Dear, Would-Be Baby
Although I know you are currently little more than a cluster of cells, despite the fact that I understand you are not developed enough to feel pain or to even have a brain, I care for you. As any could-be mother does, both on a physical and emotional level due to the hormones flooding through my body, but also on a spiritual level, a deeper level, I care for you. And, because I already care for you, even though I logically know you are not yet a baby, but only the potential of one, I know it is my duty to protect you. And, that is why I’m choosing not to bring you into this world.
You see, my not-yet child, I cannot at this time provide you with the life that any child being brought into this world deserves. Honestly, you weren’t even meant to be a zygote, but your could-be dad refused to wear a condom even though he agreed he would. A couple years from now I will reflect on my relationship with him and understand how bad it really is. I will end up in therapy for a long time over it and I will eventually come to understand that even if two people are in a relationship, NO still means NO and not respecting that is still rape.
But I can’t quite conceptualize all that yet. My own abandonment issues due to an absent father, and several other emotional health issues due to my well-intentioned family’s cycle-of-abuse patterns, has left me vulnerable to abusive men and bad relationships. And although I haven’t developed enough self-love yet to realize that I’m also worthy of protection and safety, I am very aware that protection and safety are things that I would want for my child. Other things I would want for my child that I cannot currently provide would be a stable home, nourishing food, full access to medical care, a good education, a home free from the cycle-of-abuse, and a kind, loving father. Sadly, at this time, I do not have the financial means or the mental/emotional development to provide you with any of these things.
And so, the best way I can protect you at this time is to prevent you from existing in the first place. It’s true, there is still at least a 20% chance your development will be interrupted by a natural miscarriage at this point, but gratefully, I live in a country where I can choose to make sure. Because this could-be mother will not allow her would-be baby to be born into such an unstable and unhealthy situation. Because, even though you are little more than a cluster of cells at this point, I do care for who you have the potential to develop into, and because I care so much, I will protect you from ever being born. Even though this will cause me mental, emotional, and physical pain, I will suffer it to ensure that you will not suffer. And I will eventually find solace in my choice, because I’ll know I chose this from a place of compassion, and I’ll know I did the best I could.
Your Could-Be Mom
Author’s Note: Although this piece is a work of fiction, it is based on a culmination of true stories. Presenting the stories in letter form I felt truly expressed the reality of what a woman may be going through when faced with such a choice. Because using our imaginations to inspire empathy is a gateway to compassion, I feel it necessary to paint a more vivid picture for those who struggle to understand why women need to be allowed to make this choice for themselves.