I was browsing through a blog that I read occasionally and saw a reference to an essay from Skirt magazine written by Alison Piepmeier. The essay is about her decision to have an abortion, how it affected her and her husband's relationship, and how they made amends to the fetus. The essay has generated a lot of comments, some supportive and others that are highly judgmental and downright nasty.
Alison's essay brought back a time when my wife and I struggled with this tough decision. I think that it's impossible for anyone to understand the emotions surrounding such a decision unless you've had to make it. I believe that terminating a pregnancy is a very personal decision and one that Alison didn't take lightly.
My wife and I had to make a similar decision years ago. It too was painful but the timing of the pregnancy wasn't right and neither of us was prepared for a baby. In fact, both of us felt that we were too messed up to think about bringing a child into the world. And yet, there it was--she was pregnant and we had to deal with the situation. So after going through a lot of soul searching, my wife decided to terminate the pregnancy. I accepted that decision for a lot of reasons, most of which had to do with the deterioration of our marriage, the focus on our careers, and a level of responsibility that neither of us wanted.
Although I've revisited that decision many times since then, it has only been since being in Al-Alon and working the steps, that I've made an amends for the decision to terminate the pregnancy. It also appears that Alison and her husband accepted their decision, made an amends to the fetus, and moved on with their life. But there are still moments when I wonder how it all would have turned out should the baby have been born. That indicates to me that I haven't completely shut the door on the past. My wife doesn't speak about this anymore and hasn't for years. I know that I can't undo what is done nor would I want to. At that time, it was the best decision. In retrospect, because my father's drinking affected me negatively, I believe that it was still the best decision given the genes involved and the situation of growing up around an alcoholic.
So ours was a decision based on probabilities and emotions, and it was a selfish decision for those reasons. But I know that the decision was not made flippantly. And I also know that no person has a right to judge or forgive such actions. That's up to the Higher Power. And that's a discussion that I will likely have with the HP for a long time.