I hear you, women of the internet, digging deep and ripping the scars off your trauma to tell the story of the abortion you now regret. Your pain is real, and your path to forgiveness -- from both yourself and your God -- may be the story someone needs to hear in order to find peace in her own life.
But regret for the things we've done can only be felt in the present. In the life we are currently living. The life that was shaped by that choice we made. Hearing that you now regret your abortion tells me that your life turned out okay. Maybe not perfect, but certainly okay. I'm pretty sure you're warm and well-fed, safe and secure, and the wolves are not clawing at your door. That security is what gives you the space and energy to regret the abortion you had.
Are there homeless women sleeping in the cold thinking, "I wish I had a baby to share this with"? Are there women struggling to feed three children who wish they had one more sweet face to send to bed hungry? Are women living in poverty or danger, suffering from sickness or addiction, regretting that they don't have a child to trap in the same grinding, dehumanizing cycle?
You can regret your abortion because you are not one of those women. You turned out okay. You can look at your life, your home, maybe your other smiling, well-fed, happy children and regret that you didn't put another child on the planet.
But would you have had this life without the abortion you now regret?
Would pregnancy or parenting have derailed your education and career goals? Would you still have met and married your current spouse and birthed the children you currently have? Instead of being #Forgiven, would you be struggling or resentful? Maybe you would have been one of the 4000 unlucky women who die from pregnancy-related complications each year. We'll never know.
Our lives unfold from the decisions we make. Had you not had your abortion, your current life would be different, but not necessarily better, and it could easily be much worse.
But you're here now, a bit regretful, but still okay, because safe, legal abortion was an option for you. A choice you were allowed to make about your body and your future.
I'm sorry you now regret making that choice, but your regret should not and cannot take that choice away from other women. Maybe some of them will come to regret their abortions, but most will not. All women, however, must have the freedom and the right to make that choice on their own. Just as you did.
I don't want to silence your story, but your regret cannot be allowed to lead us back to dark times when women were maimed and killed by back-room abortionists because they lacked the basic human right of bodily autonomy. Those same dark times that saw children abandoned, abused, or simply unable to advance in life due to the circumstances of their birth. I'd encourage you instead to use your regret to spur others to a build a society with better healthcare, contraception access, and social services so fewer women will need abortions.
I am sorry you regret your abortion.
But I will not let you force other women to regret your abortion, too.
Wow! Thank you all for your response. I live in Alabama, and the number of people I know personally (including one who borrowed money from me for her abortion 30 years ago!) who are cheering this law and sharing their #Testimony of #Redemption has had me howling in rage for days. This was cathartic, so thank you for indulging me.
Now I’m off to the protest at the courthouse!