What if you were the one being chosen?

Picture this: Ryan just gets home from work to find that he has missed three calls from Hannah, his girlfriend. Suspecting that something might be wrong, he calls her back. What he doesn’t realise is that the next three days are going to change his life forever. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, but the darkness will seem never-ending until then.

Hannah breaks the news to Ryan that she is seven weeks pregnant. Overwhelmed, Ryan doesn’t know what to say. Hannah then adds that she is getting an abortion. Tomorrow.

Ryan’s stomach sinks – an abortion? His mind races from the thought of life with a child, to the thought of rejecting this child because he and Hannah aren’t prepared. He tries to persuade her not to go to the abortion clinic the next day. He asks her to cancel for now, and take time to think this through. Deep down, Ryan has always known that abortion is wrong. He thinks they shouldn’t panic and should look at alternatives.

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When he tells Hannah that he wants to come over and talk to her about it, she says not to. Her mind is made up. She is going to have the abortion. Ryan drives over to her house anyway, desperate to show her that he wants to be there for both her and the baby. After all, he thinks, it’s my baby too. Hannah however becomes very distressed when she sees his car pulling up, and sends her mother out to tell Ryan to leave. Dejected, Ryan rings Hannah repeatedly, but has to leave a message each time as she won’t pick up.

Morning comes and Ryan decides he has to try to talk to Hannah about having the abortion. He knows that, as the father of this baby, he should do everything he can. Not knowing where she is going for the abortion however, he speeds over to her house, hoping to catch her before she leaves. It’s too late though; all the cars have gone and the house is empty. He rings Jane and Sarah, two of her best friends, but neither know which clinic she has booked into. Hannah and her mother have both switched off their phones. Tears begin to form in Ryan’s eyes. He wants to help. He doesn’t want this on his conscience. He doesn’t want to lose his baby.

Getting a few addresses from his phone for abortion clinics, he drives almost hysterically from one to clinic to another, desperately trying to find Hannah, but all to no avail. Despite calls, texts and visits, he doesn’t hear from Hannah for two more days. When he finally talks to her, his nightmare is confirmed. She had had the abortion.

The pain of the experience caused their relationship to break up soon after the abortion. The following years of Ryan’s life were marked with a deep sense of hurt and regret.

Now, picture this: Laura has been going out with Stephen for around 2 months. It appears to be going well between the two, but then things take an unexpected twist. After being ill one morning, Laura decides to take a pregnancy test. It’s positive. Despite the fact she knew this wasn’t at all what she wanted, she thinks she could get through this with the help of her parents and Stephen. She didn’t really entertain the thought of an abortion as an option, mainly because, after the initial shock of finding out, a part of her looked forward to loving and caring for her child.

Her world was about to come crumbling down however. Stephen took the news of the pregnancy very badly, and became even more angry when she said she was keeping the baby. He said that he would split up with her if she didn’t have the abortion. Laura was heartbroken. She liked him a lot, but knew that she couldn’t choose him over the baby. When she told her parents, her mother likewise became very angry. She told Laura that she would have to go for the abortion. As she said this, her father looked at the ground and simply nodded his head.

Running upstairs, Laura lay on her bed as tears flowed down her cheeks. Feelings of despair and isolation overtook her. How would she cope without the support of her parents or Stephen? Over the next few days, her mother kept insisting that abortion was the only solution. She talked about how Laura had the rest of her life to live – without the burden of a child. She had to finish college. Didn’t she want to travel? Laura knew in her heart that she would prefer the baby to live than to have all these things. But her mother’s unending reasons for having the abortion were beginning to take a toll.

Finally, her mother told Laura that she would have to move out of the house if she had the child. Feeling completely overwhelmed and weighing all this up in her head, Laura felt forced into booking the abortion. It turned out to be the single most traumatizing event of her life.

Afterwards, Laura did not speak to her mother for two weeks. She could not bear to be in the same room as her. She had been blackmailed into the abortion. The pain of it all would remain with her for five more years. Looking back at the event with a post-abortion counsellor years later, Laura shared that, “I felt I had no other choice.”

Concluding: I would like people who declare themselves as ‘pro-choice’ to reflect on a few things. Should a father, such as Ryan, have rights when it comes to the choice of abortion? Should Laura’s mother have supported her when she wanted to keep the baby? Should we also feel great compassion for the unborn babies in these stories who were chosen for abortion? Have they not suffered an unjust death?

To all these questions, I would answer with a resounding “Yes.” The real issue here however is that some people believe ‘choice’ should extend so far as to take the life of another human being. Choice is not an absolute right though. It is subject to the question of what is being chosen. If the death of another human being is what you want to choose, I am of the generation who is unafraid to that choice should not be legally sanctioned.

Would you like it if your mother or father had wanted you to be aborted? Would you like it if your grandfather and grandmother had wanted you to be aborted?

Crucially, how would you who call yourself ‘pro-choice’ like it if you were the one to be chosen? 

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