I would like to tell my story. I am twenty five years old, and I’ve had two abortions within a year of each other. I was in love with a man who treated me terribly. He abandoned me time and time again when I needed him most. I was young and scared – my drinking and drug use was out of control. I was in the midst of a dark hole of depression. The pregnancy hormones hit me hard, I was feeling increasingly suicidal. Self-harming, starving myself, drinking myself into a sobbing mess.

I was terrified. He wanted the baby. A small part of me wanted it too – a family, a little life to share with him. A child to give my love, my loneliness. But I knew I couldn’t do it. How could I bring a child into this world? I can’t take care of myself, let alone an infant – so helpless and small. We were both plagued by mental illness. It brought us together, made me feel connected to another person in a way that I had never felt before. He understood me, he calmed me. I needed him but he ignored me. How could I responsibly bring a child into this world with the knowledge that it could turn out like me? Like him? We had no money. Had jobs to pay the bills but no career, no motivation, and definitely no savings. As a woman, I couldn’t bear the thought of bringing a baby into the world; the possibility of a little girl. This awful, terrible world which had treated me so cruelly. The horrible assaults I have felt by the hands of too many men. Childhood trauma that still left me reeling well into adulthood.

People don’t understand – I didn’t have an abortion because I’m a whore, a drunk – no, I had it to save myself, to save the child from living a terrible life. If I had been forced to carry to term, there is no doubt in my mind that I would’ve killed myself. I made the right choice, I made the hard choice. It was a decision that broke my heart, but it’s a decision that I stand by.

I do not regret my choice. The child would not have benefited by being born, I would not have benefited by being forced into motherhood. One day I will have a child, a family, the thought fills me with a fierce instinctual love. My arms ache to hold this child, but I am not ready.