An abortion gave me freedom

People say abortion is complicated, but it isn’t. Only those with the luxury of not having to worry about the practicalities of parenthood can sentimentalise the situation.

Because if I had continued with that unwanted pregnancy, what then? I wouldn’t have had it in me to give the baby up for adoption, but I also wouldn’t have been a good mother – because I wasn’t ready. As it happens, two of my friends got pregnant at around the same time. Both continued their pregnancies and, because they were more emotionally mature than me, ultimately thrived as mothers. But I know as well as I know my own shadow that would not have been my story. I could barely look after myself then, let alone a baby, and becoming a parent would not have made me grow up: it would have made me dependent on my parents for years. I needed – and wanted – more time.

Since I had twins at 37, I’ve become even more pro-choice, because I now know the realities of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. Making anyone go through that when they don’t want to is so obviously self-defeating, it verges on the surreal.