BY ROBIN THOMPSON
Since women began to really stand up for their rights in the '60s, abortion has been a hot-button topic. "It's my body and I have the right to choose" is countered with "Murderer!" There is a constant stream of poignant stories of women who chose abortion and are now, years later, wracked with guilt.
And that, dear reader, pisses me off.
I have empathy for those women who regret the abortion they had, or feel circumstances forced them to have. I understand the heartbreak of a such a decision but I do not feel it fairly represents women as a whole. Let me tell you about my decision.
In my third year of university I suddenly found myself pregnant. I say suddenly because I had been faithfully using birth control (a diaphragm and spermicide) for years. However, as we all know, birth control measures fail a small percentage of the time. So, yes, you could say I was surprised. And annoyed. And filled with a certain amount of dread at what was to come.
I went to my family doctor to confirm what my body was telling me. When the positive results came back, my doctor sat down. "There are a number of things you can do," he said, looking grave. But there really was no choice to be made.
I have always known that I don't want to have children. There are too many people in this world already and many, many children without homes, awaiting adoption. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I would be a good parent. Parenting, and the right to do so, is taken for granted by almost everyone but not everyone is cut out to be a parent. Finally, I have a disease for which there is no known cause or cure. The medical community says it is unlikely this would be passed on to my child, but why would I want to take even the smallest chance?
I did not agonize over the decision. It was thought out long ago, so when that diaphragm failed, I knew abortion was the only way to go, the only way that would work for me, and for my boyfriend as well. My mother supported me fully and without question. My doctor set the outpatient appointment for three days later.
This is a story without drama. I drove myself to the hospital and awoke from the anesthetic to hear mom telling anecdotes of my childhood to my boyfriend (making me want to go right back to sleep). I went on with my life with no backward glances - just a calm certainty that I did the right thing.
Abortion was not a decision I made lightly. It was well considered, made on facts, not emotion. I have not had a moment of regret, and thank God that the option was available.
I understand the grief many women feel after an abortion. It is a perfectly valid emotion but I have little patience with it. We all make difficult decisions over the course of a lifetime and the way to deal with them is exactly that - deal with them. Stop moaning and get on with your life. Be grateful to the women who came before us, who fought for the right to reproductive freedom. Be grateful that there is a decision to make.
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