I got back in touch with a recovery centre today. I've had a few voicemails off them since I made contact in December about how I was struggling with the decision of whether or not to have an abortion. It was a hard decision to make, but I had that freedom to decide what option was best for me. Now that I've had the termination, I'm aware I need to talk through my feelings. It was difficult to make the decision to reach back out to the centre, but I feel better for doing so.
My feelings of positivity quickly subsided when I got home from work and saw the comments that Trump had made during an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews. In his world, I would not be free to make a decision to care for myself and seek help for the choice I made. Instead, I would be punished. "There has to be some form of punishment," he says. A punishment for the woman.
Should I be punished for choosing not to bring a child into the world when I am not emotionally or financially capable of doing so? Should the choice be taken away from me, leaving me to become a mother when I do not want to be? The decision was difficult enough for me to make, and I was surrounded by contradicting statements throughout my pregnancy. Some told me I should keep the baby because it would be easier for me to get money. Others warned of the depression after a termination. Very few people actually left me to make my own decision, and that is exactly what Trump would like to take away from millions of women facing such an experience.
I was so ill throughout my pregnancy that I was encouraged by my GP to be signed off from work. I couldn't, because I was on a temporary contract at the time, and had rent to pay. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that it would be over in a matter of weeks.
On the day of the termination, I felt strangely calm. Even when my ex partner told me he felt awful about what we were doing in the waiting room - after a month of wanting it to be over just as much as I did - I was able to remain resolute because I knew I was making the right decision for myself, and I would be able to seek support in the aftermath if I needed it.
It was over very quickly. Half an hour after going under, I woke up in the recovery room. It's the strangest thing in the world, lying in a bed feeling pregnant and ill, then waking up half an hour later feeling normal again for the first time in a month.
I know that I did what was right for me. Having the freedom to explore all of my options and not having to listen to other people's opinions on the matter made all the difference in the world. The decision for a woman to have an abortion is not one to be made by other people. It isn't for people like Trump to make ignorant, sweeping statements on what should happen to the women who decide to have them. It's none of his business. Nor is it for the state to decide whether women should be in control of their bodies or not.
When I saw that second line come up on the pregnancy test, I knew that I wasn't ready to have a child. Trump can argue that he is pro-life, but the definition should not be so narrowly interpreted that it only considers the unborn child. The sanctity of the woman's life, her body, her mental health and her situation are all important considerations too. Factors that Trump should have thought about before he made a statement so radical that his campaign had to step in and back-track for him. Is this really the mind that America wants for its next leader?
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