Anonymous Mom: I’m Happily Married With Kids, But I’d Get An Abortion If I Got Pregnant
When you picture the type of woman who chooses abortion, it’s unlikely that my face comes to mind. I’m in my thirties. I’m happily married. I have an advanced degree. I believe in the existence of a higher power. I have two beautiful, healthy children. My life is perfect, which is why I wouldn’t hesitate to have an abortion if I became pregnant.
I have a rare fertility condition which includes extremely poor egg quality and abnormal hormone levels. My two gorgeous kids were conceived using all the powers science has to offer and donor eggs. While it is highly unlikely that I would ever ovulate without medical intervention, it’s still a remote possibility.
My OB/GYN and I have had several conversations about what my odds are for having a healthy pregnancy on my own and to use his words, if I became pregnant, “we would need to have a very difficult conversation.” I get it. I have many good qualities that recommend me to others, my egg follicles just aren’t one of them.
If I became pregnant, it’s pretty much a given that any child, were they to survive gestation, would have severe disabilities. I’m not talking about a condition like Down’s Syndrome or having a child that uses a wheelchair. Any baby from my remaining eggs would likely have serious mental and/or physical disabilities that would require extensive, round-the-clock medical care. Which is why I am confident that if I get pregnant, I would have an abortion as soon as possible.
Sure, I could wait until the pregnancy was further along and attempt an advanced ultrasound to assess the health of the baby and try to make a more informed decision, but that would more than likely delay the inevitable. Besides, ultrasounds aren’t always accurate, and I would not want to take the risk of having the ultrasound come back as normal when that’s not the case.
I wouldn’t look at having an abortion as taking a life. Because I know the quality of life for this child would be so severely impacted, bringing them into this world seems selfish. It would seem like I was doing it for the halo others would bestow upon me, doing it for what other people would say and think rather than choosing to take up the challenge because it was something I wanted.
I’m not saying I would be singing and dancing my way into the procedure room either. I don’t want to be put in the position of needing an abortion. If I had to get an abortion, I would be sad at the circumstances. I would be frustrated that my body is unable to grow and birth a healthy baby like other women my age. But I wouldn’t lament what could have been, or shed tears for the healthy baby that won’t be born, because there isn’t a magic wand that can cure my condition and that mythical baby doesn’t exist.
Sure, there is a way to make sure I can never possibly get pregnant. But I’m a young, married woman with a foxy husband and I’m not willing to give up having sex. As an extra measure of precaution, I take oral birth contraceptives instead of the traditional hormone replacement therapy that is often used by other women with my condition. Even though it’s not likely that I would get pregnant, taking the pills feels like a second safety net. But still, I like knowing I have the abortion option there as my fail safe.
I would choose to abort any future pregnancies because of the family I already have, the children who are here now, who receive and deserve my time and attention. It wouldn’t be fair to me to give them a sibling that would drastically impact their lives as they know it. We are currently blessed with the joy of spontaneity, the ability to wake up in the morning and decide to go away for the weekend, to grab dinner out on a whim because we feel like it. We consciously chose not to get a dog or any other pets that need daily care because we are often out and about and wouldn’t be home to take care of it. Having a third child with severe special needs would change my kids lives, and its not fair of me to make that decision for them.
I’m not saying that children with disabilities, even serious ones, shouldn’t exist. I know there are parents who deal with these serious conditions and who would say that they are very happy with their decision to have the baby. That even if they had known about their child’s condition beforehand, they would not have changed a thing. And that’s great, I think they are amazing people. I also think it’s amazing that I live in a country where I can choose not to do the same.
The issue of abortion is constantly in the news and several states have taken recent measures to try and (I would argue illegally) eliminate women’s access abortions. Far too often, the hateful comments about women who seek abortions mislabel them as young, unmarried and immoral. Not correct. Abortion is about not being forced to have a baby you don’t want to have, regardless of the circumstances. I hope that I never find myself in the position of needing an abortion, but if I do, I’m so grateful to have the option.