I am pregnant with my first child, a very unexpected, yet very welcomed, surprise, for my husband and I. I fell in love from almost the beginning, which made the morning sickness bearable and the growing-out-of-my-favorite-blue-jeans a happy occasion, instead of the depressing one it would have been months earlier. My first sonogram was like having a light bulb turned on in my heart; I felt a love that I had not ever before.
But there was a time when pregnancy would have not been such a happy occasion for me. My second year of college, about a month before I met my husband, I was raped, a cruel, violent act where my rights, my protection of safety, were forfeited. No regard was given to my body, to my future, to me.
I walked away from that night, alive, and by the grace of God, un-pregnant. But as I sit here now, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first child, I cannot help but to ponder the question: what if I had become pregnant?
I remember how I grew to hate myself in the months following, how I cried so often, and missed nights of sleep.
How I pushed my husband Sam away time and time again. How lucky I was to have him at all. But a pregnancy would have changed all of that. I would have been alone, with the result of a violent crime growing in my body. If I hated myself so much, how much would I have hated that child, that thing that shared the DNA of a violent man, that never would have been if not for the violation of my body and soul?
How could the government, the same entity that would have turned me away for “lack of evidence,” tell me that his child had more rights over my body than I did? Would this just have confirmed what I already felt, that my body was not mine, but rather, someone else’s? Would it have been more “right” for me to have a child that I could not love, that I could not raise, alone, than to terminate?
What about the family I have now? That could never be if I was forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term?
Thankfully, these are questions that I never had to face, but if I had, I know the answer as assuredly as I know myself: I would have chosen abortion.
Because my life mattered too.