For someone who has an abortion decision in the past, like me, it's either something you deliberately choose NOT to think about, or something you can't help BUT think about.
I'm sometimes asked about that decision and the consequences after I give a presentation on sexual self-control. Young people are very empathetic, and often protective of me. Because the pain and regret are so real in my story, they want to try to put it into perspective. One of the questions that comes up the most often is, "Do you wish you had kept that baby?"
Another reason for asking seems to be that they are trying to figure out if I'm really horrible and uncaring. If they heard me say, casually or emphatically, "No. I'm glad I did it," then they can label and judge me. They can feel justified if they say, "I think it should be legal, but I would never do it."
But the most important reason to ask the question seems to be the need for reassurance. They need to know that "if I had known then what I know now," I would have chosen differently. I would have been smarter, more courageous.
I'm not sure the answer I give satisfies.
I have always said the same thing, "It's an impossible choice. That decision and what it cost me are why I am here. It's like asking me to choose between my son and you. I care desperately that you make good choices. If I had become a mom, you wouldn't matter to me at all."
I know many people with an abortion decision in their past. Most of them would give anything to go back in time to change it. There have been times in my life when I would too.
But I am torn because I have been given a great gift: the mommy place in my heart has been filled with OTHER PEOPLE's children. Thousands of teens, who are probably sulky, moody and difficult at home, but in my heart they are champions winning against all odds. I think they know, no matter what, I will never stop believing in them.
"Do you wish you had kept that baby?"... impossible for me to choose.