No woman chooses to have an abortion for the fun of it

One of my best friends in Secondary school was a nun, and she told me that women who had abortions were condemned in hell to sit by a pool of blood, and had to drink from that pool continiously. I must have been 14 or so when she told me that story and yet the visual imagery of women sitting by a pool of blood, drinking blood into infinity is an image that has stuck with me my whole life.


During those same years at Secondary school a girl I knew fell pregnant. She and her boyfriend were making out and without prior warning he thrust his penis into her and ejaculated. I was freaked out when she told me she was pregnant. And even more freaked out when she told me she wanted to have an abortion. All I could think about were the women sitting by the pool drinking blood. Would I have to join them in drinking blood if I agreed that my friend should have an abortion? Don’t have an abortion, I said. Tell your Mum. My Mum would kill me, she responded.  We never spoke about the pregnancy again. One day she went home on an exeat, and when she returned, she told me she had had the abortion.


There was another girl in my school who fell pregnant. She didn’t have an abortion. She left school for a couple of months, delivered the baby and resumed. EVERYBODY knew she had fallen pregnant and had a baby. EVERYBODY gossiped about her. Did you hear that she fell pregnant? Did you hear that she had a baby? Eventually the gossiping became too much for her, and she left school again. This time permanently. I wonder what happened to her? I wonder if she was able to resume her education? I wonder if she had any support in caring for her baby?


The first girl I spoke about continued her education without a break. Virtually no one knew she had been pregnant. Today she’s happily married with a family of her own and a great career. I’m still wondering how the other girl’s life turned out? I hope somehow she was able to continue her education. I hope somehow she got the support she needed to raise her child.


But you know what I really wish? I wish no one had to make this kind of choice. I wish children would be educated at an early age[1] about sex. I wish people of all ages would have access to comprehensive family planning. I wish contraceptives were free. I wish no one had to make the difficult choice to terminate a pregnancy. But you know what they say about wishes don’t you?


There are a couple of cold hard facts I’ve had to recognize, as I’ve grown older. No woman chooses to have an abortion for the fun of it. Women have to weigh up the circumstances in which they find themselves, and sometimes the difficult choice that they have to make is that they need to terminate a pregnancy. I don’t think its down to you or I to cast judgement on that woman. That choice should be hers to make, and the right of a woman to choose should be sacrosanct.

[1] In my opinion the right age to start sex education is as soon as the child starts to ask you questions related to sexuality such as “where do babies come from?”

8 comments On No woman chooses to have an abortion for the fun of it

  • Abortion is a middle class preoccupation… the middle class is where choice lives. For the majority of women in the world, sex can turn into misery very easily. I believe the frontier is in extending abortion rights in a meaningful way to every woman.

  • I disagree Kofi. I am based in the UK where finances do not stop those who feel thwy need it, getting an abortion. And is not dependent on your income. But I do understand this is not the experience the world over. I just wanted to let those in the UK know they have that option.

    I think people are very judgemental about abortions but often until you are faced with the situation, how would you really know what you would do. In other areas of life I’ve sworn in good faith I would do one thing and gone a completely different way. What people do need in that situation is support theough whichever decision they make.

    I remember when I was young at church a slightly older girl had gotten pregnant, secretly aborted and after a year of holding her ‘shame’ finally confessed all following an emotional breakdown. You can imagine how much gossip and judgement there was. But the whole thing always made me feel really sad. Noone should have to feel so isolated. How horrible.

  • An article I came across today which is very relevant to this conversation on abortions

  • @Nsoromma, you’re quite right, I was talking about Ghana, specifically, but the argument could be extended to other places. Abortion is quite commonplace in Ghana too, but safe abortions are still an issue. My thing is that no woman should lose her life or suffer serious health consequences for exercising her choice. However, we have a long way to go to get there here.

    I don’t know Britain well, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that access to better health outcomes correlates to economic class.

    Lastly, I believe in abortion without guilt and think that it’s horrible for a young woman to go through the scene you describe.

  • Nana, I have to say I was surprised by your approach! I thought you were going to come out with guns blazing and quoting mysterious feminists charters on the topic. I was TOTALLY blindsided by the sympathetic route you took. 😉

    Ok, so you’ve said a lot about girls in high/secondary school, who as a whole don’t have (easy) access to birth control for whatever reasons. What about grown women who DO have abortions for the fun of it? 3 personal acquaintances come to mind who have used abortion as birth control. Instead of getting on the pill/IUD or using a condom, they would run to the nearest clinic at the first sign of a missed period! It was rather heartbreaking and somewhat annoying.

  • I’m totally against abortion but i don’t judge people who do it cos i believe they all got their own reasons. yea its true some people take advantage of it as Abena said but then there are some extreme cases tho.not sure there can ever be any hard n fast rule about abortion but wiv all the pills around, i still wonder why in this century someone would claim “it was a mistake” really, women need to be smart even if the guys arent cos at the end of the day we are the ones thatl be most affected by the outcome.

  • @Abena – I honestly don’t believe that grown women have abortions for the fun of it. I agree that sometimes women use abortions as birth control when they find themselves carrying an unwanted pregnancy. To my mind this indicates even more of a need for sexual education. Its also important that men are targeted in sexual education drives. It takes two to create an unwanted pregnancy after all (except in the obvious cases or rape and assault)

    @Didi – Yes, I think one can personally decide that having an abortion is against one’s personal belief system yet support the right of women to choose. Do you really not understand how a woman can accidentally fall pregnant? I am so gung ho about safe sex yet I can think of more than a few instances where I’ve been completely careless about sex. Can’t you?

  • No one knows what its like when you get to that pit(the point you wish to think of the growing life as a baby and your child hoping that the thought will pull you through letting it be, yet abortion seem like the only option out.) Been there, knows whats it like and as much as i know its against Humanity n God but the odds are always against u when u have to let it be.

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