Abortion advocates often try to make the case that women need abortion because of awful, terrible, heartbreaking things — pregnancy after rape, a baby diagnosed with a fatal birth defect (or worse, something really undesirable like… Down syndrome), a mother whose health is at risk. They trot out these sob stories as a way of showing us why abortion is such a vital aspect of women’s health.
The truth, of course, is that these are almost never the reasons why women have abortions. They have abortions because the pregnancy was inconvenient. That is almost overwhelmingly the reason why it happens. A perfect example of this is an essay written by Myla June, who rather oddly professes her love for her unborn child, but then thanks God that she had an abortion. (Caution for some language.)
My period was a week late before I inconspicuously picked up a home pregnancy test from a Wal-Mart two towns over. The result was no surprise by that point, and my first instinct was to name my best friend ‘godmother.’ Throughout that afternoon and evening, the reality of having a child began to settle in, and suddenly the conversation shifted from baby names and nursery colors to ‘holy shit, what the fuck do I do?’
… The more we talked about it, the more I realized that carrying the child to term was a reckless plan. I knew that I would have support from my friends and family, and I am financially very stable, however the idea of being a single mother quickly became daunting.
… I spent a lot of time going back and forth with my decision. I read countless articles and blogs, and ultimately decided to terminate the pregnancy. Let me clarify that it was far from an easy decision. Even just a few weeks along, I felt an innate love for the child growing inside me.
I wondered what he or she might be like and how I would feel as a mother. I imagined playing dress-up and Hot Wheels, setting up lemonade stands on summer days, and experiencing things like Disney World for what would feel like the first time all over again.
It all sounded wonderful and possible until I reminded myself I’m only 22. I’m supposed to be pushing the boundaries of selfishness. So when my beau encouraged me to write a list of all the things I want to do with my life, I realized that there is so incredibly much that I have to look forward to – without having a child. I want to be spontaneous, I want to travel, and I want to drink as much moscato as I damn well please.
… As I’m beginning to move on, I’m starting to see life with wider eyes. Terminating my pregnancy has instilled in me a drive to do and see absolutely everything this great world has to offer. I’m booking flights to Europe, then South America, then maybe even Africa after that. Getting into shape has never been so appealing, and I’ve already got my “skinny outfits” picked out for when I get fit. I’m putting more effort into my friendships, and I’m relishing my freedom, which is something I’d always taken for granted before. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I’m bound to make plenty more, but taking my life back is not one of them. Some may say that God will punish me for terminating my pregnancy, but I say thank God I had an abortion.
Consider the reasons that she decided to have an abortion. Here is a woman who knew she had support from family and friends, she was financially stable, her boyfriend had pledged to be a good father. But it didn’t matter, because she had more pressing things she wanted to do. She wanted to travel and wear skinny jeans and drink, all things that no mother can ever do, clearly. She said it herself: she’s 22, when you’re supposed to be selfish. And the abortion activists will applaud her for that.
When, exactly, did selfishness become a virtue? It used to be something that was frowned upon.
It’s also odd how often women talking about their abortion experiences will insist that they “loved” their child. Usually, these are the women who got a prenatal diagnosis which gave them “no choice” but to abort, like Down syndrome. They love their baby, but they didn’t want him to suffer. They love their baby, but her quality of life would have been so poor. They love their baby, but they’re just not ready to be a parent and it wouldn’t be “fair”.
One might think that if these people really loved their baby, they wouldn’t have killed the baby, but that’s just crazy talk. True love is killing the baby before they even have a chance to live.
On a more serious note, the reality is that women simply don’t get abortions for this reason. Or rather, they do, but it’s rare. Most women choose to get an abortion because of convenience. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization:
The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
Money, conflicts with school or work, not wanting to be a single parent: these are legitimate concerns and stresses for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. They certainly aren’t easy obstacles to overcome. But they aren’t impossible, and they certainly don’t tug at the heartstrings the way that a woman whose baby has received some kind of devastating prenatal diagnosis does. But the simple reality is that most women are more like Myla June than the sob story cases — they’re just not as open about it.