I am a 28 year old woman; educated and in a loving, committed relationship. Last week was like any other week, except I had an abortion.
The decision was hard. Harder than any other decision I’ve had to make, and the emotions still linger on. Someone said to me after I’d had the procedure, “It’s okay, the hard part is over, it’s the lead up that is the worst”.
I assume that woman has never had an abortion, because the hard part can’t be pinpointed. Finding out was hard, deciding what to do was hard, having the procedure was hard, and the aftermath continues to be hard.
Donald Trump believes women who have abortions should be punished. Post continues after video…
But a question keeps swirling, and what I just can’t fathom, among all of my own pain and emotional turmoil, is why do men keep involving themselves in this issue? US Presidential candidate Donald Trump made his comments the day after my abortion. Were we living in a Trump system, I would have been punished for the choice I made for my self and my body.
Our former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has had his fair share to say about a woman’s right to choose too. And on arriving at the clinic, I was chastised by a group of men in their 60’s telling me that they could help me, and that there was a better way. Why do so many men believe it is their place to weigh in on this already traumatic and emotional issue?
My decision to end my pregnancy may be seen as selfish by some. My partner and I decided that we weren’t ready to bring another being into the world and give it everything we hope to one day give our children.
Plus, we just aren’t ready for the responsibility of being parents. And that is no one else’s decision to weigh in on. It’s not the men protesting at the clinic that would be waking up hourly trying to get a baby to sleep. It’s not Donald Trump having to make ends meet because he’s not financially in a position to raise a child, and it’s not Tony Abbott’s body going through a pregnancy at a time in his life when depression is already an existing factor.
What Donald Trump fails to understand, is that making the decision to abort, having the procedure and dealing with the aftermath is punishment enough. The emotional burden is immense, the incredibly fast hormonal changes wreak havoc with your mind and body, and such a life changing decision, either way you choose, is one that I will live with forever.
I won’t ever forget the date in March 2016 when I walked into that clinic with nothing more than the possibility in my body and then I exited a few hours later having changed my direction. Nor will I ever take for granted that I am fortunate enough to live in a country where I could make that decision and could enforce my reproductive rights in a safe procedure. Many women still can’t and that is an outrage.
No person has any right to weigh in on what another person chooses to do with his or her body and life. I didn’t abort a baby. I aborted a cluster of cells and the possibility of a baby – there is a distinct difference. I don’t feel ashamed that I had an abortion, as no woman ever should.
I hope that women all around the world can continue to access safe and legal abortions and that those who continue to threaten us, demean us, berate us and tell us what to do with our bodies and our lives, step away, once and for all, from our uteruses.
Because help us all if we lose the basic human right to have autonomy over our bodies and choices.