Your 1 in 3 Valentine’s Day campaign really touched me, my due date 4 years ago was Valentine’s Day. It gives me relief to know through websites like yours, that I am not alone. I no longer feel ashamed by my choice, I am pro-life, but by pro-life I mean that of the mother as much as the child, I have the right to make choices about my own existence, my own happiness and my own path.

I am from a nuclear, middle-class family in the UK where abortion is legal.

I was in the middle of my final year A-Level exams, 18 years old and had been with my boyfriend who lived next door for 2 and 1/2 years. We had been practicing safe sex, I was on the pill and we used condoms if ever in doubt that the pills effects might be compromised.

During the lead up to my exams I had been incredibly tired, nauseous and gaining weight, but had put it all down to stress. I took the pregnancy test with my mother who herself had had an abortion, although in dramatically different circumstances to my own. When the test came back positive, the four of us, my mother, father, myself and my boyfriend all discussed all the possibilities, there were tears and disappointment. But I’ll never forget the respect I had for my father taking me aside, and gently asking me what I really wanted to do, only me, as that was who mattered most in this scenario, I knew that all three of them would have supported me no matter what my decision, and he wanted to know that i felt no pressure, to either keep or abort the pregnancy.

My abortion was legal and safe, I choose the medical route as I was only 9 weeks along. I must admit the physical pain for me was pretty awful, I had terrible side effects from the pill. Just because I choose to abort the pregnancy does not mean that I was a coward, or running away from a problem, I can own up to my responsibility as a women on this planet. I don’t regret my decision, I would never change my choice, I often think about my alternative path, the young child I would now be raising, but I know at 18 I would never have been able to provide my child with the upbringing all children deserve, a mother who wouldn’t look back and see all the experiences she could have had, and could have shared, I look forward to being a mother one day and knowing that I want this, I choose this and in a far better position to provide emotionally and financially for my entire family.

Honestly my biggest trauma from this experience was telling my best friends, who decided to tell the rest of our peer group, I was slated for being a ‘disgusting coward’ by many and for years it followed me, even to University. Amazingly last year I received an apology from one of the girls, I had already forgiven them, however I respected her for apologizing, now a bit older I know how embarrassed she is of her actions.

My mother was adopted and although her story ended happily, her adopted brother has faced a lifetime of abandonment issues, despite the wonderful adopted family he was raised in. I wouldn’t want that by choice for any life I was responsible for bringing into this world. That is just a personal opinion.

I recently graduated from University where my 1st class awarded dissertation was centered around sexual health and education, I am now traveling the world, volunteering in local community health projects as I go, sharing my knowledge and helping other women who are not in as fortunate position as I was.