carry it with me.
The child I might have had would have wound up in the system. I was a junkie. I couldn’t look after myself, let alone another life. That child, if it was born at all, which would have been a miracle considering all the drugs I did, would have been neglected and alone. Like so many other kids, it would have had a mother incapable of caring for it who really just wanted it to go away. It would have been born down in the domain of evil and things that go bump in the night. It would never have known who its father was, because its mother had no idea.
The child had a one in a billion chance of surviving and thriving. There was too much risk of passing on the horror of its mother, a mentally ill addict who was too broken to produce anything beautiful. Too selfish, and at the same time, compassionate to bring a life born of her blood into the world.
Selfish, because she could not take on the role of parent. Benevolent, because she would not risk giving a child the same fate as her. Mental institutions, jail, sexual abuse, violence, rape, torture, addiction, self-harm, beatings, diseased body and mind. She would rather not have a child than put one through any of that. It was an act of self-serving kindness.
I don’t think about it much. I don’t think about the child or the version of me that might have been a mother back then. I’m not sure I can really. When I do think about it, it’s from a distance. I tell myself it was the right thing to do. I saved a life from a world of pain. Given the choice, I wish my mother had done the same.
Abortion is not a decision that should be made lightly. It has consequences that you live with forever. But, it is every woman’s choice. Sometimes, it’s the absolute right decision in the circumstances.
We’ll never know how things might have turned out, but I live with my decision, and even after all these years and all this uncertainty, I believe I made the right choice at the time. I have to believe it.