Esperanza’s Story

I knew when I chose to have my abortion that it was likely the last chance I would have to have a child. I was 35. I’d been briefly married before, but my ex declined to have children and we ultimately divorced, for that and other reasons.

At the time I got pregnant I was working in a foreign country (a first-world nation) as a researcher at a scientific institute. Luckily I had complete health coverage. My boyfriend (age 38) had flown over for a vacation. We had unprotected sex. Anyway, after a pharmacy test indicated I was pregnant, I had a doctor confirm it, and then phoned my boyfriend to tell him the news. He had previously expressed ambivalence about having children, but he loved me a lot. I would have chosen – joyfully – to keep the baby if he was excited about the news. But he was not. He was angry, shocked and upset. He told me I should “get rid of it.” He told me to expect no support from him if I did not get an abortion.

I was horribly depressed. I was not equipped to be a single mother: thousands of miles from home, a low-paid academic, no baby-support network whatsoever, not even in my home country. And the baby’s father did not want it! I didn’t have the finances or emotional temperament to raise a child by myself. But the deepest thought, the most important consideration was this: that it wasn’t fair to the child. If you really love children, you know they need and deserve two parents who want them. They deserve planning-for, resources; for their arrival to be greeted with happiness, not despair and dismay. It would have been a truly egotistical, selfish act to have the baby anyway – willy-nilly – throwing myself on the mercy of welfare, of my employer, of any possible relative or person for support. Selfish! And for what? For an uncertain, unwanted future for an innocent creature? No. I have always been more responsible than that. An abortion was the responsible decision.

It was nightmarish. I took a week off work sick, lying to my employer about the reason. The first gynecologist refused to take me. The second one performed a dilation and curettage (or aspiration) under general anesthesia. I took a taxi back to my apartment. The excruciating cramping and heavy, heavy hemorrhaging lasted for over three days – it was unbelievably painful. I was glad I was by myself. I went back to work, told no one, finished my job, and moved back home five months later. I am sorry to admit that it took me another few years to dump that pathetic loser of a boyfriend, but I am 48 now, and married to my Beloved, the best husband in the whole world. We won’t have children. I’m too old, and we’re both OK with that.

Upon reflection, I feel the pro-life people fail to consider the long term, to think past merely getting every possible fetus born. If I had had that baby, I would have been tied to a horrible, controlling man for the rest of ALL of our lives, who hated a child I forced him to father. I would be a welfare mom or in a menial job: the kid would have nothing. I’m not a very patient, maternal person; I had no experience at all with children, so I think it’s quite possible I could have been one of those verbally abusive (or worse) overwhelmed single moms. My feeling is, if it truly is the children that pro-lifers care about, they would and should be adopting pregnant mothers’ unaborted, unwanted babies by the carload. So do they?

What do you think?