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.