Abortion is not the answer for selfish inconveniences
Letter to the Editor
For the first time that I can remember, I agree completely with the views expressed in an Inside Column. Dustin Ferrell's piece, "The right to choose facts,"(April 11) gives an adequate portrayal of how selfish some would-be mothers are when they claim to be "sparing a child from a life of hardship" by having an abortion.
It is probably correct that some children truly would have terrible lives if they were allowed to live, especially if they would have some terminal disease or grow up in a homeless shelter. However, a pregnant woman (or girl) should not just choose to have an abortion because she believes she cannot adequately care for her child. She is unable to know that her own life, and therefore the life of her child, will not improve in the future. She cannot just assume that the child will not be able overcome obstacles and become a successful person. Shouldn't she give the unborn child a chance?
My mother became pregnant with me when she was 18. She was enrolled in college, and she thought she was in love with this guy who was five years older than she. When he learned that she was pregnant, he demanded for her to have an abortion. She initially agreed and called for an appointment. She changed her mind, but then changed it again and made another appointment. A few days before the scheduled abortion, she finally decided that her child needed the opportunity to live, and she informed him of her choice. He showed up at her first appointment with her doctor, and then she never saw him again. She had to drop out of school and go back home to live with her parents.
Her parents gave her a lot of trouble. She had "ruined the family's reputation," and I'm sure she was embarrassed and ashamed. But she was married almost four years later, and her husband adopted me.
I know it wasn't an easy decision for her. I can just imagine how hard it was for her to go home and tell her parents. She has probably wished many times that she could have graduated from college and gotten a better job. I have no idea how difficult it was for her to tell me all the details when I asked; to know what my real dad was like, or how hard it is for her to look at me and see similarities to the man who left her. I know that keeping me may have been an inconvenience for her, but I know (because she has told me) that she has never regretted choosing not to have an abortion.
She did not regret keeping me while she heard me thank her in my high school valedictory address, and she did not regret her decision when she found out that I'd gotten accepted here and that I'd received several scholarships to cover most of the costs. Despite the problems she faced, she has been able to provide me with sufficient care, and I feel that I have been quite successful so far.
She could have aborted me and left the clinic with a clean slate (though maybe a nagging conscience), but she didn't. She considered my life more important than her own. She didn't want to think, "I wonder what she would have looked like, accomplished, etc," so she took the far more difficult and unselfish route.
Just because someone thinks that her life and her unborn child's life will be horrible and worthless doesn't mean that she should terminate the child's life. She has no way of knowing what the future holds. Abortion is not the answer for people worrying about pessimistic, unverified predictions or selfish inconveniences.
April 11, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, April 17, 2000