A guest writer for the New York Times has described her daydreams about the infant daughter she aborted, but says that she is thankful she has been spared the “agonizing sadness of guilt and regret” suffered by countless other post-abortive mothers, and that she doesn’t grieve the child lost to abortion.
Susan Heath of New York described her gratitude for the ease of obtaining her own abortion at Planned Parenthood years ago when, after bringing four children into the world, her contraception failed.
“I’m pregnant but I’m not trapped. All I had to do was call the clinic and make an appointment,” she wrote. Rather than fearing bombs or “running the gantlet between pickets shouting at me that I’m a murderer,” she says the path was smooth, thanks in part to an abortion counselor who didn’t show her pictures of her unborn child’s development.
Heath described a hassle-free abortion procedure, including kind abortion workers who “tuck [her] up under a blanket” afterwards. She was so grateful, she says, that she donated several hundred dollars to Planned Parenthood despite her insurance paying for the abortion.
But the writer recalls one brief post-abortive memory linking her story to that of many mothers who, she concedes, didn’t have such an easy ride:
Two years later, I’m driving upstate by myself. I look down and think that if I hadn’t had the abortion, there would be a baby seat next to me with a small child in it, resting comfortably, knowing it would always be safe because I was in charge. It might be a girl — I would have liked to have a daughter in the family mix.
But I’m not grieving over the absence; I don’t have and never have had a single qualm about not bringing that child into the world. I know many women who have grieved greatly over the children they decided not to have, and I am thankful to have been spared that agonizing sadness of guilt and regret. I also know many women who, like me, have felt only gratitude and relief at having been able to take control over their lives safely and legally.
Heath concludes by celebrating that her living progeny, including five grandsons and three granddaughters, will have “the same legal right to choose that I had.”