Responding to Tough Questions: “My Mom’s Life Would Have Been Easier Without Me.”

16 Aug Responding to Tough Questions: “My Mom’s Life Would Have Been Easier Without Me.”

The prompt this week was “Write a letter to someone whose mom struggled to provide for them, responding to the statement, ‘My mom’s life would have been easier if she had aborted me, and I would be ok with that decision.’”

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Mary Jo, SFLI Summer Intern

Dear Friend,

I am sorry for the circumstances that have caused you to ever think of yourself in this way. Every human being, no matter the particulars of their journey into existence, deserves to be treated and thought of with respect and love.

The concern you have for your mother is admirable, and I do believe that your consideration on abortion is genuine, though tragic. So let’s turn it into a real question. Would it have been easier for your mom to abort you or parent as a single mother?

Single motherhood and single parenthood is on a rise in our country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children are being raised without a father (aka by a single mom).

We know that somehow they are making it work, even if it isn’t easy. Because half of those single mom families are below the poverty line, it’s likely that your mom was having a hard life even before you were born. So, at the very least, please do not attribute her struggles solely to yourself.

In fact, many women say that having an unplanned pregnancy helps them to get their life together more than they previously were, out of pure necessity. This is something I can support with both anecdotal experiences and various articles by publishers like Jezebel. This might even be something worthwhile to talk to your mom about.

Now let’s check out abortion. Quick and easy fix? Sure seems that way!

But what are the long-term consequences?

After an abortion, most women say they initially feel relief and look forward to living their lives normally again. However, many women report negative emotions after an abortion, and still others have emerging mental health issues months or years later as the connection between the right and left cerebral hemispheres conjoins fully in the mid-twenties.

According to a study done in 2008, there is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in long-term emotional, physical, and mental health. Abortion has been shown to increase the rate of drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts and behavior, and symptoms consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a country where depression is becoming a public health epidemic, this is certainly a serious concern for me, and hopefully a consideration for you as well.

Finding a decision in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy is never going to be an easy thing, but I hope that through examining the facts and talking with your mom, you both can conclude that her choice for your life was the right one.

In my experience, choosing life is always the best decision and the dignity and respect that you deserve as an equal human being certainly beg to be honored. If you would ever like to talk over these matters in person (my preference), I would be more than happy to oblige. For now, be assured that you are in my thoughts and prayers.


Mary Jo

Mary Jo Carney is a Summer Intern with Students for Life of Illinois. She studies Psychology with a minor in music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.