I was brainwashed as a child to believe abortion was a good birth control option.
Abortion was a topic I knew about from a very young age. In fact, I don’t remember ever not knowing what it was.
My mother used to tell me, pretty frequently, that she had an abortion right after I was born because I was just so perfect, no other child would be able to compare. And at the age of 4, I thought that reasoning was pretty solid. I mean, what kid doesn’t want to be told they’re perfect?
When I was 6, my older sister was 17. She got pregnant and I remember our dad told her she needed to get an abortion. I remember it so vividly, I can tell you it was autumn, my room was bright with the sun shining in from the blinds, and my door was slightly open so I could eavesdrop.
They were all in the living room, which was a decent distance from my bedroom, but I heard every word.
“I don’t want to get an abortion. I want to have the baby.”
“You’re too young and you don’t have a job. I can’t afford to support another child.”
My sister cried because she knew she was defeated. The father of the baby wanted nothing to do with her, and without my father’s financial and emotional support, she knew it was over.
As I got older, I preached pro-choice. How could I not? My mother and sister both had abortions, so wouldn’t I be a hypocrite?
I felt this way until I saw my own child on a sonogram monitor. A tiny nugget of life, with a heartbeat, just relaxing in my uterus. There was a remote possibility my child would have a rare disorder that would make his quality of life and survival slim.
The doctor mentioned an abortion and I freaked out. I couldn’t even talk it. I wouldn't even consider it.
Luckily, my son was born without the disorder. However, that moment in time made me do a lot of reflection on my belief system. If I was pro-choice, how come the very thought of abortion made me quiver in disgust?
I was so brainwashed as a child to believe abortion was a good birth control option (my sister would go on to have another abortion a year after the first one), I didn’t even consider that maybe I wasn't actually pro-choice.
There are exceptions that I do believe in, however. I don’t think a woman who was raped should have to go through with a pregnancy. I think a mother who has the potential to die due to a pregnancy should have the choice whether or not to go through with it.
But if you get pregnant because you’re careless and decide to just abort because you don’t want it? I can’t stand behind that.
There wouldn’t be a need for back-alley abortions if there was better sexual education in the formative years. My education came from my parents and sister; the worst way to form an opinion is to be forced into it by family.
Does this mean I don’t believe in women’s rights? HELL NO! Of course, I do. But I also believe life starts at conception.
Having this opinion as a female is hard among my very liberal friends, so I don’t mention it. But in my beating heart, I know the truth.