“New research has found that more than 95 percent of women who have received an abortion have no regret about it.”
As someone who was relieved with my decision to not have a baby, I have had well-meaning “friends”, co-workers, and propaganda groups repeatedly try to convince me that I secretly wish I had made a different choice, or else that I am an evil murderer. Or, at best, completely self-absorbed. I have heard so many pro-lifers try to convince me that most women regret their choice forever. Well, your attempts at a guilt-trip did not sway my relief or my lack of regret. Your constant berating did manage to anger me, so here comes my lengthy response.
First, I was not as careful as I should have been about birth control, and the person I was with did not wear a condom. I was also young and careless, drinking too much on the weekend, irresponsible. I regret those things. Now I am older and have an IUD, so that I do not repeat my mistakes. I’m not defending the bad decisions that led to getting pregnant- they were terrible life choices, and selfish ones. However, I do not regret for an instant not bringing a life into this world under those circumstances. I know that having an abortion was the most responsible decision I made in the midst of other bad decisions.
Now, let me tell you who else I think is selfish.
The woman who was too immature/mean-spirited to have kids, but did anyway and now tells her little girl to stop eating so much because she will become a little piggy or makes other little cutting remarks. Who cheats on her husband and whose happy family life is a complete lie and suffocating to the children she is failing to provide a good example or happy home-life to. (Yes, I’ve met this woman socially and many like her).
The man who wanted a child and pushed his pregnant girlfriend to have the baby instead of abort, and then left her for another woman, providing no financial support. Now she has to take care of the baby alone, and the child suffers the consequences. (I’ve seen even more of these).
The nice couple who would have been wonderful parents had they waited another decade, but had a child too young and their entire life is a struggle, producing fights, a toxic environment, and a lack of opportunities and experiences for the kid because they were not financially mature.
The people who are nice but also very introverted, and can only handle so much time around their kid… who try to hide it and do their best but it is still obvious that they find their child draining and so they fake their way through engaged parenting.
The man or woman who became a parent while struggling with addiction, and whose child now has to live through that parent’s incarceration, or watch the addiction itself play out.
The people who have kids that end up in foster care because the parents are abusive or incapable of taking care of a child.
And I could go on forever.
The common argument I’ve been told by people who want me to regret my decision is that I could have put the baby up for adoption. I’ve known so many adopted kids, and have lived through being raised in different homes myself, to know that even the most seemingly wonderful adoptive family can still lead to deep, lifelong emotional scars in a child. I know there are plenty of happy cases too, but what a gamble. There are things, in my opinion, so much worse than a life in the world never starting- such as a life filled with pain.
So here is the final thing I am going to say about my decision. I don’t mean to diss anyone who has had kids under less-than-ideal circumstances. It happens, hopefully you do the best for them possible. For me personally, however, I will not continue to be berated for refusing to have a kid under much-less-than-ideal circumstances. The ONLY time I will ever have a child, IF ever, is when I have a partner who I have known for years and years. Someone who is stable financially, is emotionally calm, kind, very involved in the community, and who will help keep a close eye on our kid. Someone who gets to know our child’s friends, and who gets to know our kid’s friends’ parents very well and becomes good friends with them, goes to all of the sports/music/academic events, and knows how to be the right mix of disciplinarian and loving, supportive. Someone who is straightforward and guides our kid to become involved with other good people, in good situations. Only when I am also capable of all of those things and more. Only when I am well-settled in life and know exactly how to provide a wonderful life and have the means to do it. I will NOT have a kid and gamble that they have a good life with great odds against them. I will only ever have a child knowing that they have had every ingredient possible to have a stable, wonderful, happy, productive, kind, meaningful life.
And most likely, I will never have kids, because I simply don’t want to. No regrets about that either.