I am writing in response to a recent letter that dealt with the writer's feelings of guilt and bitterness over an abortion she had when she was 16 years of age. The writer justifies her anti-choice stance by referring to her own subjective, personal experience. I feel badly that this lady is in such pain, but for her to state that "virtually every woman" who has had an abortion feels as she does is ridiculous.
She is engaging in the most insidious defense mechanism of all -- projection. In order for her to live with this dark "sin" of her childhood, she is projecting her feelings of guilt onto others.
Now, maybe it's just because the women who I happen to be friends with tend to be strong and self-assured, but I have several friends who have had abortions, and most never even think about it. Those who do tell me that, when they do, it is with gratitude that the choice was available to them. Many have gone on to have families -- families that they never would have had if that first, or that one, had been brought to term.
I, also, was once faced with this choice. I got pregnant at a time when my husband and I could not afford, financially or emotionally, a second child. I was all set to opt for an abortion when the pregnancy self-terminated. I cannot describe how relieved I was. Today, I remember neither the date of the miscarriage nor the expected delivery date. That's how momentous the whole thing was to me.
A couple of years afterwards, our financial situation improved, and I had a second child -- by choice. If that one had been born, we would not have gotten out from under, and my daughter would not be alive today.
DAWN M. SARDES