“I’m having an abortion,” I told my partner before we even bought the pregnancy test to confirm my suspicions. Getting pregnant completely caught me off guard. I had prevented pregnancy for over 10 years successfully until then, but there is nothing but complete abstinence that is 100%—sometimes pregnancy happens despite our best efforts. Not that it matters. Not that it makes me any more worthy of abortion than anyone else. But still, I feel I have to explain that I wasn’t being 100% irresponsible about it.
After the text came back positive though I hesitated to make the appointment that would prevent the further growth of the cells forming inside me. I thought long and hard. It was easy to say that I was having an abortion, but actually doing it took more consideration. It’s rarely an easy decision for a woman, even when she is pro-choice—even when she doesn’t believe that what is inside of her is a baby, or even a person, yet.
I thought about the financial aspects of it, reminding myself that it would be difficult for us to afford a baby. I thought about the physical difficulties of pregnancy and birth. I thought about how I was set to go back to school and that having a small child would make it more difficult.
I also though about how I was getting older. I asked myself if I wanted another child. More specifically, I asked if I wanted a child with my current partner.
After much though I realized I did. I wanted another child.
My third child was unplanned and although I didn’t want another baby at first, I choose her. This choice was only possible because I had options. I could’ve aborted, or even opted for adoption. But I didn’t. She’s here because I wanted her here.
I am so glad I had the chance to choose her. I think about what my pregnancy would’ve been like if I never made the choice to continue with it on my own, if I had been forced to continue by a society devoid of options. I don’t think I’d love motherhood as much as I do right now—and I do, despite the difficulties of having a toddler—if I had never even considered the other possibilities.
I am so glad I live in a place where I can choose motherhood if I want to. Because of this I know I am a mom because I decided to be.
Navarre Overton is the founder of Raising Revolution. She is a stay-at-home mom, feminist, freelance writer, and student. You can reach her on Twitter, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.