In 1992 I made a very foolish choice and the outcome was an unplanned pregnancy. I was in the doctors office when the test came back positive and by my reaction, the nurse new straight away that this was totally not planned or wanted.

I was offered a termination (a much more pleasant word than abortion!). I didn’t have to jump through hoops, or beg or plead as has been reported that woman have to do. This was the obvious solution for my problem so of course I agreed.

I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could travel to Auckland for the procedure. I shut down and did not let myself think about the baby. I thought of it only as a blob of cells. Once at the abortion clinic, I had a ‘counselling’ session, I assume to check that I was not being coerced or pressured into my decision, but at no time did anyone try to talk me out of it or give me alternatives.

I have to be honest, I don’t think that I could have been talked out of it. My mind was firmly made up – because it was the solution to my problem. But I realise now that I was so uninformed.

The procedure itself was the most physically painful thing I have ever experienced, so much so, that I actually lost consciousness. I went home afterwards and locked the whole nightmare in a box and pushed it in to the darkest recess of my soul. Problem solved. Get on with your life. Forget about it.

I did not allow myself to think about what I had done. I did not let myself think about the baby.

Very few people knew about it. It was a well-kept secret. I couldn’t even say the word abortion, let alone admit to having one. I did not allow myself to grieve…(that came much later). It was just too big. And I never did forget about it, as hard as I tried, instead often it was something that tormented me.  It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I became a Christian, and I learned that from the moment of conception we receive our spirit, the enormity of what I had done was realised.

Eventually the monster arose and I could no longer ignore it. I was given the keys to unlock the box and finally process through my choice.   God even told me the sex of my child and gave me her name.  I finally allowed myself to grieve for my child, and to forgive myself.  But still even now I live with guilt and regret.

People keep saying that it’s the woman’s choice but I think that’s because it appears to be the “obvious” choice. Just get rid of ‘it’, problem solved. An ‘easy’ solution for an inconvenience. What they don’t realise is, they are setting themselves up for a lifetime of guilt, sorrow and regret. It might not happen straight away, but eventually it will catch up with you and when it does, the burden of guilt and regret and the sense of loss is overwhelming. You’ve just replaced one problem with another. Your own private tragedy.

I am 55 years old and was adopted at birth. If abortion was available in NZ in 1964 then I probably would not exist in this world. If the option was not available to me in 1992, then I would have had to come to terms with it and get on with my pregnancy. I would now have my child here on earth and not have to wait until I am in Heaven to see her face to face.

I think of her often, especially when I am around anyone who is the age she would be. Sometimes I allow myself to dwell…imagine her, but not for long, as it hurts too much.  One night God revealed her to me in a dream.  I saw her from behind staring into the ocean.  I treasure that image.

Each year she gets older. I miss what could have been, what should have been. My own private tragedy.

A few years ago a friend had a miscarriage at 18 weeks and I had the privilege of getting to see this wee man. I was absolutely blown away by how perfectly formed he was. He had all his fingers and toes. He even had his penis. He just looked like a miniature new born baby. I couldn’t stop looking at him. He was beautiful. He was a little person, not a blob of cells.

We have to stop the madness.

We have to protect women from themselves.

We have to protect these babies – they are not blobs of cells. They are living human beings.

We have to understand the mental anguish it causes.

We have to come to realise that it is not a solution but a whole new set of problems.