It’s So Personal: What Guilt?

Jun 4 2009 @ 9:21pm

A reader writes:

I cannot help but think you are cherry-picking your printed stories, highlighting those who have had enormous difficulty with abortion, simply because you yourself have difficulty with abortion.  
 
Here is my own story. I got pregnant when I was 22 by my then-fiance (now husband).  I was, at that time, not ready to be a parent.  I certainly could have done it, but I wasn't personally ready. And to me, if Davinci I'm not ready to have a child, I should not have one.  Children are a big responsibility – not one that one should assume just because they got unlucky one night.
 
After I took the store-bought test, I immediately scheduled an abortion (which was a trick, since I had no privacy at work).  First, I called a place I whose ad appeared to be offering abortions ("Pregnant?  Don't want to be?  Call us").  I didn't know about fake pro-life pressure clinics at that time (aka "crisis pregnancy centers").  They didn't tell me their agenda, just scheduled me for an appointment. But I could tell something was weird, so I canceled it.  I only later discovered that they put out misleading ads to trick women.  I think trying to trick desperate, pregnant women is about as shady as one can get.

My fiance drove me to the hospital on the day of the abortion. I was quickly examined, then given an ultrasound to make sure I was really pregnant. Unlike your previous reader, who felt that someone should have forced upon him some kind of waiting period or something, I think such measures are both disingenuous and disrespectful.  Obviously waiting 24 hours would not have magically made him a better person, dedicated to his girlfriend's welfare and desireous of a child.  It's not the state's job or the clinic's job to make him do whatever he now thinks is the right thing.

I chose to have a medication abortion (as opposed to surgery). At that time, methotrexate was used.  Medication abortions are basically an induced miscarriage.  A lot of the "orientation" that the kindly woman in the conference room gave me consisted of explaining to me how this could hurt a LOT and I could bleed a LOT.  It's essentially a lesser form of labor, and can be scary if you are not prepared.  For me, it definitely was very painful.  BUT – I have since gone through labor twice, and I can safely say that labor is MUCH worse.  I am always bemused when people say "abortion is painful and bloody" to deter abortion.  Like birth is somehow not painful and bloody?  

Since then I've been fine. A few nostalgic moments.  I've never cried about it.  I am not sad about it. It was the right decision.  Life goes on.  People do not tend to spend the rest of their lives wallowing in guilt and misery because they terminated a pregnancy.  They go to school, they fall in love, they get married, they have children.  One out of every three women in America has had or will have an abortion at some point.  The stories of ongoing misery that you are choosing to print are the extreme outliers.

We do not cherry-pick these emails. This thread began by dealing with late term abortions, and why they occur. And we did our very best to provide the broadest range of experiences and viewpoints we could.