Personal Stories: Jamie

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.

About Atlee Breland

I'm a Mississippian, a Christian, a computer programmer, a wife, and -- thanks to infertility treatment -- a mother of three wonderful children.
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3 Responses to Personal Stories: Jamie

  1. Ron Runnels says:

    I have no problem with IVF, and I would likely support sacrificing the baby fetus’ life to save the mother in the case of ectopic pregnancy. However, I do not understand the rape argument.

    My heart breaks for a rape victim, and I realize I cannot even begin to imagine the horror and trauma they live with, but i still find it disturbingly shocking to hear a woman say in effect, “I would have to kill that baby because its father is evil,” and/or, “It would be indescribably inconvenient for me to allow this baby to live.”

    • Pregnancy and childbirth still pose serious risks to the physical health and life of mother, even with modern medicine. When you get pregnant, there is a 1 in 17,000 chance you will die as a direct result of it, and a much greater chance that you will suffer a major complication such as hemorrhage or infection.

      When you didn’t voluntarily create the pregnancy, you’re saying that rape victims should be forced to take those risks, because of something which they couldn’t prevent or control.

    • Your Neighbor in Louisiana says:

      What if the depression and the trauma of the raped woman are so great she considers–or commits–suicide? Mental health is no less important, just because you cannot see the scars. Also, almost all drugs used in the treatment of depression, trauma, and PTSD are not approved for use in pregnant women.