Despite broken relationships, depression and other struggles, a Toronto woman argued that her two abortions were “best” for her.
Ghanwa S., 26, shared her story with The Star as part of a series of women’s abortion stories. The news outlet did not give any space for women who regret their abortions to tell their stories.
Raised in a Pakistani Muslim family, Ghanwa said she became pregnant at 17 by her high school sweetheart. She said they got married quickly, and she gave birth to a son.
With her first pregnancy, “I did not consider abortion then at all due to my South Asian background, not being educated on abortions, and because of how women are shamed for it,” she said.
Two years later, she said her husband wanted a second child, but she was hesitant. She said their marriage had become “toxic,” and she was working double shifts while caring for their young son. Ghanwa said she gave into her husband’s request and became pregnant a short time later.
“Two-and-a-half months into the pregnancy, things changed. I had a choice: have an abortion or live the rest of my life as a single mom to two children. I was torn,” she said.
Though she knew little about it, she decided to have an abortion.
“I was ashamed to even tell my family doctor, so I Googled an abortion clinic at the other end of the city and got an appointment,” Ghanwa said. “The whole process was very scary and the staff could tell my anxiety was building up.”
Aborting her unborn baby affected her “a lot mentally and emotionally.” She said she became depressed, and she indicated that she continues to struggle with mental health problems. However, she claimed the reason for her struggles was the lack of support for her abortion, not her unborn child’s death.
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Ghanwa said she left her husband and eventually moved in with a new boyfriend. Though she was using birth control, she said she got pregnant anyway.
“My divorce wasn’t finalized and I was still in family court fighting over custody for my son. I was not ready to bring a child into all of this,” she remembered.
When she brought up an abortion with her boyfriend, he “freaked out,” she said. He apparently wanted their unborn child to have a chance at life, but she did not.
“With the support of my best friend, however, I followed through with the abortion. That decision led our relationship to deteriorate,” she said.
Despite all these struggles, she insisted that aborting her unborn babies was the right thing to do.
“Experiencing abortion first-hand changed my beliefs and perspective on it tremendously,” she wrote. “It made me drop my judgment and want to educate others.”
Later, she continued: “When I opened up to my close friends about it, they couldn’t believe that I had had abortions because I am an exemplary mother — this created a dialogue that was very much needed to shift perspectives. I believe it’s important to talk about it openly so people don’t bash others or shame themselves for doing what is best for them, like I did for years.”
The shame surrounding abortion is not the problem. It is the abortion itself and a society that tells women they must abort their unborn babies to succeed. Society tells women that they should not feel grief or remorse about ending their baby’s life, and, if they do, it’s pro-lifers’ fault. This false narrative hurts women and unborn babies.
Women deserve better, and every baby deserves the right to life.