Story 61 - 11.12.2022
This is a story of a woman who lives in Malta but had her abortions when she lived in the UK.
"I was raped by my stepfather before I was a teenager, and my whole perception of sex and my body was skewed from a young age. I have always suffered with mental health issues and depression.
At the age of 19, I fell pregnant the first time I had sex with my ex-boyfriend. I was on the contraceptive pill at the time, taking it correctly since 15 to help with heavy periods. I discussed it with him - he said he would support me with whatever I decided. I decided to terminate the pregnancy, because I was 19, at university, and had no family to support me. It was emotional, but I knew it was the right thing to do. When I had children, I wanted to be able to give them the best life, not in poverty, not with a mummy who was still a broken child. This man ended up having so many affairs, needless to say that relationship ended in a lot of pain and affected me mentally for years. I was 8 weeks pregnant and it was an outpatient appointment. I took some pills and went home. It was like a heavy period, with some extra clots.
Years later, I then met my next boyfriend. Again, quickly, I fell pregnant, again on the pill. I was about 24 years old. He was from a Catholic background, and his mother even said that I should keep the baby and she would raise it. But, again, when I was ready I wanted to raise my own babies. I still was not in the right place, working long hours and dabbling in recreational fun from time to time. I was still a kid, and had no stability or security or finances to raise a baby. I wanted to be a mother, but I was not ready. Again, at about 8 weeks, I took the pills and went home.
Fast forward to now. I am still with the same man, together for almost 10 years now. I have savings, a great job, and a mortgage. I have 2 beautiful children who were born wanted and we love them so so much. I am mentally much more stable to deal with the extreme pressure that having children creates. I am glad I waited for the right time and the right person to create a family with. He is an amazing father, and raising children alone would be impossible.
I don't feel regret about the terminations. I do feel sad when women berate each other and tell their sisters to "keep their legs closed". I love being intimate with my partner, and this is not something I should be ashamed of. Men are not the only gender who get to have sex for pleasure. Women can enjoy their bodies too!
Living in Malta now though, with 2 children, I do worry about getting pregnant again. Contraception is expensive (where I come from it's completely free) and my finances are directed in other places, such as nappies and school uniforms. If I became pregnant again, I do not think I would keep it. I want to be the best parent I can to my 2 beautiful babies, and it's already so hard. There isn't enough support for mothers here in Malta. Being a parent is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever ever done, and if someone is not ready then it is wrong to force parenthood upon someone. It's as simple as that. I am a great mother to my very wanted and loved children, who I birthed when I was ready. I would not have been all those years ago. I could not offer them the safety, attention, love, and support that I can now.
Seeing women far too old to bear children force their religion down people's throats bothers me. It's not your body, it doesn't affect you. Women are allowed to have sex, and enjoy it too. I absolutely believe all women have the right to decide to be a mother or not. It's very difficult and surely people want to do their best, which requires maturity and support which I did not have many years ago. I was still just a child myself. Do what is right for you ladies."