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Wednesday 31 January 2018


Growing up, my mother would often tell me the story of her pregnancy.   She would say that every time she went to the doctor, he would tell her it wasn't too late to get an abortion, but she would tell him that she desperately wanted this baby (even though she was newly divorced and going to be a single parent of three).  She wanted to keep this baby.  This was a sign of my mother's love. Even though other people were encouraging her to get rid of me, she wouldn't listen.  Thinking about that story today, my response is very clear: You should have listened.

This response may come as a shock to many.  I currently have an amazing life; a good education, thriving career, nice home in the city, with a man and cat whom I adore.  Why would I say that my mother should have aborted me?

It is simple: I am the exception, not the statistic.  Most of the kids who grew up in my situation got caught in oppressive cycle of poverty, addiction, and mental illness.  I was never supposed to make out.  I still don't know how I did.  My therapist says it was hard work and will, on my part.  I say there was also a lot of luck.  I grew up dreaming of being rich enough to see the poverty line in a home with a mentally unsound mother who was abusive and negligent.  This is not a recipe for success.  By some twist of fate, I beat the odds.  I have a life that makes me happy.  So extremely happy, that it is terrifying.  After years of therapy, I am not crippled by this happiness, but that too has been a lot of work.

It is from this happy place, that I can look back objectively and say, despite being able to create an incredible life for myself, I don't think my mother should have given birth to me.  The suffering I had to endure to get here was more than any child should experience.  And remember, I am one of the rare cases that has a happy ending.  Objectively, I am statistical anomaly.  An outlier.  This is why I feel it is important to look back and say: no, given the circumstances, I should not have been born. As the unaborted fetus, I say, it was not in the best interest of the child to give it life.  And I am one of the lucky ones...

My intention is not for this to be a pro-abortion piece.  It is merely to give you perspective.  My purpose is to address another taboo subject matter: parental debt.  The idea that we owe our parents for our lives and therefore are indebted to them when they age and need our support.  This introduction is to shed light on my question: what do you owe a person who gave you a life you didn't want?