My belief in the ultimate sociological, emotional and practical necessity for abortion did, as I have mentioned before, become even stronger after I had my two children. It is only after you have had a nine-month pregnancy, laboured to get the child out, fed it, cared for it, sat with it until 3am, risen with it at 6am, swooned with love for it and been reduced to furious tears by it that you really understand just how important it is for a child to be wanted. And, possibly even more importantly, to be wanted by a reasonably sane, stable mother. Last year I had an abortion, and I can honestly say it was one of the least difficult decisions of my life. I'm not being flippant when I say it took me longer to decide what work-tops to have in the kitchen than whether I was prepared to spend the rest of my life being responsible for a further human being. I knew I would see my existing two daughters less, my husband less, my career would be hamstrung and, most importantly of all, I was just too tired to do it all again. I didn't want another child, in the same way that I don't suddenly want to move to Canada or buy a horse. While there was, of course, every chance that I might eventually be thankful for the arrival of a third child, I am, personally, not a gambler. I won't spend £1 on the lottery, let alone take a punt on a pregnancy. The stakes are far, far too high. ...Sure. This is the kind of B.S. you want to read after finding out that your own adoption process will most likely take three times as long as you once thought.
... However, what I do believe to be sacred - and, indeed, more useful to the earth as a whole - is trying to ensure that there are as few unbalanced, destructive people as possible. By whatever rationale you use, ending a pregnancy 12 weeks into gestation is incalculably more moral than bringing an unwanted child into this world. Or a child that, through no fault of its own, would be the destructor of a marriage, a family, a parent. It's fairly inarguable to say that unhappy children, who then grew into very angry adults, have caused the great majority of mankind's miseries. If psychoanalysis has, somewhat brutally, laid the responsibility for mental disorders at parents' doors, the least we can do is to tip our hats to women aware enough not to create those troubled people in the first place.
I can't help but wonder: if Ms. Moran really wanted to ease "mankind's miseries," then why not make more of a personal sacrifice? Couldn't she just as easily abstain from sex? It's 100 percent effective. No sex, no unwanted children. Oh, but that would mean exercising a little self-control and assuming personal responsibility - and those are exactly the kinds of burdens abortion on demand is supposed to alleviate.
Compare Moran's reasoning with that of Miranda Sawyer, who detailed how she came to "rethink" abortion in a recent article for The Observer:
Like most women - at least most British women - I have always been firmly in the pro-choice camp because I've spent nearly all of my sexually active life trying not to get pregnant. Throughout my twenties and the better part of my thirties, I did everything that was required for me not to have a child (other than, you know, not having sex). I wasn't always safe - I've necked morning-after pills like vitamin tablets - but I was lucky enough not to end up in a situation where I was pregnant and didn't want to be. I've never had an abortion, though I am mighty glad that legal abortion exists.Ms. Sawyer still thinks women should be allowed to have an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. However, she believes that "once an embryo has developed enough to feel pain, or begin a personality, then it has moved from cell life into the first stages of being a human," so, for her, "ending that life is wrong." I guess that's at least a step in the right direction.
When I got pregnant so soon after my Granny's death, it felt weird. My mind kept returning to the pregnancy test. If my reaction to those fateful double lines that said 'baby ahead' had been horror instead of hurrah - and, to be honest, it wasn't unalloyed joy that I felt when I saw them; I was scared, too - then I would have had little hesitation in having an abortion. But it was that very fact that was confusing me. I was calling the life inside me a baby because I wanted it. Yet if I hadn't, I would think of it just as a group of cells that it was OK to kill. It was the same entity. It was merely my response to it that determined whether it would live or die. That seemed irrational to me. Maybe even immoral.
But she points out the inherent fallacy of the pro-abortion argument. It isn't about determining whether what's being killed is a human life or not. If a woman wants it, it's a baby; if she doesn't, then it's just a blob of tissue. That's why I have never bought into the notion that having an abortion is a "tough decision" for a woman to make. It's the easy way out of a difficult situation. Deciding what's best for the child - whether to keep it or give it up for adoption - that's a tough decision. But that's also one that doesn't have to be made alone.
Ask anyone who has adopted, or is trying to adopt, and they will tell you that there is no such thing as an "unwanted child." That's a lie perpetuated by those whose bloodlust and selfishness get in the way of reason.